Dealing with a tongue tie

“Keep trying” they said, “it’ll get easier” they said…

Jack was born with a tongue tie, it’s a really common problem – where the tiny bit of skin at the base of your mouth is a bit too short – but it meant Jack couldn’t extend his tongue out fully so it could cause problems when it came to breast feeding. At the time I thought nothing of it, the first time I tried breast feeding baby Jack latched on straight away – perfect! But when he wanted his next feed the poor little mite just couldn’t latch on.

After an overnight stay at the hospital, the nurses gave me advice on how to get Jack latching on properly, but it only seemed to work when I had someone helping me. Still, I stuck with it and the next day my husband and I took him home, that’s where the fun began!

Cue a lot of tears and tantrums (from me, not Jack), no matter how much I tried, every time Jack needed a feed it took what felt like forever to get him to latch on.

After day four I was absolutely dreading every time Jack woke for a feed, it was possibly the worst night we had with him. Taking us four hours to get him fed and settled, he woke up just 30 minutes later and it was at that moment I admitted defeat. That same morning we switched to formula.

He took to his bottle straight away and I sat and had a little cry. I’m not too sure wether it was the relief of him finally being content with a feed, or guilt that I had given up after such a short amount of time. But eventually I pulled myself together and realised that I wasn’t enjoying my first few days with Jack because we were having such a tough time getting him fed, and all that mattered was that he was finally drinking his milk without any problems.

Seven days new, we took Jack back to the hospital for his tongue tie cutting. As we sat in the waiting room I was getting more and more anxious that the nurses were going to get me to try and breast feed Jack after the procedure. I had spoken to the specialists a few times before our appointment and I couldn’t help but feel that they were quite keen on trying to get Jack to feed straight after the tongue tie was sorted, but I had already made my mind up that we would be sticking with formula feeding. Now I couldn’t actually face watching the tongue tie cutting so I waited outside and – after a little screaming – Jack was safe and sound, albeit a bit grumpy!

I’m so grateful that the specialists supported my decision not to attempt feeding him again, they simply gave us some advice about bottle feeding and sent us on our way.

When it comes down to it, I just wanted to make sure my baby was feeding. Sure, babies can feed perfectly fine with a tongue tie, but putting Jack on a bottle was the best decision for our family. And as Jack happily snoozes on my chest while I’m writing this, I know I made the right decision!

Posted in: Mum

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