Running a large breastfeeding support group tongue ties obviously, come up a lot. I have heard of hundreds of babies being misdiagnosed and others given countless wrong information, some of this being if it doesn’t affect feeding you don’t need to do anything about it, this is wrong! I think where this comes from is the fact that many people have what is called a frenulum under the tongue and lip and often then don’t cause restriction but when they do they are a ‘tie’. If you think there may be a restriction seek as many opinions as you need, our group has a great providers list and always looking to add more if you had a great experience. Doctor and even lactation consultants have been wrong before trust your instincts!!
With both my girls I didn’t understand ties, but I was lucky enough to attend a conference where Dr. Kestenberg spoke about ties. It was here I learnt a lot about ties, my breastfeeding journey and myself. I realised how restrictive my ties where. I learnt a lot about why breastfeeding was so hard in the beginning and how to look for ties.
Some of the most noticeable tie symptoms I have as an adult are:
• Decay at the back of my teeth, my tongue is so restricted I can’t clean away food from the back of my teeth so it gets stuck until I brush.
• I get tired very easily when eating, my tongue has to work harder, therefore, I eat a lot slower and longer than others.
• Growing up I had a huge gap in my front teeth but I was lucky they grew together because I have a small top jaw. I have since learnt having a high pallet and small/narrow jaw is one of the symptoms of tongue ties due to the restriction the tongue doesn’t push against it when developing, therefore flattening it out.
• When I open my mouth my tongue can’t touch the roof of my mouth and it hurts to try.
• I get tired when talking and my tongue starts to hurt.
• I often get ‘tongue-tied’ when talking haha I suppose it’s where the saying came from
• I had to have an expander to widen my jaw
My girls both have ties and made breastfeeding very hard these where our symptoms:
• Clicking when feeding
• The lip ties were restrictive and they couldn’t flange their top lip out and create a strong suction. This would mean I would get recurrent mastitis
• My first would often make my nipple turn into a lipstick shape after feeding even after I was told we had her on a good latch. This caused a lot of nipple damage in the early days.• They both had bad reflux and a LOT of wind due to not being able to latch properly.
• Both have high pallets and large gaps in their front teeth
• When eating they are both grazers and get tired easily when eating a large meal and often need breaks.
I didn’t know how serious it was until I realised all these issues from myself are from this, I wish I had my girls ties corrected at an early age and will definitely be looking into getting mine corrected and theirs when they are older. I still feel guilty for not knowing this information and realising how much it can affect them as adults. If I have any more children with ties I will not think twice about getting it corrected.
If you need breastfeeding support for your breastfeeding journey with a baby who has ties please feel free to join our group www.facebook.com/groups/australianbreastfeedingproject