As ties are becoming more of a hot topic and recognized as the potentially serious complication that they can be, I thought I would share my story with you. When my second boy was about one month old, I mentioned that I thought he was tongue tied to our doctor. I had been having severe nipple damage and had heard mention of similar issues related to ties online. He had a dip in the center of his tongue, making it a heart shape. I found out much later in our bf relationship that it was, most definitely, a tied tongue.
My concerns were brushed aside and I thought no more of it. In our case, he was gaining weight fine and breastfeeding was uncomfortable, but not too painful. As his latch and mouth compensated for the lack of proper movement in his tongue, the discomfort I felt lessened to where it was no longer uncomfortable to feed him.
He was a very discontented little guy and nursed every two-three hours, all the time. I assumed he was just “a colicky baby” and would grow out of it, sooner or later(I hoped it would be sooner). Starting solids was harder on him as without being able to move his tongue properly, he really had a hard time figuring out how to eat. We went through several different struggles as his teeth came in and his already unruly latch would change again. I can still picture the teeth indents, when he was about 18 months and his molars came in. It changed his latch pattern so that his front top teeth would start to compress on the aureola. It went away until all his teeth came through, then it was really uncomfortable and I was also pregnant at the time with his younger brother. He weaned shortly after that, due to loss of latch and milk due to the pregnancy.
He just turned 5 and I believe he is old enough now to understand and deal with the procedure when we have it done. His tie has affected his speech as well as his bottom tooth spacing.
I gave birth to his little brother 18 months ago. I knew better and consulted a knowledgeable IBCLC right away because we had some of the same issues as I did with the elder brother. He had a very definite lip tie, but the tongue tie was not as severe. His lip tie was severed when he was about 10 months old and fell, hitting his upper lip. I am waiting on seeing how his speech is affected before we decide on revising his tongue tie. It is not an easy decision to make, whether or not to do anything with our little ones mouths. Especially when it seems so out of the norm for it to even be an issue. Another obstacle is the probability of traveling involved in finding a care provider that is experienced in tie releases to have the procedure done.
I recommend, as I do with any overwhelming decisions, to find out as much as you can. How it will affect breastfeeding(and sometimes bottle feeding), starting solids, temperament and facial/neck/shoulder structures. These can all be affected to different levels. It’s good to think about how the breastfeeding relationship is progressing. Is your breastfeeding in danger of being compromised, or are things going as they should? Finding those already knowledgable in lip/tongue tie issues will be of great benefit on your journey. ❤
As always, if you need contact information or links to find more info on ties, feel free to contact me.
Image credit ~ http://www.kiddsteeth.com/