Our Experience With Tongue Ties

9 Dec

In the hospital, after I told the lactation consultant about my problems, she mentioned that their frenulums looked a little short.

Keep in mind, even though it was 12 years ago, I have nursed before, so I knew it just didn’t feel right.  I was told your aereolas get bigger with each pregnancy, that they were smaller babies, & every baby’s different – blah blah blah.  They weren’t gaining back their weight like they should, and the number of their diapers were “iffy” on whether they were actually getting enough or not.

I mentioned the short frenulum to 2 of the pediatricians that came in, both said “eh … it’s a little short, but they can reach their lip, so it’s not TOO short.”  We had to go back to the pediatrician about every 2 days for weight checks after leaving the hospital.  They just weren’t gaining like they should’ve been.

My nipples felt like they were on fire, I cringed and even cried sometimes when the girls would latch on.  I tried everything the doctor & lactation consultant was telling me to try & make it not hurt & fix their latch, I was ready to throw in the towel – it just hurt soooo bad.

At about 11 days old, back in the pediatrician’s office, I asked again about the short frenulum, he told me the same thing he told me in the hospital (& I love this doc, he’s been our pediatrician for 12 years with 3 older kids).  Not too bad, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I pushed further, what would it hurt if this wasn’t the problem?  Nothing except for the minor discomfort they would suffer from the procedure.  I talked to hubby, hemmed & hawed & then asked for a referral to the ENT (I didn’t realize they didn’t do it there).

I was afraid the ENT would give me the same crap, but she walked in, said “Yep, they’re a little short, we can snip it right now if you want.”  I asked if there was any harm in doing this if it turned out it wasn’t our problem nursing – she assured me there wasn’t … so sure thing, please do.  I held each of them on my knees while the doc got in there in snipped it.  Their heads were closest to me, at that angle I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing, but she clipped something in their mouths & a second later snip and it was over.  The procedure itself, literally must have taken less than 60 seconds.  Each of them cried, but as soon as they were handed off to their daddy & the 2nd one to me, they calmed right down – seriously, IMMEDIATELY.  I asked if I could nurse them for a couple minutes (magic boobies make everything better), and we really didn’t even nurse that long, maybe another couple of minutes.

While MY pain didn’t go away immediately, I thought maybe something felt a little different.  Within a week, definitely less than 2, I was nursing pain free and wanted to yell at everyone who kept pushing us off.  And that had only been for less than 2 weeks!  My nipples healed, the girls started gaining weight … and the rest is history. J

Olivia’s snip didn’t seem to bleed at all – she was first, so she was handed off to Daddy while I held Sophia, so I didn’t get to see a whole lot … but I didn’t notice any when I started nursing her.  Sophia’s bled a little more, she did have a few drops on her lower lip (which were probably even less than a few drops once you consider it was probably mixed with saliva).  There wasn’t even a follow up appointment required, that’s how simple the procedure really is.

I did some reading on it in the beginning & talked to hubby about it before the doc agreed to refer us.  Apparently, snipping the frenulum used to be a standard practice for ALL babies.  As routine as circumcisions used to be.

It was so funny watching the girls after they had it done … Olivia especially, would stick her tongue out so often.  Silly baby.  She still plays with her tongue a lot – after the procedure I realized that I hadn’t really seen their tongues outside their mouths.  Now when she nurses, I can see her tongue between my breast and her bottom lip – that would have never have happened before.

Sometimes you gotta push for things even when the doctors are telling you no – and especially something like this, something so simple that could make baby & Mama’s lives so much better.

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