Tongue tie

  1. Hi all!

    I'm an RN in geriatrics so my OB knowledge is limited but I've done so much research about breastfeeding, I should be an LC.

    Both my son and daughter (separate births) were born tongue-tied (tip of tongue attached to gum by extra frenulum). The policy at my hospital was not to clip tongue-ties unless problems developed later in life. Fortunately, my pediatrician was experienced in this area and recommended clipping asap. Despite having this done, both my kids never learned to properly latch on and caused extensive nipple damage.

    According to research, this condition is rare but to me it's not.

    Has anyone encountered this situation? I was able to nurse each child only a few weeks, much to my dismay. I'm just wondering if clipping the tongue immediately after birth would make a difference or if their sucking habits are set in the womb.
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    About Momto3RN

    Joined: Sep '02; Posts: 128; Likes: 18
    Currently urgent care center


  3. by   memphispanda
    My youngest son was severely tongue-tied. He had a heart shaped tongue, and had very little movement of his tongue at all. I spent about 5 days up all night both of us crying and me HURTING. I took him to the pediatrician who said he was dehydrated (he was urinating 3-4 dark brown drops at a time). She said I should give him a bottle with a long nipple. He couldn't suck the bottle either. ANd I was MAD. Anyway, I then went to the lactation consultant who took one look at him and said the problem was the frenulum. No one else had mentioned it to me. I didn't know it would be a problem since no one had mentioned it to me.

    ANYway, we spent 3 days calling doctors and fingerfeeding. Finally found one willing to snip it. He did it in the office when he was 10 days old. He was able to nurse immediately afterwards.

    Sorry so long, hope my experience offers a bit of information to you.
  4. by   Momto3RN
    I'm so glad someone else can relate though I'm sorry you had to experience the frustration!! No one noticed the tongue tie on my son until we left the hospital. And even though I thought I had my daughter thoroughly checked, only the LC noticed the tongue tie when she was five days old.

    She seemed so eager to nurse I thought for sure she would adapt right away and nurse with no problem. Now I'm starting to wonder if I'm just "anatomically challenged"!! There were times when my kids latched on great and it was the most incredible experience. I just couldn't seem to keep them "centered" and ended up looking like hamburger! Sorry to be so descriptive but my daughter is almost a year old and I'm just overcoming my feelings of inadequacy about not being able to nurse!

    Thanks for listening and responding!!!
  5. by   memphispanda
    I can't believe no one else had this problem! LOL And boy do I understand about the pain. I was miserable and scabby when I finally managed to get some help. It just makes me angry that so many facilities and doctors are refusing to do this simple procedure for babies who are having problems nursing. I understand not doing it routinely, but UGH. Some kids really need help. I seriously doubt it's you that are the problem-although I had the same thoughts. I kept telling the doctors I was sure it wasn't me--that they worked right with the other two kids. They probably thought I was a nut!
  6. by   xantha31669
    My youngest daughter was also tongue tied. Although they did notice they never bothered to let me know it would be an issue for breast feeding. I ended up going to the bottle after a couple days after noticing the number of wet diapers was decreasing. I pumped for two weeks and then just went to formula.

    Our pediatrician said he doesn't believe in clipping the tongue because it can cause more speech problems later. He did recommend stretching exercises when she was old enough to do them.

    My daughter started talking late and We didn't know if it was because she didn't need to (my son is 18 monthes older than her and adores her. He waited on her hand and foot!) or she couldn't. Birth to three started having a speech therapist come out to work with her that had said basically the same thing as my doc and gave me aditional exercises to do with her. Her speech seems to be ok (you can't shut her up most days!!) so I guess she is OK.

    I think it very wrong of the hospital not to let peolple with this issue know about the breast feeding issues. I was on my third child so I knew it "wasn't me", but if it had been my first child I
    would have been a wreck!

  7. by   imenid37
    we see tongue tied babies fairly often. peds/family prac. dr's. don't seem to want to snip the tongue. i always tell moms if their baby is tongue tied. i am sorry you guys had such a rotten experience. i am not sure why there is such a reluctance to snip the extra skin.
  8. by   Momto3RN
    I recently talked to the LC at the hospital I delivered at and she says a new policy has given the doctors the OK to clip tongue-ties at the hospital after birth. I know the LCs have been really pushing for this and the docs are realizing the benefits vs. risks.

    My kids have shown absolutely no problems since having their tongues clipped. The extra frenulum is not vascular and it took all of ten seconds to do. My kids cried for just a few seconds then they were fine.

    And, actually, some hospitals do it routinely! Go figure!
  9. by   mother/babyRN
    We see it all the time...
  10. by   renren
    can you pls help me, what are the nursing diagnoses and nursing management for toungue tie. thank you.
  11. by   isabing
    My son is eight years old and pretty severely tongue-tied. His pediatricians told me when he was an infant that nothing had to be done unless he had a problem with his speech. This summer his dentist recommended we see an oral surgeon to have his frenulum clipped. He said that the tongue is a very strong muscle and it would eventually pull the gum away from his lower teeth. I would suggest consulting a dentist or oral surgeon no matter how young the child is. We haven't had his "tongue untied" yet as my son calls it. He plays little league football so we are waiting until after football season. It would have been much easier on him though if it had been done when he was too young to know what was going on.


    edit: WOW! This is an old thread!
  12. by   endlesssummer1
    one of my kids is tongue tighed and we new it at birth. She had no problems with breast feeding or talking. Took one bottle in the nursery her entire life. We are at the stage of the orthodonist watching it for the pulling away of skin from the teeth. We will probably cut the skin when her wisdom teeth are removed. She is unable to stick her tongue out.