Tuesday, 4 February 2020

BABY: The Story behind having a Private Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding Consultation

When it came to breastfeeding our third baby, Rory, I was extremely lucky and had such a positive start to our breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding my older two children was also a really positive experience; I breastfed Isabella until she was around 18 months and Poppy until she was two years old. Despite this I was nervous about trying to breastfeed Rory because I am all too aware that every baby is different and therefore every experience can be different. It certainly wasn't a given that I was be able to breastfeed him just because I had done my older two children. However, within fifteen minutes of being born he was rooting around, so I latched him on and there started my third breastfeeding journey. I felt so relieved and beyond lucky to be able to breastfeed our third baby and, despite the usual uncomfortable episodes when you first start feeding, all was going well.

That was until he was around eight weeks old and he began to really struggle with trapped wind, his tummy would make gargling noises while feeding and we noticed that he was consistently making a clicking sound as he fed. I hadn't remembered my other two children doing this, so it was instantly flagged as something not being quite right. Unfortunately this all fell in the week before Christmas, so it became a challenge to seek help right away. I was also unsure on who to contact or even if there was an issue in the first place. After speaking to a couple of mum's and having a little search on the internet it became evident that he may have a posterior tongue tie. Although I really wasn't sure because he had not had a problem latching, could stick his tongue out past his lips and feeding wasn't particularly painful for me.

A couple of weeks passed with us monitoring his feeds, changing feeding positions, trying him on a bottle (we have been giving him a bottle since he was four weeks old and he is yet to actually drink from one eleven weeks later) and listening out for when he was making the clicking sound. I had rang the health visitor's central office during this time and they recommended we attended a breastfeeding specialist group, but these were only on certain days of the week a couple of times a month, so there wasn't due to be one for a while.
Once the rush of Christmas was over and everywhere had normal opening hours again I decided to make a doctors appointment with the hope that they could shed some light on what Rory's issue was. Unfortunately the doctor wasn't sure whether he had tongue tie or not and sent us away to either look into being looked at privately or to attend a breastfeeding group. I felt so deflated after leaving that appointment and a bit helpless if I'm honest; my son was struggling with being so uncomfortable due to trapped wind (he'd arch his back, cry a lot, burp loads and still seemingly be in pain. It's also worth mentioning that we tried Infacol and Gripe Water, both of which helped but didn't solve the problem). I decided to ring my health visitor directly, who was so lovely and offered to come out and see Rory that day.

The health visitor weighed him and plotted his weight on the chart, which showed that he had dropped a centile. When he was born he was on the 75th centile, at 6 weeks he went down to the 50th (no concern from the health visitor, as he had only dropped one) and then at 12 weeks he was even further down on the 25th centile. Again, because he had only dropped one centile since his last weigh in she wasn't too concerned, but said that it needed monitoring and that we should get him weighed as often as possible. She did also have a feel around Rory's mouth to see if tongue tie could be identified, but there wasn't a definitive answer. At this point I really just wanted to get this problem solved with the hope that Rory would be more settled and less uncomfortable.
This really left us with two options - to wait for an NHS appointment (around three weeks wait at the time) or look into going private. After a lot of consideration we decided to go for the latter and I started searching around for a private tongue tie and breastfeeding practitioner in our local area. There were a few key things I looked for when researching who to go with, which I have shared in my next blog post along with what the results were of Rory's tongue tie assessment

Have you or anyone you know got any experience of tongue tie?

Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)

Helen x
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8 comments

  1. I think sometimes it really is worth paying to go private for speed of access to the advice you need. We didn't have any issues with tongue tie but I have gone private on occassion for other things when we were just too worried to wait.

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  2. My friend's son had tongue tie at birth, it was noticed really quickly and was sorted out there and then.

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  3. A lady (who became a friend) was sent home post-caesarean with a permanently crying baby who couldn’t/wouldn't latch on. It took two weeks to be diagnosed with tongue tie, by which time my friend was crying all the time due to tiredness. It was really traumatic

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  4. Mine didn't have a tongue tie but Eliza was born awkwardly and found feeding tough. Thankfully a chiropractor friend worked his magic and it was all done to stiff muscles

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  5. We have used private healthcare in situations when the waiting list was just too long for us to wait for the issue to be resolved. It's a shame we can't get the help on the NHS when we need it but sadly we are moving closer and closer to a two tier health care system

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  6. One of my friends daughters was tongue tied - a bit of a shock being her first. Luckily it was identified by the doctor and she was given the appropriate treatment. Good luck xxx

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  7. My first born was tongue tied very badly, he couldn't latch and we had a terrible breastfeeding experience. He was held forced onto me for ages whilst he was screaming and screaming as he couldn't latch but was starving. Poor thing. I didn't have a clue about anything and just cried and cried. We gave up until one of the nurses came up and did it calmly with us and tried to help, and noticed his tongue tie. But by this point he associated being held to the breast with trauma and would scream every time I tried. He had it sorted out the day after with the hospital but refused to feed from me then. I am so glad you went private and had it looked about sooner for you both

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  8. Its tricky isnt it? Sometimes you just need answers straight away. Although we did not have this experience. My eldest had his first allergic reaction at 7 months. Turned out it was sesame and I was not prepared to wait to find out if he had a nut allergy and went private. We got answers the next day.

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