My daughter was born in December and I had been determined to breastfeed her- I didn’t with my first and always regretted it.
From the word go I knew something wasn’t right – constant pain and clicking when feeding, baby never satisfied and compressed white nipples.
I grabbed anyone passing at the hospital and asking them to check everything was alright and was told ‘yes, pain is normal’ and given some cream to soothe my nipples which by this point (less than 24 hours from birth) were cracked, bleeding and very very sore.
A couple of days later things were no better, in fact worse. I was given a feeding cup to give my breasts a break by the midwife and gave my daughter expressed milk this way eventually moving to expressed milk from a bottle. I was so nervous about feeding my daughter again because the pain was unbearable. I tried but encountered the same problems.
After searching online I found Milk Matters website and realised my daughter was showing almost all the signs of a tongue tie. I spent every spare minute reading up on them and when I saw my midwife when my daughter was five days old I asked her to check for a tongue tie. She looked and very quickly said she had no tongue tie as her tongue was not heart shaped. I knew from
research this was not always the case but as she is the health professional I didn’t feel confident enough to argue with her.
I continued to express and try my daughter at the breast. She would get very frustrated and it was very upsetting. However her problem was not only at the breast. She struggled with a bottle unable to grasp the teat properly, it would keep bobbing in and out of her mouth, sometimes she would manage to grasp and take a good few ounce and others took barely anything. She would
arch, scream and cry and get very upset and frustrated at feeding time – in fact I dreaded it. She would become so tired from all the crying she would eventually fall asleep exhausted with an empty stomach
As well as feeds been a horrible battle she was very unsettled all the time, she never slept soundly always fidgeting and crying out, she never let me put her down and woke straight away when I did ( very tough going with a two year old :/)
She suffered from terrible wind, stomach cramps, symptoms of colic and reflux and she had a sucking blister on her top lip.
Overall she was a very very unhappy baby and I felt totally helpless! All I could do was try and get as much food into her as I could and it wasn’t easy. I expressed my concerns to my health visitor saying I was adamant she had a tongue and after saying her tongue could move about fine so she didn’t have a tongue tie, she watched me feed her and said maybe she had thrush, reflux, or the milk wasn’t coming from the bottle fast enough! Hmm… I think not, I know my baby!!
After numerous distressed calls to health visitors, doctors and NHS breastfeeding workers, my daughter had been prescribed gaviscon for reflux (which I didn’t give her) and Nutramigen formula for cow’s milk protein intolerance. My first daughter had suffered reflux which had improved with specialised formula, and so I agreed to try it in desperation as baby also had excema on her cheeks (which they also said was a sign of milk intolerance) - I just wanted my baby to be happy. So at about 5 weeks I stopped expressing – a demanding two year old and a screaming newborn was not a good combination
I got in touch with Charlotte at Milk, who was fab – after our lengthy conversation I was 100% convinced my daughter had a tongue tie – it was such a relief talking to someone that understood and sympathised and for the first time I wasn’t made to feel like a neurotic mum who just couldn’t cope with a baby that cries a lot.
I then went back to my local breastfeeding support and a couple of lactation consultants who told me that as my daughter was no longer breastfed, even if she did have a tongue tie it wouldn’t be done on the NHS.
My point being she still would have been breastfed if I’d have received the support from the start!!
So I then got back in touch with Charlotte and arranged an appointment for my daughter.
I cannot put into words how happy I was when Charlotte quickly confirmed my daughter had a tongue tie (75% and very obvious) I was so relieved I could have burst into tears!
My daughters tongue tie was snipped there and then by Ann. The procedure itself was very quick, and although it bled a bit and she cried she was fine after ten minutes the appointment took a couple of hours and was fab. Although they were very busy we never felt rushed and everything was explained thoroughly. We fired away with all sorts of questions hehe As well as the tongue tie Milk highlighted what my daughter’s body positioning and language was telling us about her discomfort, and further advice as to how to help best soothe her.
It’s now 2 weeks since our appointment and she is a completely different baby. She feeds like a dream now. NO wind. NO crying. NO tummy ache. NO longer unhappy and NO Numtramigen!
She makes all sorts of sounds she never made before and is a very smiley happy girl
I could burst I’m so happy but when I think back to the 8 weeks that she spent in total misery im so so angry that I wasn’t listened to and she was left to suffer through it.
I cannot thank Charlotte enough for all her help and Ann for clipping her tongue tie. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon the website totally changed our lives :)) We paid privately to see milk matters and it was the best money I’ve ever spent.
My only regret is that I didn’t find them sooner then I could still be breastfeeding ( I sought advice about re-lactating but after a while of not expressing we decided that for us it was not to be. My poor girl has been through so much that I didn’t want to stress her all over again learning how to breastfeed again)
The non judgemental help, support and knowledge Charlotte gave was-invaluable and I am very very grateful.
Huge thank you from me and my tongue tied little lady