Saturday, October 10, 2015

Tongue Tied

She was diagnosed as tongue tied at birth. I could see it myself. The hospital said to have it snipped. I spoke with the pediatrician the next day. He said it was controversial to get it snipped and he recommended to wait and see what happens. He said to see an ENT in the future if needed.

She was gaining weight and growing. She was a really good eater. I did not think there was a problem at first.  She was fond of the smaller rubber nipples and did have some trouble latching on to the larger silicone nipples. I was also concerned that she would develop a speech impediment so I checked the internet to see what other moms did.

I found a great forum and the moms mentioned a specialist. He was a pediatric dentist who worked with breast feeding babies who were unable to latch. I looked up his name and saw that he was close enough where I could drive to see him. We made an appointment but told the nurse that it was not an emergency bc we did not want to take an apt away from a baby in need.  The apt was for 9/30 and she would be  10 weeks old.  My dh told me that it was simple and they would just zap it with a CO2 laser.

On my way to the appointment, I kept thinking that this Dr was going to send me away bc it was no big deal. OMG I was totally wrong. He looks her in her mouth and the first thing he said was, "I can't believe that she made it this far"  I told him that I was not breastfeeding. It seems that my baby would never have  been able to latch onto a breast. She had a major tongue tie (stage iv) and a major lip tie. I had no idea about the lip tie. I told him that she was a really good eater except lately she has been doing this weird thing with her head. She will turn her head and stop eating. I thought she was just older and distracted. He said that she was breaking latch bc she could not breathe.

That is when I lost it and started crying. He said that the tongue needs to slip under the nipple and since her tongue in not able to she cuts off her air supply while eating. Then he said he was surprised that she was not congested in the morning. I told him how she would not sleep on her back. He said that she would not be able to fully breathe on her back and would have sleep apnea or other issues.

I had to watch a very explicit video on the procedure. I was in shock. It turns out that this is major mouth surgery. I really wished my dh was there. I have to due post surgical care and pull on her lip and tongue for two weeks to make sure that they do not stick back together.

He took my baby out of the room and brought her back 10 min later. She was not crying. He had me feed her and she latched on the larger silicone nipple with perfection. I could not believe the difference. He asked me if her belly got hard after eating....which it did. He said now it will be softer bc her mouth is able to function properly and get less air. He was right I am still amazed and love to feel her soft squishy belly. He said that she will be able to sleep on her back tonight. That night she slept on her back for the first time. I was really amazed. I had no idea there were so many issues related to tongue/lip ties.

I spoke to another mom who was ahead of me. Her baby was 3 months old and much smaller than mine. She was breastfeeding but gave up nursing and had to pump/bottle feed due to latch issues. She came from far away bc she said this dentist was the best around. I was impressed. She said that she had consulted many drs and lactation consultants before they finally figured out the baby had mouth issues. Her baby was able to latch to the breast immediately after the surgery.

The dr said that he gives lectures to try and bring awareness. He said that many drs are not aware and many babies/moms suffer for months with nursing issues. This dr also said not to go to an ENT bc they are not experts in the oral cavity and usually put the baby under anesthesia and cut. He said they don't often cut enough for fear of bleeding complications. He also said that he has had to do many corrections after a baby was worked on by an ENT.


  1. That was interesting to read, glad you kept doing research about it. My son had a friend who had tongue tied. He didn't have it taken care of until he was 4 years old, but it made a big difference in his speech


  2. Wow! How frustrating that you didn't get good advice earlier, but it sounds like the procedure really made a difference for your daughter - yay!

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