Tongue tie fail

Tongue Tie. Have you heard of it?

Most people haven’t.

I hadn’t, when my third baby was born a week before Christmas in 2011.

I felt very blessed to have a healthy baby, and excited that we now had a boy. I felt confident about breastfeeding. So very different to how I felt when my first baby was born – unsure, hesitant. This time I knew what I was doing. Or so I thought.

happy but tired newborn

Breastfeeding was a little sore for the first day or two, as is often the case. But unlike my first two experiences, instead of decreasing over time, the pain intensified. When he was four days old, I was at home, asking a friend if boys just have a stronger suck – would that explain the pain? I knew by her facial expression that my theory didn’t hold water.

Two days before Christmas, my public health nurse phoned and I told her that breastfeeding had now become extremely painful. She asked “Could he have tongue tie?”

I had no idea what she was talking about.
She explained that it’s when the frenulum (the piece of tissue that connects the tongue to the base of the mouth) is shorter or thicker or tighter than normal, and it makes it difficult for the baby to feed efficiently, and in turn this is painful for the mother.

I contacted Holles Street hospital and a very sympathetic member of staff arranged to see me that day. She told me that my baby had a “mild” tongue tie and that I didn’t need to do anything about it.

She mentioned that there was “a man in Clonmel” who carries out tongue tie divisions but that Holles Street don’t believe that this is necessary. She spoke in a hushed but somewhat dismissive tone about the man in Clonmel – I was left with the impression that this was some kind of undesirable procedure that warranted no further discussion.

The pain continued. It was excruciating.
Every time I prepared to latch the baby on, I asked my husband to take my two daughters out of the room, so that they wouldn’t see the fear on my face, anticipating the pain.

Soon I could feed on one side only. I got mastitis on St. Stephen’s day. I fed through it (as you should), on the “good” side, pumping on the other side. I cried. A lot.

I was miserable. Miserable with pain, and sad that these newborn days that should have been so happy were being sabotaged by this condition I’d never heard of – tongue tie.

I went back to Holles Street, desperate for help. I saw a different member of staff. She gave me a name – Nicola O’Byrne. A private lactation consultant who could help me.
I called Nicola that day and we arranged for her to come to my house.

She said she saw signs that were typical of a grade 4 tongue tie – not the “mild” case that Holles Street had suggested. She sat on my couch and talked to me and listened to me and gave me information and reassurance and hope.

She explained that tongue tie is not normally diagnosed in Irish maternity hospitals, and it’s not treated in Irish maternity hospitals.
She explained that there are only a handful of medical professionals in Ireland who carry out tongue tie divisions.

She told me that two generations ago, midwives dealt with tongue tie in newborn infants once diagnosed, soon after birth.
She explained that because formula feeding had replaced breastfeeding for so many mothers over the last two generations, knowledge about tongue tie had been lost.
You can see some of Nicola’s recent comments in this week’s Irish Times article here.

She referred me to “the man in Clonmel” – not, as it turned out, a renegade, under-the-radar practitioner, but Justin Roche, a consultant in Clonmel General hospital who carries out tongue tie divisions there on a daily basis.

So on a rainy, cold Wednesday in January, my husband and I drove our five week old baby to Tipperary and had his frenulum snipped. He cried for a few seconds, then latched on and fed happily. It took just two weeks for his ability to feed to be fully transformed – no more pain for me, no energy sapping inefficient feeding for my little boy.

All good so.

But not really.

I’m still angry that I had to go through this unforgettable pain for five weeks.

I’m still angry that the newborn days were full of frustration and tears.

I’m still angry that I was informed by Holles Street that it was a mild case and didn’t require any intervention.

I’m still angry that paediatricians in Holles Street don’t believe that tongue tie affects breastfeeding.

I’m still angry that I had to drive on a rainy Wednesday from Dublin to Clonmel to have the tongue tie snipped – a simple procedure that could be carried out in maternity hospitals before going home.

And mostly, I’m angry because there are hundreds of mothers all over Ireland who have had a shortened breastfeeding relationship due to undiagnosed tongue tie.

How many mothers every day, every week decide they can’t continue breastfeeding their newborns because it’s too painful?
Because the baby doesn’t seem to be getting enough milk?
Because the baby is crying and seems hungry?

Between 4% and 10% of babies are born with tongue tie.
And maternity hospitals are not diagnosing it, not treating it, not informing mothers.

How many breastfeeding journeys are cut short by tongue tie?
I don’t know.
Actually, nobody knows, as there are no real statistics, no records.
And a very limited official recognition of the condition.

As Nicola O’Byrne said to me recently –
“It’s pretty unbelievable
that there is no service in our capital city
for breastfeeding babies who are
having difficulties because of tongue tie”

There are small, small changes, coming slowly; changing attitudes of some healthcare professionals as they become more informed, and increased awareness through online forums, and word of mouth.

A friend who says her baby is crying a lot and that breastfeeding hurts – a suggestion from me that it might be tongue tie and could be treated.

“What’s tongue tie?” she says “I’ve never heard of that?”

I know. That’s the problem.

***

For help with tongue tie: first see a lactation consultant, and if necessary, she will refer you to a medical practitioner who performs frenectomies (tongue tie release):

Dr Justin Roche, Tipperary General Hospital, phone: 052 617 7033

Professor John Fenton, Barrington’s Hospital, Co Limerick, phone: 061 307540

Additional note: since this post was first written, two new tongue tie division services have become available in Dublin:

Dr Siun Murphy, Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Blackrock Clinic is now dividing tongue ties in babies up to 1 year (breastfed and formula fed babies). Referrals accepted from IBCLCs, GPs, PHNs, Paediatricans. Referrals should be sent to siun@drsiunmurphy.com. Enquiries 087-6249959.

Also, Dr. Alan O’Reilly, General Practitioner, The Meath Primary Care Centre in Dublin city centre is  providing a frenotomy- tongue-tie division service to Private and GMS patients. The service is provided for babies with breastfeeding problems up to 6 months old. Referrals are accepted from lactation consultants, public health nurses and GPs. For more information please contact the clinic at 01-4536636. Referrals can be emailed directly to dralanoreilly@gmail.com. Further information will be available shortly on their website

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64 thoughts on “Tongue tie fail”

    1. Perfectly put.
      I’m guessing that in future years, maternity hospitals will go back to dealing wit this but it will take a long time. And so many babies will miss out in between.

    2. Thank you for sharing this. My 2 week old has to and i’m being referred to Dr siun murphy. It’s reassuring to hear the procedure was successful. X

      1. Sharon that’s great that you’re being treated so early – and also, I’m delighted that Dr Murphy is now doing TT divisions, it wasn’t an option when we were dealing with our case two years ago. Best of luck and happy feeding!

  1. Fair play to you for continuing and following up. Imagine that had happened to you the first time round. Would you have had the confidence to question what the hospital told you? I know I wouldn’t have. I remember asking for help with latching on when my son was born – they didn’t show me, they just grabbed his head and my boob and stuck them together. They also told me if it hurt I was doing it wrong.
    Round two with my girl? Mastitis, cracked nipples, fungal infection for us both for 3 weeks. And all this without the added difficulty of tongue tie. Breast feeding mams need so much support. There was no way I was giving up, but I can see how easily it could happen for someone who wasn’t convinced it’s the way to go. I’m sorry you lost those first 5 weeks. But I’m so so glad for you both that you found a way through x

    1. Exactly Fiona. The fact that he was my third baby is what prompted me to question the pain. If he was my first, I might stopped, assuming that I was just not cut out for this. I actually meant to include that point so might add it in – thanks! And wow to you, struggling through all of those challenges, especially with your first baby when as you point out, it’s very understandable to stop. I’m glad for both of us that we found a way through!

  2. Oh look, you’re playing my song. Come, see the bandwagon that is mine!

    If women had better support and services for birth, postpartum, and breast feeding issues.. the world would be a better place. This problem, in some fashion or another, repeats itself in every country in the world.

    I commend you for breast feeding through all of that but you never ever should have had to go through it all to start with. I’m so sorry that you did.

    1. This is it – there’s a huge push before birth to encourage mothers to breastfeed, but then they are left to fend for themselves. There is support but first time mums often don’t know where to find it, don’t have the confidence to pick up the phone and ask for help, don’t know how to explain the difficulties, or assume it’s supposed to be like this and don’t ask for help.

    2. Give me three years. That’s how long I need to get the license I’m working on. (BSN and lac consultant) This is the entire reason I’m changing careers, in fact.

  3. When you have already had breastfed babies, you know pretty soon something is not right. Unfortunately, when it is a first baby or a first breast-fed baby, TT can persist longer without being noticed as a mother tries to move through what she expects to be “normal.” I am glad you were able to meet with people who could help! I had a similar situation in April with my 4th baby: http://www.staciebingham.com/2/post/2013/06/hes-just-a-bad-nurser-part-1.html

    1. That’s exactly it Stacie – a first time mother would very understandably find it even more difficult to persevere, not having the benefit of knowing that there is painless time ahead. Thanks for commenting – I’m looking forward to reading your TT post (I can’t seem to click through on the link directly)

  4. Here here! Thank you for sharing your story and phrasing it so brilliantly. Too many irish mothers are being told this isn’t a problem, coming home from hospital in pain, ruling out tt as an issue, and suffering thinking they are the failure when it’s actually the Irish maternity service. Thank you again for writing this I’m sharing it 🙂

    1. That’s the saddest part Rita, mothers thinking they have “failed” and feeling guilty, feeling as though they should have been able to handle the pain and that it’s a normal experience. Thank you for the lovely message

      1. Great article. I fed exclusively for a very painful 16 weeks on my baby with a tounge tie. It was my first baby so I thought that the pain I felt was normal. His tounge tie was diagnosed at his 6 month check up!!!!! My son is now 4 and going for his operation tomorrow. I am so nervous.

        1. Oh how awful that you had to feed through such pain and how amazing you were to keep going for so long – I’m not sure I could have done so! And great that you are getting the division done now. Now doubt it’s a nervous time, but this time tomorrow, all will be done. Best wishes to you and your little boy,
          Andrea

  5. Wow,thanks for sharing. I never heard of tongue tie before-have to say it sounds a lot more serious than it is.Terrible that you had to go through such needless suffering at the start!Grr!

    1. That’s just it Aedín, it’s not serious at all and yet the consequences are serious in terms of a missed opportunity to breastfeed for a mother who really wants to do that. It’s so simple to treat, and the earlier the better. My understanding is that some medics are concerned that every feeding issue will be attributed to tongue tie, and that unnecessary procedures will be carried out but that’s not a reason to deny that it has an impact on breastfeeding.

  6. In my hospital in the US, by my count and that of the director of pediatrics, the rate of tongue-tie is much higher. We see between 25-32% and some days 75% of the babies born at the hospital have it. It only took me a year of talking, sharing research studies and power points with that pediatrician to get him to prepare and begin doing tongue-tie divisions.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I was a first time mother and my child had tongue tie. One of the nurses in the hospital first noticed it and helped me with feeding technique to try to combat it but at the time I didn’t fully understand what it meant. Feeds used to go on for an hour sometimes up to 2. The pain got steadily worse and worse over the next few weeks. I tried nipple shields, shells, compresses, cooling gel packs but nothing helped. Coming out of the shower, I had to hold the towel away from me because I couldn’t bear the pain of it rubbing against my nipples. Eventually I mentioned it to the public health nurse who looked at him and said the problem was tongue tie. She tried to help but didn’t know of anyone who would carry out the division. Eventually I asked my GP. Again she didn’t know of anyone who could help but gave me a leaflet for The Children’s Practice in Dundrum. She had no personal experience with them but told me to give them a call. I made an appointment and eventually at 11 weeks he had the procedure done. I was almost afraid to feed him in case it hadn’t made a difference but it had. After 11 weeks of unbearable pain, I was completely pain free from the first feed and continued to feed him up to 11 months. Like you I am still angry with the medical profession that I had to go through this. At the time I also looked up information on the websites of breast feeding support groups and there was no mention anywhere of tongue tie. When I was still in extreme pain at 8, 9, 10 weeks I was pretty annoyed with all the websites that were telling me that the pain would definitely be gone by week 2.

    1. Una that’s some story – I can’t imagine going through that pain for 11 weeks and doing so as a first time mother is really an achievement. I am not surprised to hear that your PHN didn’t know how to help. When I went for our six week checkup, my PHN asked me all about the tongue tie division and asked me if I could write down the name and contact number for Justin Roche in Clonmel. She said that the maternity hospitals wouldn’t share that information with them, so they had nowhere to send mothers with tongue tied babies. How depressing is that?
      I’m really glad that your story had a happy ending, and I hope that by sharing experiences, we can spread the word and make it easier for mothers to get help

  8. I’ve never heard of it either – breast fed my first two but yes, I agree, it’s shameful here. My sis had her 3 in the Coombe and was so relieved when Filipino nurses used to come to help her latch them on, Irish ones were mostly useless. I had my first in the UK and there was a lactation consultation on the ward. I know if I’d had him here I’d never had been able to keep going.
    For a largely agricultural nation, we’re pretty bad about giving babies milk from another species – no wonder there’s so many allergy problems etc. I’m glad to hear you got it sorted but yes, 4 weeks and 6 days earlier would have made life so much easier for you both.

    1. Yes support for new mothers in maternity hospitals is hit and miss, often due to overcrowding and understaffing I think. I never knew that in Holles Street there are lactation consultants available – I think many people don’t know that, and therefore don’t have the opportunity to get help

  9. WOW! This really angers me. Why is something that can be fixed so so easily kept all hush hush! I had never heard of tongue tie till I started reading parenting blogs. I don’t even remember seeing it in the leaflets/booklets from the HSE!?

    1. yes it’s very frustrating Yaz – it’s often not recognised as a “real” issue so it’s not mentioned in literature. I think change is coming but very slowly

  10. Great article. As a Lactation consultant in private practice I am also dealing with this issue on a daily basis with mum’s in Cork but we are so lucky to have two practitioners who do frenotomies, Dr Rachel Quigley and dentist Shane Curtin both are great. However, there is a LOT of educating to be done and as you say it should be a routine procedure done within the HSE and it would save women so much heartache and nippleache!! I will post a link on my facebook page to this as it helps raise awareness.

    1. Thanks Clare – I completely agree – while we’re waiting for the HSE to make this a mainstream procedure, the best interim solution is raising awareness. Thank you for commenting and for sharing the post

  11. Hi Andrea, I just read your article in the independent and I had pretty much the same experience as you but as a first time mother. I persevered in pain and Nicola O Byrne came to my rescue after I complained to my public health nurse about how I was being pushed away by the maternity hospital and told to start formula feeds if my baby did not start putting on enough weight. I was told his tongue tie was not bad, Nicola said otherwise. I couldn’t have carried on breast feeding without the compresses and had I not seen Nicola I would have had no choice but to give up breast feeding due to my sons weight loss . I could not believe the ease of breast feeding after the tongue tie was snipped.
    It was a very stressful and upsetting time, my mother lives in Uganda and she couldn’t believe that snipping a tongue tie was such taboo here nor could my sister in England. I kept meaning to write a letter of complaint to the hospital after very poor advice from their lactician consultant. Two years on and it still angers me, your article brought back all those emotions. I was fortunate to refer Nicola to another mother I met in breast feeding group so it’s so important to go to these groups as it seems for now it’s up to us mums to help each other. It was a great article and I hope the message gets through to all maternity hospitals.

    1. Thanks Carolyn and sorry that you had to go through that frustrating experience – but glad that you found Nicola and also that you were able to pass the message on to another mum. I understand your anger- that’s how I felt too. I also planned to write to Holles Street and never did, so I’m glad I had the chance to write it all down here. I guess the best we can do is keep raising awareness so that more mothers have the chance to get the help they need. Thanks again

  12. Hi is it only breast fed babies that have a problem feeding with tongue tie, could this explain my baby’s reflux and colic problem, husband has a heart shaped tongue tip which could suggest he was tongue tied as a baby and that my son has it too?

    1. Hi Mandy,
      I think it can, but I’ve just put a question out in an online tongue tie group to see if I can get more definitive information for you – I’ll be back!

  13. Almost word for word this is my experience! I was told exactly the same in hospital. Dismissed me. Mastitis and months of other problems to follow. Nicola also referred me to doctor in clonmel. Unfortunately by the time we got the diagnosis and procedure my sons latch was set in cement and I will probably always experience pain feeding him.

    Im so angry that my breastfeeding relationship was jeopardised by the midwife who told me his tt was fine. I wish she could have walked a day in my shoes and felt the pain. She wouldn’t be so quick to offer up a diagnosis on something she’s not educated in. I have since wrote a letter to the hospital and am still awaiting a response. I dread to think of the women who went through the same and ultimately gave up.

    1. Claire I’m so sorry for your experience and so glad you wrote a letter. I always intended to and never did – I think this post was my letter in the end. It does sound as though things are changing but the wrong midwife or GP will still mean that many women will go through unnecessary pain.

  14. This post may have just saved my breastfeeding! Baby just got diagnosed with upper lip tie tonight and I knew all about these new clinics. Told LC all I need is a referral. She reckons I’ll have a tough time getting it snipped because baby is thriving and seems to have adapted but I am in bits with painful nipples, her pulling on and off, and backache trying to feed her in specific positions. Had thrush and LC reckons it was caused by the pulling on/off… anyway. Hopefully I’ll get it sorted soon. I think seeing this post on twitter earlier was one of those ‘meant to be’ moments so thanks!
    Laura recently posted…Dublin City for families Summer 2014My Profile

    1. Laura, if anyone can do it, you can – delighted you have your diagnosis, and hopefully things will move quickly now for you.

  15. I was 18 when I had my first son and told after he was born that he had a tingue tie and I didn’t know at first what that meant. Breast feeding was so painful the expression making you’re toes curel in pain was an under statement. My son cried alot because he was hungry and I was in so much pain. When I asked for a bottle the nurses didn’t want to know and just handed me the bottle but never took the time to show me how to feed my son with a bottle. He constantly brought back up his bottles and cried because he was hungry. It was only when I brought him home the health nurse was old school and she took the time to show me how to feed my son so that the milk went straight down and that he didn’t bring any of it back up. The lady was a life saver. She taught me to sit my son up straight and my left hand supported the back of his neck which meant my son had to do less work and the milk went straight down and he wasn’t getting cranky and tired from having to work so hard to control the milk. I had my son in the UK and when I enquired about what could be done I was told I’d have to wait till he was older to see if it would effect his speech. I had to battle with the health nurse and GP to get the tongue tie snipped as my son could not control the movement of food in his mouth and is was effecting his speech. Eventually he got it done and then had to learn how to use his tongue to pronounce his words and control the movement of his food in his mouth. With extensive speech therapy all went well. All this could have been prevented if it had been done in the beginning. He is now 20 years of age and is for ever sticking his tongue out it photos!

  16. This is so similar to my story, too. My 3rd baby had a posterior tongue-tie and she couldn’t transfer milk at all. She’d be latched on for an hour at a time, but was losing weight every day and my supply was also diminishing by the day. I started expressing when she was about 2 weeks old and my supply came back pretty quickly. She had her tongue tie snipped by Professor Fenton in Limerick regional at 5 weeks old. It took about 5 days for her to learn how to nurse effectively and pain-free. We’re still exclusively breastfeeding at 6 months and so glad I persevered with getting the snip.

    1. Sorry that you had to go through the painful weeks at the start but delighted to hear you were seen at 5 weeks and that all is going well now. Such a shame it can’t be dealt with in hospitals

  17. Dr Neville Wilson provides tongue tie release procedures at The Leinster Clinic, Kilcock Road, Maynooth.
    Phone 01-5052135. Procedure Cost €70. (www.leinsterclinic.ie) See “ANKYLOGLOSSIA BY DR NEVILLE WILSON” for details of procedure.

  18. I could have written every word of this article myself. Thank you so much for sharing it made me feel totally justified for my angry feelings towards Holles Street and the fact that tongue tie is still something that is not dealt with in an efficient & normal manner in Ireland. My first daughter had tongue tie but not one of the lactation consultants in Holles Street diagnosed it and by the time I figured it out & had it snipped, my supply had dropped right down. It shortened my breast feeding journey and made it unnecessarily stressful and painful. Great to see articles like this I hope every woman googling ‘tongue tie in Ireland’ comes across it 🙂
    Caroline recently posted…Oil PullingMy Profile

    1. Caroline thanks so much for the comment, and sorry that you had to go through this – particularly that it shortened your breastfeeding journey – that’s very sad. I do think things are improving – there’s more awareness now, though it’s hugely through word of mouth which is ridiculous. It should be checked as routine in the maternity hospitals. Hopefully fewer and fewer women and babies will go through what you did, if the word continues to spread.

  19. Hi,
    I’m an oral surgeon working for the HSE.
    I release lip and tongue ties privately only in Tullamore on Wednesdays 057 9352105 and Athlone on Mondays 090 6450615. Upper are limit one year. I accept referrals from LC’s, PHN’s and GP’s. I’m happy to speak to mums by phone pre appointment or if some one simply has a query. I have 2 web site’s I can be contacted through “Tonguetie.ie” or “Murnaneoralsurgery.ie”

    1. Thanks for getting in touch – great to hear that there are more and more options for tongue tie release.
      I will add your details to the contact list at the end of the post.
      thank you!
      Andrea

  20. Hi Andrea,

    I know you posted this article a while ago but I’d like to comment as I wish I’d seen it a few weeks ago.

    My second daughter Isabelle was born in December and from the start breastfeeding was very hard. I was told by a number of medical professionals that all was fine. Every feed hurt but it had been the same first time around and I really felt that’s just how breastfeeding was for me. I was more confused about why she would be hysterical trying to latch, literally thrashing her little week old head in distress. Through a private Facebook page I learned the term lip tie. Someone posted a photo and one look at my baby girls lip told me she had it. I was so exhausted with no sleep it took me 16 weeks to decide the professionals were missing something and I finally picked up the phone to Dr Tuite, Mount Merrion. A strong lip tie and posterior tongue tie were diagnosed and she was treated the same day. The day after I had a different baby. The one I knew I had given birth to. The placid, sweet little girl who had cried way too much. She’s almost 20 weeks now and we’re still breastfeeding. It’s still a bit sore as I guess bad habits were formed but she is happy so I’m happy. But I’m so frustrated that we had to go through that. Despite a phn, gp, lactation consultant and a pediatrician checking her they all missed it. As is often the case it was a case of mums supporting mums that helped in the end. Awareness is key as is listening to your gut instinct. I just wish I’d been clear headed enough not to let 16 weeks go by without doing something about it. She is going through a big development leap right now and I’m so grateful I can comfort her through breastfeeding, not just provide nutrition. She’s feeding away as I type 😉

    Well done for raising awareness Andrea and hope you don’t mind the late comment.

    Thanks,

    Sarah
    Sarah Courtney recently posted…Are You Living Your Fairy Tale?My Profile

    1. Oh Sarah, first of all, congratulations on your new little girl, and I’m so sorry to hear about what you’ve been through.
      It’s just awful that nobody was able to help you sooner, but I’m delighted you’ve got there now. Well done you for persevering for so long.
      And thank you for commenting, and keep telling your story – maybe someone else will be able to get help on foot of your experience.
      Take care,
      Andrea

  21. Same experience 4 years ago in Holles Street with my first born. And he actually ended up in intensive care with jaundice on day 5 because of this – due not getting enough food in!!! Midwifes in postnatal were useless, I was blamed not doing the breastfeeding correctly, crying behind the curtain, until the second day the 5th one of them finally looked into my baby’s mouth and suspected the tong tie. And even then all she did was point me to downstairs shop to buy formula and get myself a breast pump for home! Some supporting of breastfeeding this is!!! In there he was administered so much additional formula in- being too weak now and unable too latch! That, while I had plenty of my own milk! As a result he’s gut was ruined and he suffered with terrible colic for months! Finally I heard about a GP in Mynooth at the time, Chris O’Rourke who was able to release the tong tie in 2 mins (don’t think he does it anymore) and breastfeeding worked from that on perfectly. Still so angry with this all and especially that this issue still until today is completely unresolved in Irish biggest national hospital!!!

  22. My son is 10 months and h’s just been diagnosed. I breastfed him for 4 weeks and it was agony. Eventually gave up feeling like a complete failure. Recently I’ve noticed he wasn’t be to make certain sounds and upon further investigation I realised he has never stuck his tongue out, brought him to the gp and she saw it straight away. I’m so upset the it wasn’t found when I was having breastfeeding issues. We are booked in with Dr siun Murphy in 10 days to get the procedure done. Very disappointed I didn’t listen to my instincts that breastfeeding is hard but shouldn’t be as painful and difficult as I experienced

    1. This is so sad. I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the diagnosis earlier. There’s so much conflicting information out there – it’s impossible for anyone to judge themselves if it’s “hard” because it’s just early days, or hard because there’s something wrong. We shouldn’t have to work that out for ourselves. Maternity hospitals should routinely check for tongue tie, and if they won’t offer the frenotomy themselves, they should be referring to lactation consultants. I’m so sorry. Thank you for commenting and I’m glad you have the diagnosis now.

  23. it is sad to hear but this is still happening. Our 6 weeks old son it’s been having trouble getting a good lach, hence not getting enough milk. (we didn’t know until recently) My wife it’s been in pain most of the time since he was born. She’s been blaming herself for it thinking she was doing something wrong. Even after she went to a breastfeeding group in the Hospital, and the person leading the group didn’t spot that our son has tongue tie. Thank good we came across Catriona McCarthy, a lactation consultant who spot this straightway. We’ve been referred to the Camdem Clinic for him to be seen and hopefully this will be sorted.
    How is it possible in this era, where lots of information are available, where in Europe this is checked when babies are born and action is taking right away. No wonder why people are giving up on breastfeeding, i saw on my wife how hard it’s been on her, and even worse not knowing our son has this condition.
    We have a friend who lives in Spain and had a baby girl a week before our son was born, the nurse noticed she had tongue tie and a paediatrician confirmed it. It was sorted right at the beginning and she’s been breastfeeding her baby without pain/problem. I think it should be more emphasis in the diagnosis of it to prevent babies as well as mums going through the suffering. I feel so frustrated about it, more than a month a nobody even mentioned the tongue tie. I hope someone get to fixed this fail in the medical system.

  24. So, 4,5 years later from what I experienced with my firstborn in Holles I now had to face again with my third child :((( Baby was sent home and confirmed all OK and then after almost 3 months of struggeling with BF I took a baby to Camedon Str myself as I felt it could not be right and it turned out baby had a posterior tong tie. Even GP said there was no tong tie, but I managed to get the referal still. She just thought I should start the bottle and don’t have enough milk and that’s why baby is crying and not gaining :((( Nothing has improved since! This is criminal!!!

    1. What dreadful, dreadful advice from your GP – I’m so sorry. I can understand in a way that she missed the PTT – I know this can be hard to diagnose, but to tell you that it’s because you don’t have enough milk is so shameful. Another example of medical professionals not listening to mothers. I hope you’ve been able to get some help now dealing with the tongue tie and have been able to continue breastfeeding. But yes, how awful that this is still going on.

  25. Thanks for your article. My daughter is having speech delay. She is 2yrs and 4months. I had trouble breast feeding (pumping, crying through feeds etc) but persevered for 10 weeks, after that I gave up. I was only getting told that I obviously doing it wrong.
    I never heard of tongue tie not to mention the fact that every nurse, GP, PHN that I sent her to regarding her speech delay just said”don’t worry she will talk soon enough, then you won’t get her to be quiet” or “she looks fine, just wait another month”. I am bringing her to a speech therapist privately and even getting a hearing test done this week to cover all bases.
    So my question, all the surgeons mentioned in this feed seem to operate on babies under 1yr, where do I go to get my toddler checked out and sorted??? As she has started crèche recently i can she she is getting upset with frustration and started screaming as a reaction, so I want to sort this asap. Any suggestions are welcome! Thanks

    1. Oh that’s so frustrating – you were really let down by everyone, just like so many other people. Has the speech therapist said she has tongue tie or can you see if yourself? I think your best bet is to phone the clinics that do tongue tie division and see what they say – I think for children over a certain age, a general anaesthetic is required, so you may need a referral to a hospital. But start by calling the clinics anyway – they should be able to tell you what the next steps are. I’m guessing either way, your speech therapist would have to do a referral and confirm tongue tie. There’s a Facebook group for adults and children with tongue tie – if you join that, it would be a good place to ask your question. I’ve just gone in there now and actually the two most recent threads are about releasing tongue tie in older children. This is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1501417323507384/
      Best of luck,
      Andrea

  26. My 1st had TT which was diagnosed at 2 but dismissed as minor (yes he was breast fed for 7 months – luckily I had other pain so didn’t notice it too much). After 4 years of only partly successful Speech and Language Therapy – eventually our dentist saw it and said it was very bad and should be clipped. She was shocked it hadn’t been done already. He had a frenectomy age 7 with Dr Abi Moore in Blackrock Clinic, Dublin. She was great. Frustrating but so glad it’s done, at last. http://www.burlingtondentalclinic.ie/team2/dr-abigail-moore1/

    1. I’m glad to hear that your little boy got treatment but awful that he had to wait until he was 7. Thanks for the link – it’s great to know there are more options for people who are looking for treatment. Five years ago there was literally just the one!

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