Is my baby tongue tied (or lip tied)? A topic that is not widely discussed but that is becoming more common. Breastfeeding is a journey. For some it’s smooth and for some it’s bumpy and windy. Our journey has been the latter. Today I’m sharing what I’ve learned and wish I had known sooner about Tongue Tied and Lip Tied Babies. It’s one of our last resort options to figure out what’s going on with Girly Q. We have tried every outlet we can think of to help out sweet little baby feel more at ease and hopefully nurse better and we still haven’t quite found the answer.
After trying reclined nursing to help with overactive let down, block feeding for oversupply, elimination diets for food sensitivities, chiropractic and Cranialsacral/Maxillofacial therapy, a friend suggested we look into Tongue/Lip Ties. I had read a lot about them before and just assumed it was too rare for me to worry about but now I’m looking back over everything and realizing maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to skip over it. But life is a journey and we can’t always figure everything out right away, we are learning as we go. We can’t let guilt take over because there is absolutely nothing we can do about yesterday but there is lots we can do about today.
Back to tongue and upper lip ties. After spending lots of time Googling images I finally got up the nerve to look in Carmen’s mouth in hopes of not seeing any ties. All I had to do was flip up her upper lip and there it was, an upper lip tie. I then asked a doctor if they thought it was a big deal and without even looking in the baby’s mouth he said he wouldn’t worry about it, so I let it go. Well here I am 3 weeks later, reevaluating. Unfortunately, doctors are wrong sometimes, especially when they are giving advice on a topic they haven’t studied on and don’t know much about. As I have looked into it more and more I’m realizing that tongue and lip ties are often overlooked or misdiagnosed.
Another reason I didn’t originally consider lip ties is that Carmen is a healthy and very chunky baby. I always assumed that tongue and lip ties would be associated with failure to thrive babies exclusively. I was wrong. It can be either and it’s more common than most think for breastfeeding mom with lip tied babies to have oversupply and overactive letdown. It’s God’s ways of ensuring baby still gets enough to eat even though the latch and suck are far from perfect.
Here are some warning signs that we have seen that can be linked to lip tie:
- Her upper lip is tucked in while nursing not flanged out
- Poor latch
- Upper lip blister caused by poor latch
- Gassy Baby
- Pain/discomfort while nursing
- Baby has poor sleep and is hard to settle
- Oversupply and overactive letdown that have not settled over time or with block feeding
- Plugged Ducts
There are other signs as well but these are the one that apply to us. Not all lip ties require a snip or laser. It depends on how far down on the gum the frenulum (a piece of tissue attaching the lip to the gum) attaches. We will be seeing a specialist that can tell us whether or not it needs to be dealt with.
Also, many lip tied babies will also be tongue tied, the two are often found together. I have had a hard time checking Girly Q, she hates when I poke around in her mouth and especially under her tongue but from what we have seen we think that she may have one. We also had a doctor tell us that she has a lazy tongue but not specifically diagnosing anything and now I’m thinking there may be a correlation. **If you read our follow up post you’ll see she did have tongue tie confirmed as well.**
Another small piece of information to consider: Tongue and lip tied are not only problems specific to infants feeding, they can cause problems later on such as trouble introducing solids, delayed speech development, gaps between teeth, difficulties cleaning teeth and more.
We will have a follow up blog post after we talk with a specialist and learn more. **You can find the follow up post here: Tongue Tied Baby – What you Should Know.**
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