Pen Pal: Nothing Tongue in Cheek About Tongue Tie
Helen had difficulties with getting her mini to latch to anything, boob, bottle, dummy! So she turned to an unlikely helping hand. For most of us the dentist is a drill wielding nightmare, for Helen he was her knight in shining white smock. As we are winding down our tongue tie tales, Helen's story reminds us to think outside the box when it comes to asking for help.
I met my beautiful daughter after I came out of recovery following an emergency c-section. The first feed; she latched well and fed for 20 minutes. However thereafter, we struggled. The midwives were really helpful. We hand pumped colostrum and fed it to my daughter via a syringe. In addition, I pumped to help ‘bring the milk in’. Despite continued efforts to feed and trying every position imaginable, she just couldn't latch for longer than a few seconds. I asked the midwife to check for tongue tie, which she did. But I was told there wasn't one. She was now getting formula top ups. Luckily, I had packed a pair of nipple shields and we decided to give them a go; they worked!
I stayed in hospital for an extra night to try and get feeding established. Once home we persevered with the shields and initially she gained weight well. But then it all slowed down. She was feeding constantly; I initially thought it was cluster feeding but when she wasn't gaining weight and feeding remained inefficient, I reached out to a lactation consultant. The best £60 I've ever spent! My daughter was now around five weeks old.
The lactation consultant immediately suspected a tongue tie and referred me on to a dentist to make an assessment. I honestly felt relieved, it was something that could potentially be fixed. I was also annoyed I hadn't thought of it again sooner. My daughter had struggled with dummies and bottles as well as latch, but I suppose I took the midwife, who had missed the TT, at her word. We got an appointment in under a week, and by now I was convinced the dentist would diagnose TT.
The newly diagnosed tongue tie was snipped. From then on she refused to feed with nipple shields and we've never looked back! My daughter became far more efficient at feeds, she learnt to take a bottle and began to put on weight in line with her percentile. We are still going strong at seven months. I'm just so thankful I reached out to the lactation consultant. She's been like a different baby ever since.
Thank you Helen for sharing this with us. Once all our tongue tie tales are told, we will collate the tips for teats and tits alike. In the meantime if you have any words of wisdom on the tip of your tongue, then we would love to hear Your Voice.