Thursday, January 13, 2011

Today's Public Service Announcment (eta)

Earlier today I took Jamie in for his first well-child visit. I tend to avoid those, for the most part, but I had an issue to discuss with the dr this time.

When Judah was a baby, a lac consultant told me he had a "slight tongue-tie, a tight lip and a high palette", but didn't think it was "worth doing anything about" because "he'll eventually grow out of it". I struggled to nurse him for 13 mths. I nursed Sofi for 18 mths with no problem at all. With Judah I had TONS of troubles and even resorted to using a nipple shield for several months.

When Jamie first nursed, I suspected we were up against the same thing, but this time I wanted it to be different. I asked my midwife repeatedly about tongue-tie. She wasn't concerned. Jamie choked, spluttered, gagged and spit-up his way through nearly four months of nursing and this morning I FINALLY got someone to look at his tongue.

"Oh yeah," says the dr, a super-nice beefy guy, who just spent five minutes cooing over James and tickling him and baby-talking at him, "Look at that. I can snip that for you, if you want."


Snip. Yell. Bleed. Nuuuuuurse.


BE YOUR CHILD'S ADVOCATE. If you think something's wrong, get a second or a third opinion! Don't assume the doctor/midwife/ lac consult is right and you're wrong, just because they have more letters after their name.

READ READ READ. Bring the articles and studies to your doc. Get a second opinion. Then get a third opinion. Ask questions, demand answers. BE ANNOYING, if you have to. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor WHY? or WHY NOT? THEY WORK FOR YOU.

A three second "operation" could have saved me MONTHS of pain and hassle while breastfeeding Judah-- could have extended our breastfeeding past the one year mark, could have prevented speech therapy (still not entirely sure we'll need that, yet). And the last four months of breastfeeding James could have been SO much easier if I'd insisted that someone look at it before now. MY OWN RESEARCH and an article in the AAP Journal sent me to a doc who would listen and the difference in Jamie's nursing is... wow.

Don't be intimidated by other moms who pooh-pooh your concern, either. You know your child best, not them. It's not "coddling" to find out a possible solution. You don't always have to "just tough it out". Sometimes, yes, but you won't know till you ask!


ETA: I forgot to mention that when talking to even our seemingly-knowledgable-about-the-issue ped, he firmly told me that tongue-tie does NOT affect speech in later life--- a statement ENTIRELY contradictory to the article I just read in HIS OWN JOURNAL (The American Association of Pediatrics Journal). I cannot stress enough how important it is to SELF-EDUCATE.


Niecey said...

Wow, I'm so glad to hear it helped. It's something most drs don't really believe in, but many mothers testify how much of a difference it made.

canningmama said...

very interesting and timely post! my midwife noticed at Elizabeth's 3 day check up that she was just a wee bit tongue tied and asked if she was nursing alright. I said yes, I thought so. I've paid close attention since then though and have wondered if she has a bit of trouble keeping suction. I think I'll discuss this again at Elizabeth's 2 week check up. I never thought about the fact that it could affect speech later on!

Laurie B. said...

I asked if you had scissors!! Remember when I told you about the HUUUUGE difference in M's nursing after the little snippage? Well, glad that's taken care of. It's nice that it is so simple :-)

Herb of Grace said...

Laurie, you were TOTALLY right! It was back to that old familiar "hooked up to a vacuum cleaner" feeling that I remember from nursing Sofi.

Jenny, I highly recommend that you have it clipped! It's one of those things that, after my experiences, I'm going to recommend to EVERYONE who even SUSPECTS that their child might be tongue-tied. I would only change that recommendation if I heard from somewhere that the procedure caused complications that I'm unaware of at this point. I've read about it from the blogs and articles of non-circ-ing mothers, too, so I feel pretty confident about it at this point.

Niecey, I didn't realize before I started reading more about it that it was an issue for some docs. I'm updating above some more info about our doc's reactions... :)

Melissa said...

I came across your blog and post and was glad to see that you were your child's advocate! I am a private practice lactation consultant and see MANY MANY tongue ties babies that other health care providers dismissed. If mom and baby are struggling with nursing issues beyond the first few days/week or so it is usually NOT just the "latch", there's probably something else going on.

UncleSam said...

I think this is an issue of degree--I'm a little tongue-tied myself. I haven't noticed any problems in my ability to articulate...

Stone Cottage Mama said...

Good for you! I am so sorry it took this long. Mimi had a lip tie and we noticed a difference when that was clipped.

Herb of Grace said...

Sam, I can't tell if you're being facetious, or not? You mean you've actually had someone notice that your frenulum is tight, or are you just using the colloquialism? If the former, then awesome! They told me it's hereditary and gender linked :) Super cool genetics!

SC Mama, yeah, Judah had that TOO. Poor kid. Wish I had known then what I know now!

septembermom said...

I applaud you for being your child's advocate! Moms really do need to self-educate and make informed decisions.