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Breastfeeding a tongue tied baby (part 2)

 |  Parenting

In September last year I spoke about breastfeeding my tongue tied baby. I’ve been meaning to write a follow-up for a while and as it’s National Breastfeeding Awareness Week I figure maybe now’s as good a time as any.

In my last post I complained that post-snip things got much worse in the weeks that followed. By the time Oliver was 9-10 months old (snip was at 3m/o for context) we’d seen some major improvements in my comfort levels with the majority of feeds being pain free (still varying degrees of gagging, slippage and discomfort but nothing insurmountable). It was a very slow improvement, and one which I’d love to attribute to the snip but actually think was caused by the introduction of solid food.

We started solids around 6 months going down the baby led weaning route as we did with Izz. Oliver was very gaggy and I wondered if he wasn’t ready, but he seemed to really like experimenting with his food. I think (and this is pure speculation but makes sense) that because Oliver has never been able to pull the nipple as far back into the mouth as he should to feed effectively, combined with his high palette, meant that he had a very enthusiastic gag reflex. As he got used to moving food around his mouth, the gagging at the breast reduced too.

I do wonder how much this could have been helped with proper post-snip support and tongue exercises and I’m really angry that the practitioner who cut Oliver’s tie did not respond to any of my calls/emails asking for further help and advice. Yet again I was reliant on Google, breastfeeding blogs, twitter and my lovely local friend Louise who has had to deal with far, far too many of my late night moany emails.

I don’t know whether publishing this today is the best idea ever. National Breastfeeding Week is about encouraging people to breastfeed and this is a fairly miserable tale that tells a story of maternal stubbornness more than the beautiful, peaceful way of feeding babies that breastfeeding can be. But I guess that’s important too: knowing that problems don’t always have to mean the end.

Jem Turner +44(0)7521056376

7 comments so far

  1. Mumblies said:

    I admire your determination to succeed with the breastfeeding issues you have had with Ollie, many mothers (including me) and especially working mums or those with other children to deal with may well have taken the easier way out and swapped to formula instead. The end result of your stubborn ways and refusal to accept half measures is a wonderfully happy baby who really does like his food, the picture of him plastered in chocolate birthday cake from head to toe on my desktop wallpaper is firm proof of that. Whatever you set your mind to you do incredibly well and your children are living proof of that. I am proud of you Jem

  2. Katherine said:

    I don’t think your post is bad for breastfeeding awareness. Mothers should have all the helpful information that they need when it comes to breastfeeding, including stories about the hardships that came along with the process. :) The first part of education is knowing tje issues that are out there!

  3. Claudia said:

    I agree with the others who say that your post isn’t bad. I often wonder if women who would otherwise be able to nurse, give it up because of a problem like this.

    I very much admire the fact that you’re so persistent and that is a very positive role model for other newbie-nursers :)

    • Jem said:

      I think it just highlights a very big problem that seems to haunt both the UK and USA – complete lack of support in most areas. I knew where to look and still struggled to get people to take me seriously!

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