Friday 11 September 2015

My Sons Tongue Tie Experience

I wanted to share my son's tongue tie experience. It wasn't a simple at birth it was detected and cut. It took a month! One long month, his very first month in the world that was full of struggles because of his tongue tie.

I still feel angry at how long it took to get detected. If it had been detected earlier I believe our breastfeeding experience would have been a better one.

I told my midwife and my heath visitor that feeding wasn't right. They knew something wasn't right as he wasn't gaining weight at the rate a baby should. He was tiny, scrawny even and it was so hard to see.

As I had breastfed my eldest son I knew what breastfeeding felt like. And this wasn't right. Noah sucked his lip in and it hurt, a lot. I know it does to start with but this didn't stop hurting. I winced every time he went to latch on. I was scared for each feed time because I knew how much pain I was going to be in.

I had never heard of a tongue tie until Noah had it. He was never referred for one until exactly a month after he was born. Our health visitor was still visiting the house because Noah's weight gain was slow. She came to the house and I just broke down. I felt like the worst mother in the world as my baby was not gaining weight from the milk I was providing him with. I wanted to succeed but if it wasn't to be I wanted to know. I didn't want to keep on struggling. She checked for a tongue tie for the 3rd time but this time wasn't sure. She said she was going to refer us but it could take weeks.

She headed back to the office and made the referral. Within hours I had had a call saying they had a cancelation and could we make it that day. Obviously we could, found a babysitter for Finley and were off to the hospital an hour away. This was the closest tongue tie clinic.

I can remember the relief I felt when she said it was a tongue tie. That it wasn't me or anything I was doing to make feeding so hard.

They cut it there and then. It wasn't a pleasant experience and I cried along with Noah, even though I was told it wouldn't hurt him. But seeing my baby cry from being held down is one of the worst things I have ever experienced.

The first feed after the cut was incredible. How it was supposed to feel. How I remember it to feel. No pulling off, no tugging and no fighting to get milk. We were both happy and relaxed. Felt perfect.

It continued like this, feeding well but the weight wasn't going on as quickly as we had hoped. I didn't feel full after he had had a good nap and I didn't wake up feeling like they were going to pop from him sleeping all night.

My health visitor suggested supplementing, so we did, anything to make our little baby put on weight. And he did.

What had happened was my milk supply hadn't established properly. I just wasn't producing enough to satisfy his appetite and enough to feed him. Not going to lie I felt a failure. But he was happy and gaining weight with the supplementing so whatever my feelings were I needed to do what was right for him.

I managed to combine feed for 4 months but at the end feeding from me was just a comfort and his main source of milk was the formula. So I made the decision to stop. I had tried my best but unfortunately due to the tongue tie it was just not meant to be.

I truly believe a tongue tie should be checked for at birth. I know they aren't all the same and some aren't easy to notice but if he had been checked maybe things would have been different. I was told when Noah had his cut that tongue ties are more common than people realise.

Tiny little Noah - 2 years ago

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  1. We check for tongue ties at birth but the paediatricians doing the 1st checks don't as it's not on their 'list,' it can be tricky to spot but awareness is growing now and more are getting trained to cut them. You did all you could and he got the best start and a lovely mummy xxx #picknmix

  2. So sorry you had that experience hun. Not your fault at all and probably affected your milk supply as you couldn't feed properly! Just think Noah had 4 months off milky goodness from you and you did what you could xx #binkylinky

  3. Oh you poor thing! Your not alone, it took over a month for them to detect my sisters sons tongue tie. After weeks of battling with breastfeeding she suddenly knew why! Such a hard time as it is x

  4. I never knew about this before Elliott was born, he never had it but there were a few babies on the ward that were tounge tied. Such a lovely read, thanks for sharing! Suz x

  5. So sorry, must have been a tough experience :( my daughter had a tongue tie too and it took a lot of persistence to get it diagnosed. As we had to stay in hospital 3 days after birth I was able to pester enough midwives and paediatricians that it was diagnosed there and then we had it snipped a week later. It was still really difficult to establish milk supply, it made it easier but it was still difficult feeding her. You did well to achieve 4 months!

  6. Oh - just wrote a comment and linked my wordpress account but it hasn't worked :( This must have been really tough and very frustrating - like you said, you knew what breastfeeding felt like! #bigfatlinky (MummyFever)

  7. My niece and nephew have tongue tied. I never heard of it before they had it. It can be frustrating I imagine when trying to feed #justanotherlinky

  8. My daughter had a tongue tie that wasn't found straight away and I had an awful time feeding. I had cracked and bleeding nipped and only a breast pump aNd nipple shields saved our breast feeding journal. We only have one nurse in our area who specialises in and divides tongue tier and she was on holiday so we had to wait three weeks for an appointment. I couldn't believe how different BF felt once her TT was snipped. Most people have never heard of TT though so more awareness definately needs to be made about it.

  9. It must of been very hard for you great post thanks for linking to the binkylinky x

  10. What a shame that you had these problems, and Noah's feeding was affected. Glad it was sorted out in the end though. And he got the food he needed, that's all that matters - you did everything you could. Mine actually were both checked for tongue tie at birth, but even so I have known people where there has turned out to be one but it wasn't obvious enough at birth. It's always frustrating when people won't listen to you and your instincts though. I had that with both of my births and my mum had it with my sister's childhood hearing problems. #justanotherlinky

  11. I had no idea there was such a thing as tongue tie. It must have been so stressful not knowing why he wasn't gaining weight properly. Thanks for sharing your experience xx #justanotherlinky

  12. I'm so angry reading this post because it's something I feel so strongly about. I feel angry for you and your little boy. Both mine had tongue ties. Nobody picked up on it despite us having massive feeding problems. He wasn't gaining weight well, it was agony for me, he was feeding constantly (I know breastfed babies feed a lot and cluster feeding is not uncommon but he was feeding *constantly*) but it wasn't until I read about tongue ties online when he was four months old that I realised all the signs matched exactly. We got referred very quickly and had it divided but after four months of feeding 'incorrectly' I never managed to correct his latch and feeding carried on being painful for me until he was nine months old (and occasionally even after that). I recognised Baby Bear had one almost immediately and demanded a referral. The midwives and paediatricians were all very doubtful but a breastfeeding support worker agreed with me so they reluctantly referred him. He had it divided when he was a week old and feeding was much easier with him and he gained LOADS of weight really, really quickly.

    You're so right. This should be checked for thoroughly after birth and midwives and doctors should have much better training on tongue ties.


    1. In my anger that comment made almost no sense!! Haha. I meant to say, 'Nobody picked up on Tyger's tongue tie despite us having massive feeding problems.'

  13. My daughter had a tongue tie too, and we had so much conflicting advice at the time as to whether we should get it snipped. In the end we did, but I really wish we'd done it sooner. I don't know whether her difficulties breastfeeding were down to the tongue tie or her ASD, but looking back I wish I'd done everything I could to help her. 4 months is still pretty amazing though, so well done you. #justanotherlinky

  14. Awww, I know a few people that had to wait for a while to get their little one's snipped and had to struggle. It's such a shame they can't do it quicker! I'm glad to read that it was much better when he had it done.


  15. I really feel for you as I had difficulties feeding Tin Box baby in the first few weeks. It wasn't a tongue tie - nobody ever really told me why - but breastfeeding hurt a lot more than I remembered. I also had to express between feeds and offer TBB a bottle to top her up. I was in agony. Luckily she started to put on weight and we were able to get back to normal, but I went through a lot of the feelings you mention. It's heartbreaking. Big hugs x #maternitymondays

  16. I know so many people who this happened too, I think you're completely right about the fact that it needs to be checked at birth. The sooner you discover it the better, because it causes so many emotions and difficulties if you try and establish feeding. Sending big hugs!! I think it's amazing that you shared this with everyone. I'm sure it's going to help people in a similar situation so much. xx #maternitymondays

  17. That is terrible that it wasn't found sooner. I believe it should be checked at birth as a routine examination. It would stop so much worry an heartbreak. You poor thing. It is not your fault about the breastfeeding. Stories like this make me so angry and I am glad you shared it with us. #MaternityMondays

  18. I agree that they should check for tongue tie and lip tie too, my little one has lip tie and it has caused me a lot of soreness and problems with shallow latching meaning he fed for very long periods and didn't gain weight fast enough luckily it was not too bad and we got through it, it was not picked up until 4 months old when I did some research on latch problems as I was so sore and then mentioned it to the health visitor. Lip tie is not cut on the nhs and so he still has it and we are still breast feeding a little but some days I get really sore if there is a feed with a poor latch. #maternitymondays

  19. A real shame you had the added stress of this at a time when you should just have been able to enjoy your new baby! I breastfed one of my sons but had to express with the other as he just never got the hang of feeding for some reason and preferred the bottle. We all do the best we can and however we feed our babies we want the best for them and they are loved and that's what matters :)

    Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix
    Stevie xx

  20. Oh bless you!! I'm sure it must of been hard hun! Don't feel like a failure though hun.
    You did your best and that is good enough :) xxx

  21. Oh bless you and poor little Noah. I agree - this is something that should be checked too. Surely it can't take them long, and it could be done whilst you're in hospital together. Then at least it wouldn't cause the suffering and torment you had that first month. I'm so pleased that there was a happy ending though, and that everyone is now fine. Thanks so much for linking up with #SundayStars Steph xxx

  22. So sorry to hear you went through such a terrible time too, I'd never wish it on anyone.
    This is terrible, and exactly the same as my experience, although one midwife did (she was the first to mention anything might be wrong, when we had no idea anything was even remotely not right). It was so obvious she first mentioned it from a glance, then looked in her mouth and said she thought she was. All my hospital notes, several midwives, had all noted breastfeeding was no problem, it was going very well, and everything was great. I'd asked and asked them to make sure I was doing it right, and they, even on day 1 gave me lanolin samples as I was hurting. I blogged about my experience here:
    It would be great if we could help raise awareness and really try to get this absurd system of not checking it at birth changed. If my daughter's tie, which was so obvious her tongue was the wrong shape when she cried, was not noticed, how many others are also missed. X



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