So if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that Olivia has had issues with tongue tie.
I thought I would do a full blog post on our journey so far as I really want to raise awareness for tongue tie.
Let me start from the beginning…
When Olivia was born the midwife who delivered her said she had tongue tie and to keep an eye on it as it could cause problems with breastfeeding.
When Olivia had her newborn check by a senior midwife I asked about the tongue tie and she advised that she didn’t have tongue tie and she would be absolutely fine. Obviously as she was the senior midwife I took her word for it.
A week later Olivia was continuously losing weight so I went to see a breastfeeding specialist she advised that Olivia had tongue tie, and that this was affecting her latch hence why she wasn’t gaining weight.
As the BF specialist was based in a different area to where I had Olivia she couldn’t refer me to the hospital and she advised I would have to go back to the hospital I gave birth in.
I called Chelsea and Westminster and was given the details for the infant feeding team, the next day I was seen by a lovely midwife who said she thought Olivia did have tongue tie and referred to me see a consultant the next day. I was so relieved that someone was finally helping me!
The next day I was seen by the most obnoxious doctor ever! He couldn’t pronounce my name properly and joked that it was spelt wrong. No mate you’re just a dick! I let that slide…he then went on to say that Olivia didn’t have tongue tie and that he wouldn’t do anything about it.
I mentioned that she was losing weight and his advice was to give her formula if she continued to lose weight. He didn’t even examine her fully, he was so preoccupied that he was running late he rushed us out the door before I could even ask many questions. I was shoved out the room full of disappointment clutching the discharge paper.
After doing some research and watching Olivia lose even more weight I decided to see a private midwife and lactation specialist we also saw an osteopath.
Ann Dobson was recommended to us, we went to see her a few days later. She advised that Olivia had an 80% tongue tie which was affecting her feeding, she watched how she fed and sucked and could tell straight away Olivia was struggling. I was devastated but relieved! The osteopath also advised that she had a lot of tension in her head and neck where her jaw had been so tight.
Olivia’s tongue tie was snipped there and then, she cried for a few moments then she was ok. Ann helped me BF her and helped with latching and positioning. She also taught me some breast compressions and massages. Ann really took her time with us and I felt like I really trusted what she said. We were there for almost two hours, so there was no rushing us out.
The cost of this was £200 and an additional £100 for a follow up appointment. Totally worth it!
I wanted to share this, as today I received a discharge letter in the post from the doctor that I saw. It read ‘on examination, tongue is freely mobile extending beyond lower life, moving left to right. No visible tongue tie’
What a joke!!! These doctors must be gaining their medical degrees online these days.
Olivia is finally gaining wait slowly and I am still exclusively BF. All thanks for me! If I had taken the advice of the nhs I would be bottle feeding her now for sure. The uk currently has the worst BF rates in the world, and we wonder why. There needs to be so much more support for women that want to BF and professionals needs to not have the ‘bottle fixes everything’ culture.
So if you have a newborn baby and you have having issues with BF, please get them checked for tongue tie. Not only does she it affect feeding but it can also cause speech and language delay in older children.
Symptoms can be;
⁃ sleepy baby
⁃ Long feeds
⁃ Falling asleep during feeding
⁃ Shallow sucks
⁃ Losing weight
There are several articles online and images which can help you identify whether you think your little one has tongue tie.
If you are in doubt, seek help and don’t take no for an answer!!
I hope this post helps at least one new mum!!