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Thread: Any experience with a lip tie and breastfeeding?

  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Any experience with a lip tie and breastfeeding?

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    Has anyone dealt with a lip tie while breastfeeding their LO? I had been wondering what was going on with DD2 while nursing, since some things seemed off in the beginning. Her symptoms were:

    Strange looking latch (although mostly functional - upper lip doesn't flange out)
    Lots of air swallowing, gas, and latching/re-latching
    "Clucking" sound while nursing
    Lots of spitting up
    Painful nursing/cracked nipples for extended time (at least 4 weeks straight despite use of lanolin, etc)
    Short nursing sessions very frequently, like 5-6 minutes EVERY hour (this has now resolved itself although she rarely nurses more than 6-7 min)


    So, those symptoms made me look in her mouth. It seemed apparent she has an upper lip tie and google confirmed it. We saw her pediatrician last week who diagnosed it and sent us a referral to the only doctor in the STATE who will clip it...and of course, insurance is being a HUGE hassle. I have tons of hoops to try to jump through. I may just pay out of pocket to get it done now and then look into getting reimbursed.

    PIC


    Of course, now that I've got the referral, my nipples have healed and nursing is going significantly better. I had to learn how to properly position her for the best latch. She still makes some funny sounds and occasionally "breaks the seal" (resulting in weird clucking or popping sound) but she's nursing longer and sleeping well. DH and I are debating on whether or not to have the lip tie cut or not I want to breastfeed AT LEAST a year and want the breastfeeding relationship to be comfortable for us both - but I also don't want to do anything to DD2 if she doesn't absolutely need it. Also, of course, spending the money out of pocket isn't ideal either, but that's sort of the least of my worries. We were told about $300 out of pocket.

    So, just looking for input or experience from someone whose dealt with a lip tie. Is it something that she will eventually adapt with and we will be fine? Or is it something that I will regret not doing and end up having to deal with it later on? My biggest concern is that I've read that lip tied babies often only do frequent short nursing sessions because they tire out from struggling at the breast. One example was a lady with a 5 month old baby who was still nursing hourly. I really don't want to deal with that! Ugh.

    Halp!
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    #2
    Honestly I would clip it before she gets much older. It will make a huge difference in her nursing and help her adjust sooner rather than later. It will make your breastfeeding journey easier most likely and therefore last longer. I know moms who regret now that their kids are older NOT getting the tongue or lip tie clipped but I haven't ever met one that regretted doing it. My GF held off with one of her twins and it got so bad and she had so many other oral issues she just had it clipped yesterday. She is two. Much harder adjustment now.
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    #3
    This is JUST my opinion based on my experience and what I would personally do. I think you will really get the best information from an ENT or whatever doctor you choose to go to.

    Kalista had a tongue and lip tie which prevented us from being able to nurse. By the time I got a referral she had been completely off the breast and refusing to feed for months so we did not go through with the separation. Her inability to nurse was due to multiple factors (she also has a very small tongue) so since it wasn't going to immediately improve nursing, we didn't bother with the clip, but her lip tie wasn't as severe as your daughters. Hers was much thinner on the lip and only attached part way down the gums.

    Looking at her, *I* would choose to have it clipped to avoid future dental and speech issues. Since it is thicker than I saw with Kalista and goes all the way down it could very well cause a gap in her teeth (I have seen tons of pictures of ties like that causing gaps) and $300 now is cheaper than braces later. It may or may not cause speech issues (I think that may be more of a tongue tie thing) but preventing the possibility would be a plus. Luckily it is a minor procedure that heals very quickly, but definitely do your research and talk to your doctor for as much information as you need to make a decision you are comfortable with. If nursing is going well now, it is something you can always delay if you need to be sure, as well. If you are still having nursing issues, or start to again, that is when I would go ahead with it right away.

    Good luck making your decision! I'm sure you will do the right thing.


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    #4
    Henry had a labial lip tie and posterior and anterior tongue tie. We had major breastfeeding struggles for months. It was horrible. He had the anterior clipped at 3 weeks, IIRC. However, the posterior and lip tie weren't clipped by the ENT until 6 weeks. We still struggled a bit after due to his disorganized suck and my letdown issues with my right breast. Definitely seek a referral to an ENT.
    Pax, Aeon
  5. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #5
    Aubs had/has lip and tongue ties, though we didn't find out until she was older, so we didn't bother getting them done. She's over two and still breastfeeding. We had a really rough, painful start, but once she hit about 2 months old, things were smooth sailing from then onward.

    ETA: Here is Aubs' lip tie. I just took a picture. I haven't checked her lower lip, but wouldn't be surprised if she has a tie there too. Her tongue tie is really pretty mild.

    ​​​

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    #6
    The ONLY doctor in the entire state who clips lip ties is the person I was referred to. It's a Breastfeeding Clinic and the doctor has a great reputation. My pediatrician herself had to take one of her kiddos to her and had great things to say.

    I think we will go ahead with it...I've heard of supply issues and that would be my biggest fear. We have the appointment scheduled, I just need my DH to make sure he can get the day off to go with me. Blah!
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by katinahat View Post
    Aubs had/has lip and tongue ties, though we didn't find out until she was older, so we didn't bother getting them done. She's over two and still breastfeeding. We had a really rough, painful start, but once she hit about 2 months old, things were smooth sailing from then onward.
    Honestly, that would be my ideal situation.

    As an adult, I'm tongue tied and I've never had any issues. I've had dental issues, but not that were related to that - mostly due to my mom giving me a bottle of juice in bed.
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Glamorous View Post
    The ONLY doctor in the entire state who clips lip ties is the person I was referred to. It's a Breastfeeding Clinic and the doctor has a great reputation. My pediatrician herself had to take one of her kiddos to her and had great things to say.

    I think we will go ahead with it...I've heard of supply issues and that would be my biggest fear. We have the appointment scheduled, I just need my DH to make sure he can get the day off to go with me. Blah!
    That sounds like exactly the person you need to talk to, so glad you got an appointment! I'm sure you can consult with the doctor before the actual procedure and he will tell you exactly what he thinks about it, too. I agree with Chaleigh though, I have never heard someone say they regret doing it, but I have heard plenty say they regret not doing it!


  9. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Glamorous View Post
    Honestly, that would be my ideal situation.

    As an adult, I'm tongue tied and I've never had any issues. I've had dental issues, but not that were related to that - mostly due to my mom giving me a bottle of juice in bed.
    Yeah, I have upper and lower lip ties and a tongue tie and I had completely unrelated dental issues (horrible canines-- stupid things never came down correctly; also I have a small jaw, so I can't fit all of my teeth). I just see some of the healing pictures and they freak me out, so I don't know if I'd even want to get it corrected in a future baby. The white scabbing all over the place just breaks my heart. Idk. Aubs grew up big and strong, so I guess it would depend upon whether kiddo was getting enough milk. If they weren't, I'd probably go for it. If they were, then I'd probably just skip it.

    Btw, I added a pic of Aubs' upper lip tie.
    ​​​

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    #10
    Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you for posting all of this! This is Emmett, to a T and I just opened his mouth and he's got a big old tie. I somehow never knew about upper lip tie, only lower and lip. I could seriously cry, I had so many problems and pain nursing at the beginning, I had a damn near break down. If my mom wasn't here with me, I really think I would have gone insane. He's gotten somewhat better but he still has a horrible latch so I'm constantly unlatching and relatching. UGH! I cannot believe I didn't know this until now, would have saved me so much frustration and pain.
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