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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Lip tie... "Wait it out"?

Posted by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM
  • 25 Replies

After a few days of research (and of course posting here and getting great advice), I think my DS has a lip tie.  He has been gulping, clicking, swallowing tons of air, etc. Anyway, my DH and I called around this a.m. to find somebody to evaluate him for a lip tie/tongue tie. We called our pediatric dentist who referred us on to an oral surgeon. We called the oral surgeon and set up a consult for tomorrow a.m., which is going to cost us $80. I am not sure how much the actual procedure would cost, but I am sure it will be more than the consult. The cost is really not a big deal to us. However, we called the pediatrician's office in the meantime before we spoke to the oral surgeon and they returned our call after we had set up the consult. They suggested we start with them, just in case we want to "wait out" the tie to get better/easier. The only reason I would even consider that would be to save at least $80, probably more.

My question to you ladies is does "waiting it out" ever work?

by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:45 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Ms.Pteranodon
by Silver Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:50 AM

My DS has a tounge tie. 

He does spit up and have gas, but we manage by burping often and gas drops. 

He doesn't seem to havea problem nursing other than gas/spit up which is also due to my OAL. 

My pedi reconized the tounge tie right away, but suggested we wait it out to see if he out grows it. He said that if it becomes a problem then we can address it. 


Also can you pedi not take a look to see if he has it?

My pedi not only was able to see the problem, he also said that if it ever needs to be clipped, he can do it himself.. 


ninastone
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:59 AM

 My pedi may be able to. She is really great, but she seems very uneducated about breastfeeding which makes me doubt that she would find it to be a problem even if it was there.  She suggested supplementing with formula at 4 days old because he wasn't gaining weight fast enough. The next time I took him in she asked how many ounces I was pumping.

Annnyway. She might be able to look and see, but I don't really think I would trust her opinion related to this subject specifically.

It isn't a huge problem for me, but I do have pain on my left side when he latches. It's not excruciating by any means, but it certainly isn't comfortable. I could bear the pain for however long I need to, but if clipping would make DS feel better (less gassy, less pulling off and crying, etc) and alleviate the pain for me completely, I figure we may as well get it done.


Quoting Ms.Pteranodon:

My DS has a tounge tie. 

He does spit up and have gas, but we manage by burping often and gas drops. 

He doesn't seem to havea problem nursing other than gas/spit up which is also due to my OAL. 

My pedi reconized the tounge tie right away, but suggested we wait it out to see if he out grows it. He said that if it becomes a problem then we can address it. 

 

Also can you pedi not take a look to see if he has it?

My pedi not only was able to see the problem, he also said that if it ever needs to be clipped, he can do it himself.. 

 


 

GoodyBrook
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:00 PM

My lip-tied son's latch became less painful as his mouth grew.  Or perhaps he just learned a better latch?  At any rate, it became *endurable* for me to nurse after 10 weeks or so...

mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:04 PM
2 moms liked this
If its enough of a concern that you're researching and calling around, I'd suggest going through with the consult. Even breastfeeding-friendly drs miss lip and tongue ties and underestimate their significance in a breastfeeding relationship. It's so discouraging to hear how often drs tells moms not to worry about it and then we see breastfeeding tank.
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GoldenLinds
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:07 PM
My son has a lip tie and I never did anything with it. We only had troubles the first 4 months with gassiness and now and then trouble latching. We just worked at it. Moist "heat" on his belly helped the gas pains. I would fix his lip or relatch. It was mostly just one side he got weird with. Since he was about 9 months I've known it won't be a problem in the future bbecause he can very clearly stick his upper lip out. I am all for waiting it out if you can.
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ali840
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:12 PM
My family practitioner found my daughter's tongue tie within about 10 min of her being born. He clipped it for us at around 5 weeks but it never caused us any problems. I think if you can handle nursing I would wait it out.
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MommyO2-6631
by Leslie on Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Gwe have been waiting out a tongue tie and ds's weight is slowly slipping under the 1 lb a month minimum average. He is nine months now. They waited out dh's tongue tie and he still cannot stick his tongue out and has a strange "accent" on certain words.
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YzmaRocks
by Silver Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM
My daughter has a lip tie (a really bad one) that didn't affect her nursing at all. We were told that if it didn't affect nursing, it was no big deal. Then we found out (at a year) that she may need braces because of it. My opinion? It is much easier to just get it clipped now rather than deal with possible problems down the road. Just my 2 cents :)
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KayDziedzic
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM
1 mom liked this

I found out (from this group) that our latch issues were the result of lip tie. I had yDD's doctor confirm it and she referred me to ENT. The first ENT doctor said it would make no difference at all in BFing, that this is a myth, that it would eventually stretch out and correct itself, and that it's only a year and if I didn't want to wait that long, I could just pump or switch her to formula. That correcting a lip tie in a young child can only be done under general anesthesia, and it's an unnecessary risk to put a baby under for something as inconsequential as lip tie. After making me feel thoroughly selfish, foolish, and a wuss to find BFing painful, he left the room to confirm with a colleague that correcting lip tie because of BFing issues was a ridiculous notion. That man came back in with his face beet red, and had to tell me that his all of his colleagues insisted yDD be scheduled for the surgery asap. I scheduled the surgery for 1 week later, the earliest slot they had. I cried on the way home because I would have to go at least another week with the painful feedings, and I was worried about putting her under.

The next day my older two had their dentist appointments. I mentioned it to one of the hygeinists while waiting, and she strongly advised me to consult with the dentist/surgeon that DH usually sees in the small practice before allowing yDD to be put under. She said they do the procedure on kids and adults all the time with topical or local anesthesia, she just wasn't sure if he'd be comfortable performing it on a newborn. (By "strongly advised" I mean she left the room for a moment and came back in with an appointment reminder print out for a free, no obligation consult with the dentist/surgeon a day or 2 later).

From what our dentist (who's also our oral surgeon) said, lip tie isn't going to correct itself. After almost 3 months of painful nursing, yDD's severe lip tie was corrected in a 15 minute office visit with a very strong numbing gel and a scalpel. I held her down on my lap, on her back, her head toward my knees, while the dentist cut the frenulum. I nursed her within 5 minutes after the dentist finished, both to comfort her and because the pressure from nursing helped to stop the bleeding. No stitches required. The difference was immediate. Nursing went from "OMG, how can anyone do this for a year, let alone beyond!" painful, to "Wow, nursing can actually be enjoyable!" in that one short office visit.

yDD is now 2 and no longer nursing. As our dentist warned it might because he didn't use the laser and just to a quick cutting/scraping to loosen the frenulum, yDD's lip tie has grown back a little. It was starting to cause latch issues toward the end of our BFing. However, the part that would have interfered with her teeth growing in is not growing back.

Most dentists/surgeons/doctors aren't comfortable doing the procedure unless the child is sedated, which is part of the reason so many will encourage you to "wait it out"--it's risky to put a child under, especially younger than 1. The procedure doesn't require stitches if done with a laser. (Our dentist pointed out that stitches aren't needed with a scalpel, either, but traditionally a stitch or two is often put in anyways.)

Once a child starts learning to walk (ie, when they are constantly falling and bumping their head and face on things) there is a chance the frenulum will tear naturally. This happened with oDD, who was FF, when she was 2. We didn't even know what a lip tie was until yDD. oDD had fallen, hit her mouth on a kitchen chair, and torn that bit of skin (frenulum). It bled like crazy. I was on hold with her dr's office a few minutes later when my mom pointed out that the bleeding had stopped. No more issues with it, ever. But, oDD had a severe articulation delay with her speech that her therapists (who started seeing her several months later) couldn't explain. Her issues with articulation were the type that often have a physical cause, but they couldn't find one. Once I found out that many children naturally "correct" their lip tie before age 4 ("correct" meaning tearing it when they fall and hit their mouth on something) while trying to get our youngest's tie corrected, I realized what had happened with oDD had naturally corrected her lip tie and that's why her therapists couldn't find the cause. oDD had to relearn to articulate most sounds. yDD's tie, where it's grown back, is causing the same articulation problems as oDD (now 5) had, by restricting the movement of her upper lip.

Waiting it out can work in that it can be torn 'naturally' before it has negative effects on teeth and speech. It's not going to 'go away' if left alone (ie, not broken in a fall) and it's not going to stretch (according to our dentist/oral surgeon). If it's causing problems BFing, I was told that odds are those problems aren't going to get any better until either the tie is corrected, or LO is bottle-fed.

Having yDD's lip tie corrected was the best $350 (approx.) that we've ever spent. Our health insurance would have covered the ENT procedure. Our dental did not cover the procedure, and we had to pay out of pocket. BFing was so painful before it that I wouldn't have been able to have BF for 23 months if it had not been corrected. Had there not been the super painful latch, and just been my gassy, fussy, slow gaining baby, I most likely wouldn't have had it corrected.

I hope this helps you with your decision. Good luck!

babylove6512
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 1:12 PM
I would have it clipped ASAP because the procedure is more painful as the get older. They start out with very few nerves and blood vessels so it is a simple snip. Once they get older it is a much bigger deal to fix it. My DD had here clipped during a visit with our pediatrician.
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