Next question. Lip tie. To fix, or not to fix.

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Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455
Next question. Lip tie. To fix, or not to fix.

Evie has a lip tie. The doc hasn't looked at it yet, but I'm waiting for our appointment next Monday.

I just discovered it Friday evening. We've never been able to latch while laying down and I still have to take time to get a decent latch when sitting up. She's been starting to slip off the breast and tries to regain latch by sucking hard and gets the tip only :ouch:. She also clicks and can't control my flow during let down so she gasps (which the LC said is NOT choking). I didn't think to have the LC look in her mouth for abnormalities and when they first visited me in the birthing center, it was bad timing and she was actively nursing, so they didn't get to look in her mouth then, either.

I'm debating having it fixed or not. I don't know (even after looking it up) what all would be needed to fix it and I'm not sure I can put her through the temporary physical pain and myself through the emotional pain of watching her go through it just for a better latch. I'm not cracked or bleeding.. but I'm still raw and in pain and I would like to be able to nurse while lying down.

I am uncertain if it would affect her speech later in life or not. She does not appear to have a tongue tie, just her upper lip.

How do you determine if it will affect speech later? I'm not certain my own doc can tell me that? But she's a family practitioner, not a pediatrician. Ugh.

Amber_daisy's picture
Joined: 10/17/06
Posts: 567

Ah, wish I'd seen this post first.

If your baby has a lip tie, and you're still dealing with soreness this far in, I bet money there's a tongue tie as well (likely posterior....most health care providers, even IBCLCs won't be able to diagnose it because they don't have the training to). This is likely causing all the gastrointestinal issues.

Should you get it fixed? Damn straight. I realized Quinn had a lip tie at 6 weeks. by 10 weeks he was refusing to nurse and losing weight. And I was dealing with a persistent thrush infection and vasospasms that wouldn't go away. He was finally diagnosed with a severe posterior tongue tie and lip tie at 3 months. We had to travel to Albany, NY to see Dr. Kotlow to get a definite diagnosis. It was a difficult and expensive trip (I live in Newfoundland, Canada) but I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Go to and click on articles. Start reading. Dr. K has lots of info on his site. I think after reading some more you'll realize how important it is to get this fixed.

Starflyr's picture
Joined: 10/20/07
Posts: 428

if he's clicking, he most likely has a tongue tie. Not all tongue ties are "obvious". Types 3 and 4 are NOT obvious and can definitely contribute to poor latch.

And yes, the lip tie should get fixed. It can affect not only latch but later on in life, it can really screw up your teeth.

oh, and FYI, but pediatricians arent trained in tongue and lip ties either, really. Maybe long ago they were, but I can promise you I never heard 1 word about it in med school or residency.

I'm DEFINITELY on the lookout for it NOW, though.


Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

You both are AWESOME!!! You are making be cry tears of joy. Amber, the link you posted on the thread about her poop... my gosh!!!

"Other indications of poor gut function include cradle cap, eczema, skin rashes, “baby acne”, a red ring around the anus, thrush, dark circles under the eyes, difficulty organizing states, cognitive delay, difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, poor growth, “colic”, “high-needs” behaviours, congestion, reflux, refusing the breast, arching at the breast, gassiness and infection."

I have bolded what we have been dealing with in her short 6 weeks. Not to mention I have a forceful letdown issue... anyway, there could be a great many things contributing to her pooping issue, but I will fix all I am able to, including lip & tongue tie.

I'm just praying it's not too difficult to diagnose cause after talking with the LC on the phone, it sound like it's very mild if she has one at all (in her opinion).

Joined: 03/08/06
Posts: 183

Thank you so much for posting this, my son is almost weaned at 2.5 years and I couldn't figure out why his little teeth are already discolored, he has a horrible lip tie, I had no idea that tooth decay could be related, my ped told me he would have to have it cut around age 3 or 4, but that it was nothing to worry about! Really wish I would have known sooner, I feel horrible. I am making him an appt with a pediatric dentist ASAP. Breastfeeding was aweful in the beginning, I was cracked, bleeding, the whole bit, LLL said his latch was fine, etc.... But I was so hell bent and determined that we just kept going, at least I know for future babies. Hope things get better for your LO. PS tell Daniel that Jack says Hi! Thanks again, I will kup on how the dental appt goes.

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

Oh Sarah! I'm so sorry Jack has that. But honestly.. I've been looking like crazy at Daniel and thinking the same thing. He can't lift his tongue to the roof of his mouth very easily and he has great difficulty running his tongue along his top lip (corner to corner) and he can't make the motor boat sound with his lips! He just recently got evaluated for his developmental delays (communication being the big one) and he now has a teacher who comes into our home 2x each month and a speech pathologist. His teacher came for the first time this week. She noted that he his upper lip is "stiff".

I'm going to have HIM looked at closely as well. It would suck to have two kids getting clipped at the same time, but I'd rather doing it sooner so that as he's going through his speech therapy he can make huge progress and learn correctly and not need to re-learn it again later.

On Evie... she's started fussing at the breast. She's pulling away before latching on, arching her back away from me. I finally get her latched on (sort of, she's been losing suction all too easily) and survive let down gagging and gasping and almost choking and almost as soon as that's done she starts biting and pulling on it like it's empty. For the time being I'm hand expressing while she's on. I'm holding her head still while she's there to ensure she doesn't slip (doesn't take much), and I'm going to start taking anti-inflammatories to prevent mastitis.

I have a theory on my painful let down issue. I shared it with DH and he said it sounds very plausible. I haven't looked it up, though, cause I'm sure it'd be hard to find any proof online of it. I'm almost certain that my let down is painful because my forceful let down is FORCING the milk down instead of her sucking it out and she can't suck right to pull it down, so when I let down the milk that she couldn't pull down is getting shot through. In fact, I think that my forceful let down is the one thing that has kept her weight up and me from getting mastitis.

We see the doc on Monday and I've already got a IBCLC nearby that I'm going to ask her to refer us to if she has difficulty diagnosing or believing me. I REALLY want to get to the right people quick and get this over with before our breastfeeding relationship goes to pot. :confused: