Mrs Davis, Belinda presented to Perth Specialist Lip and Tongue Tie Clinic for a consultation with her beautiful four week old daughter Sophie in regard to her nursing difficulties. Sophie was Belinda’s second child and her breastfeeding experience with Sophie was very different to that of her son.
Although Sophie was gaining weight, Belinda’s maternal instinct was that something was not right. Her Midwife had suggested that Sophie may have a tongue tie but this had not been diagnosed by the Doctors in the hospital. Belinda had noticed that Sophie’s upper lip did not flange like her son’s had when he breast fed. An upper lip tie is less recognised than a tongue tie, but can cause babies and new mum’s endless stress when feeding.
Belinda and Sophie presented with the following symptoms:
Sophie’s upper lip did not flange well as shown in Photo 1 with Sophie unable to achieve a good seal. Belinda was very keen to continue breastfeeding but it was having a physical and an emotional effect on the whole family.
After having Sophie examined and being given the information to make an informed decision, Belinda decided to proceed with an upper labial and lingual frenectomy to address the tongue tie and upper lip tie. Afterwards, Belinda breastfed and noticed an immediate difference. Within a week, Belinda reported a totally changed baby. Sophie was bright and bubbly and not suffering from constant wind, there was no milk spillage, no clicking, the feeds were longer and more effective rather than coming on and off and Sophie was feeding every 3-5 hours instead of every hour. Belinda’s nipples healed and she was no longer in pain when breastfeeding. Sophie also went from screaming whenever she was in the car to happily sleeping, which was a welcome change as the family live remotely and frequently travel long distances by car. There was a noticeable increase in movement with the upper lip flanging ideally shown in Photo 2.
Although there had been a great improvement, Sophie still was not feeding as well as her first child. The surgical sites had healed perfectly and the frena were remodelling as expected. It was recommended that Belinda consult with a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The Lactation consultant was able to make some minor adjustments to the positioning and attachment and recommend some suck training exercises.
Following this, the remaining issues improved.
This case highlights the importance of a team approach, the names have been changed but the story is genuine. Before proceeding, Perth Specialist Lip and Tongue Tie Clinic endorse a full assessment by an expert in breast feeding- the lactation consultant (IBCLC) and strongly recommend working with the LC post operatively to get the best possible outcome.
If you have concerns about your babies ability to latch, please contact us for a consultation.
If you have concerns about your babies nursing, please contact us for a consultation.