Let’s talk about tongue tie. Most people haven’t heard of it, I hadn’t until I was told Max had it. It’s basically a case of the tendons under the tongue not breaking like they should when baby is still in the womb. So the tongue is tied down. The only real problem with this and the reason you should act quickly rather than leave it (like my doctor suggested) is that it massively affects feeding, I think more so for breast (as they need a wider suck, and it makes it painful for you), but it will still cause problems with the bottle. However it has also been known to cause speech defects when the child is older.
Max latched well and would drink for five minutes happily, but would then struggle to carry on, so would ‘mess around’. I would blame his attention span, my milk supply, his appetite, and eventually my tolerance for pain, thinking I was just not as hardcore as other breast feeders!
It was becoming very painful, making life painful. Thankfully a wonderful friend of mine who is a Family Support Practitioner asked if she could send some specialists round, just to be sure everything was ok. They very kindly came out of their way, and just chatted while I fed, asking a few easy going questions. They came to the quick conclusion that he was tongue tied, something which he had not been tested for, removing a massive weight of failure off my shoulders, and leaving me the details of a specialist who could quickly cut it for me, but applied no pressure for me to do so. Three days later it had been done.
As it had been left so late, we had both already got into bad habits, but feeding was transformed!
It was like we had been cycling with the break jammed, and now it was fixed.
So if in doubt, get it checked. If you are having any problems with feeding, even silly little niggly ones, talk to a specialist. And if you are in suffolk, call these ladies. Or if you know it is tongue tie, and you would like to get it snipped (the earlier you get it done the less it will hurt/affect the baby) get in touch with Sarah.