January 2014 Moms

Tongue Tie Caught Late...

So I have been traveling a lot for work, so stress mixed with teething and tugging/pulling is causing my supply to start to dip, as well as sore and raw/bleeding nipples (sorry TMI). This has lead to clogs/blebs and more and more frustration. I LOVE breastfeeding and so does DD and I don't plan to stop until 1 year if I have any choice in the matter, no matter how painful it is. However, I decided to go to an LC to get some help, and she was shocked to see that DD was severely tongue tied...No one had ever told us this and she was not surprised it was not caught at the hospital. The girl is 7 months so I was less than pleased to hear this. However, I have had no breastfeeding issues as a result and she has tripled her birth weight (she was 1% when we left the hospital). She said she could have speech issues later on, etc. I was reading some of your posts from the decisions you have made when you found out your LOs had this. But are there any of you who have found this out much later?

I called her pedi and the procedure is not covered on our insurance and she sounded skeptical about it causing any BF issues or otherwise when I called her, but she wants me to bring DD in on Friday so she can answer any questions I may have. I know I should probably wait until that appointment to start worrying, but I am in a hotel room, in horrible pain trying to pump and just thinking about my baby girl having to go through that procedure at 7 months, vs. any potential issues it may cause if I don't have it done. I guess I am just looking for anyone who has either been in my boat or if maybe anyone has any words of wisdom. I think it is easy to get worried/depressed when traveling away from baby/hubby and dealing with painful BF issues, so I may just be needing to vent...who knows. Anyway thanks for listening! :)

Re: Tongue Tie Caught Late...

  • @tarajeannette Good question, sorry I didn't mention. This has only been a recent development, maybe the past 2 months. It started with a bleb, then clogs and only the past couple days did she draw blood. Before that, I hadn't had raw nipples that bad since the first few weeks of breastfeeding. That girl can EAT. She does a great job nursing/latching but with my supply dipping from the stupid bleb I cannot get rid of, she is tugging and pinching and chomping and it is wrecking my nipples. The LC was surprised I did so well with BF up until now with her tongue tie so severe. So I don't really know if her tongue tie was an issue ever or not, but if she has done well until recently, I am leaning toward thinking it is more due to my supply/bleb issue.
  • Sakura16Sakura16 member
    edited August 2014

    danaadell Thank you! Yes, I think her chomping/pulling from teething contributed to the bleb, which contributed to clogs, which (combined with stress) is tanking my supply. I am pumping only 2 (maybe 4 if I'm real backed up) oz per pump on that one side, but both are raw and scabbed from the trauma. Feels awful pumping as well, especially from a stupid hotel room. I guess nothing is comfortable from a hotel room, though.


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  • I agree with @tarajeannette,
    in her rec to trust the LC over pedi. If covered, schedule a consult with an ENT. Hopefully that is covered.
    As mentioned, it'll be easier to clip now when she's not so reliant on solid foods and she's so young.
    It's so disturbing to hear that over seven months something so severe and visible to the naked eye went unnoticed. If I was in the midst of your bf issues and was then presented with this negligence I would be pissed! Sorry to add negativity to your situation, you seem to be maintaining a relatively calm response. Hang in there! You're kicking ass as a mom - working, traveling, and loving your DS. In the long run, she will likely get it clipped and she will be absolutely fine! The oversight will feel less important over time. I'm not sure about your $$ situation nor do I know how much a consult/clip would cost out of pocket. Hopefully the $$ impact won't feel too long lasting. Good luck!

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  • I know a girl whose baby had the clip done fairly late (3-4 months). It was bad so the LC recommended it for making things like speech better later on. She said the procedure itself wasn't too bad but they had to do something in the days following (I don't know details but it was like pushing on it with her finger or something) and that was worse than the procedure. If it were me, and a LC recommended it, and I agreed with their reasoning, I would probably get it done sooner so that there weren't problems that made me want to do it later. But if you aren't convinced, can you seek another opinion before you decide?

  • Thanks for the help ladies! I havent seen her ped yet (her appointment is Fri) so I don't know that she is flat out not recommending it, but she did sound like she wasn't worried and that it wouldn't be causing bf issues at this point. I do think that at this point, she is probably right about the bf part, as it seems my issues are more stress/supply/pulling, etc. She has done remarkably well bf up till this point if she indeed is tongue tied, though I did work my ass off those first 2 months to get her latch right, etc. I'll see what her ped says and her reasoning if she disagrees with the LC. The LC was good and all but something that struck me a little weird was she pulled out a file of all the thank you letters she got from the dr she referred all the tongue tie clips to. Probably doesn't mean anything but how she brought it up felt super sales-pitchy to us. She also recommended I go to a place in Beverly Hills that could dig out my bleb if I wanted and started name dropping people who went there (Angelina Jolie), which is not going to be covered by insurance in any universe. Again, not really a big deal, just a pretty weird vibey thing. If I need to I will also get a second opinion, since from your responses it seems like typically a clip is in order. Not sure how we would pay out of pocket right now as we are closing escrow, but I guess credit card debt is probably part of parenthood. :)
  • I can see why you would feel skeptical OP. The sales pitch thing bothers me, as well as the letters and celebrity name dropping. Hopefully your ped can help you make a decision more easily.

  • We had DD's tongue tie clipped twice and upper lip tie once. While we were in the hospital, the ped doing rounds one day diagnosed her tongue tie. An ENT at the hospital clipped it.

    When she was about a month old, I saw a LC who said DD had a tongue tie and upper lip tie. She referred us to a pediatric dentist who clips them with lasers. We brought it up with our ped at DD's 2 month appointment and she didn't really have much of an opinion on it. She did say the dentist would recommend clipping it, and said that he basically always recommends clipping. We did the laser treatment at a little over 2 months. DD was gaining fine, but I still had cracked nipples that were not healing. When I read about tongue ties and BFing issues a lot of the symptoms seemed to fit.

    Both procedures were really quick and DD had only mild discomfort afterwards. After the dentist, we had to do stretches with her tongue and lip for a week after then go for a follow up appointment. We then continued the tongue stretches for another week. She hated when we did them and it was tough to do because of that, but I just nursed her right after and it was ok. After reading information online, I think the laser treatment was the better option.

    In terms of cost, the ENT at the hospital charged about $1,200 before insurance. It was covered by my medical insurance, but we had to work with my insurance to have the provider code it correctly for coverage. The pediatric dentist charged $300 to $400 for the laser treatment prior to insurance. My dental insurance covered about half of the cost. I live in upstate NY so it may be a different cost where you are but that at least gives you an idea of the costs.

    HTH. If you have any questions I may be able to answer just let me know. Good luck!

    TTC Since 8/2011
    BFP #1 5/13/12 * EDD 1/24/13 * MC at 7 wks 4 days on 6/11/12
    BFP #2 5/13/13 * Current EDD 1/23/14

    Baby N born 2/8/14


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  • I agree with other pp. Clip it while she is young.

    This is a different view point. If the lc said it can cause speech problems later this is a big thing to keep in mind. I had a speech impediment growing up and got made fun of it all the time. This had a huge effect on my self esteem. If I knew dd could potentially have a speech problem I would do what I could to prevent it. I would hate for her to go through what I did. Kids can be so mean.

    If it's very expensive maybe it's something you can budgeted for. But I would imagine the sooner the better. It would probably be better to do before for starts learning to talk.

    This is just my personal view point from personal experience. I thought this could also be something to keep in mind. It may not be something that would be thought about.
    BFP #1 (7/13/12) MC (8/14) 9 weeks. D & C 8/17.
    BFP #2 (5/18/13) due 1/26/14. Grow baby grow!
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  • I found my little guy's ULT and PTT when he was 4m. He was a big baby, and our BFing issues weren't that bad. But "not that bad" is not good enough - things should have been easier. We joined the FB page for babies with TT and were led to a pediatric dentist who specialized in laser frenectomies. He was out of state, but through a email consult, we chose to make an appointment.

    While doing all the research, we also learned DS1 also had the same issues (runs in families). We consulted about him, too, and at 21m, we learned his TT and ULT were pretty severe and many of our BFing challenges were due to his ties.

    I had both boys revised by the specialist, and I'm so glad we did it, even if it was late for our toddler. We're hopefully avoiding braces and speech problems by having the procedures.

    Check out https://www.mommypotamus.com/a-step-by-step-guide-to-diagnosing-tonguelip-ties/

    The pediatricians don't always know what they're talking about or how to diagnose, so be careful with their advice.

    Good luck!

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