I was looking back at some old photos and then happened upon some very startling photos of my second born.
This is her at 4 months old. She was breastfed for a very long time but when she was first born she lost weight quickly and as she began to go in for checkups, the doctor noticed her weight gain curve was not normal. I also pumped with her because I was working and I diligently pumped to make sure she had enough milk at daycare. Unfortunately, when I picked her up, there was a lot of excess milk left and we couldn't figure out why. I started to give away some of the milk because it was building up and the mom who came to pick it up told me that her child had tongue tie which in turn led to her milk supply dropping which is why she needed to supplement with donated breastmilk.
At the time, I had never heard of tongue tie and then I googled it. It oddly seemed very similar to what I was seeing with my own child. When she would cry, her whole tongue would lift up except in the middle, it pulled down drastically in the middle. She had a thin membrane under her tongue that almost went to the end of her tongue. I didn't realize that this could possibly be preventing her from getting the milk that she wanted and needed. She did have oddly short nursing sessions and she did often cry during BF sessions though I didn't put it all together until I had met this mom.
I contacted her pediatrician and unfortunately, they said that usually with tongue tie you don't want to correct it but wait until they are older to see if anything develops. They did not want to do much with it and it also seemed it would take many referrals and specialists to see if it was indeed tongue tie if that was something I wanted to investigate.
Well, luckily my mother was a dentist and in her generation, treating tongue tie was done frequently and was an easy fix though most dentists today are more careful with treating it and don't treat it as frequently as in the past. We were on track to visit her over the holidays so we made sure during the visit that she checked out my daughter's tongue and indeed she felt it was the reason she was not getting the nourishment she needed. She trimmed the membrane and didn't even need anesthetic because it didn't have any blood vessels or nerves in it, it was very thin, almost transparent. My daughter was mostly uncomfortable because of having to open her mouth and keep it open. Though I was a little concerned because I hadn't fully educated myself on the dangers of correcting it, my mother assured me that it was better to correct it than to wait.
Here is a picture of her one month later, it's almost comical, the difference - now you will want to scroll up and look at her before picture.
Think she's getting the milk she needed? lol
And this one, taken one month later.
LOL. Thought for a minute we would have to enroll her in baby Curves or something! Once we went for her 6 month checkup the doctor was so happy that she corrected her course on the charts. They also said baby fat due to breastmilk feeding was not an indicator of obesity and was actually very healthy and normal. After 6 months, her weight normalized and she's a beautiful 3 year old now! It also has not affected her speech at all, though I'm not sure if tongue tie, if allowed to remain, would affect speech patterns when kids grow older. My guess is that it would because you need the tip of your tongue to create certain speech pattern sounds and if your tongue can't lift up to the top of your mouth, you wouldn't be able to create those sounds. *Disclaimer I'm not a medical professional so this is just my personal account with my own child. You should always consult your doctor or dentist before making any medical or dental decisions that would affect your child.
So, moms, if your baby seems to be having trouble putting on weight, this could be one of the many reasons. I'm happy I just managed to run into someone who had the same issue!
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Always A Parent is my blog about parenting, business, entrepreneurship, pregnancy, and motherhood. MULTIWEAR® is my product design business selling products for busy moms, nursing and breastfeeding moms as well as diaper bags and gym bags.
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