When our youngest son was born we had access to multiple therapists in the NICU, one being a speech therapist. My seven year old was never able to nurse and it wasn’t until a dentist years later informed us he had a lip-tie, did I put two and two together. I wanted to be sure we didn’t run into the same problems so I asked her to check multiple times for ties and each time she assured me he was fine. We got home and started working on our nursing relationship. I ran into the same problems, he wasn’t able to get a great latch. I decided to do my own inspection and sure enough, it looked as if he had a pretty significant tongue and lip-tie.
I wanted to be sure we fixed it quickly and correctly so I did some research. I came across the Tongue-Tie & Lip-Tie Support Network. They directed us to a dentist two hours from us that specialized in this procedure. It was well worth the drive. He did a very thorough exam and confirmed our suspicions.
We were instructed to give him a small dose of Tylenol twenty minutes before the procedure. They secured him down onto a table and quickly used a laser to cut the ties. He of course cried but the procedure was quick and they encouraged us to nurse immediately after to soothe him. I was surprised there was some blood in his mouth but I immediately could see the difference in the range of movement in his tongue. I didn’t realize how badly he was tied until after the revision.
We were sent home with instructions on stretches and exercises we were supposed to do multiple times a day. It was hard to keep up with them but they kept us from having to do a second revision, as they were able to heal properly. My son was grouchy for a few days but quickly returned to his normal smiling self.
My son still has some difficulties eating two months later and we’ve discontinued our nursing relationship due to thickening his breast milk. However, he is significantly more coordinated on the bottle. He doesn’t struggle as much with gas and doesn’t seem as if he’s drowning with his feeds anymore.
If you’re questioning whether or not your child may have a tie and your doctor or someone else is telling you it’s nothing to worry about, I highly recommend you seeing a provider from the link mentioned above. Tongue ties can correlate to so many issues whether it be breastfeeding or health and many doctors are untrained in this area. Below are photos of my son’s ties. I apologize they aren’t the clearest photos but they are all that I have left now that he is revised.
Don’t be afraid to advocate for your baby and get a second opinion. Revising his tongue and lip tie has been one of the most helpful steps we’ve taken with his feeding and digestive issues. It could be life changing for you too!