Help with a tongue tie:
My breastfeeding journey so far…
Dora was born by induced labour, it was incredibly quick and resulted in a tear. I was able to have skin to skin from the moment she was born; from the moment she came out she was sucking her fingers and hasn’t stopped since!
The midwife asked me if I was planning on breastfeeding and helped Dora latch on whilst I was being sutured. I was incredibly naïve to all aspects of breastfeeding I honestly thought “well how hard can this be?” How wrong was I!
Breastfeeding was incredibly painful, up on the ward later that day I kept mentioning how painful it was which was met with mixed responses and suggestions some helpful and some not so, during the night by which time my nipples were blistered and every feed was met with pain and stress the most fantastic nursing auxiliary came to help me she looked in Dora’s mouth and said that she had a Tongue Tie. She sat with me and helped me to try and get a better latch taught me various different positions and even cup fed my little one to give me some respite from the pain.
That next morning we were referred for the tongue tie to be divided but unfortunately this could not be done for a further two days. I dreaded every single feed and they took so long there was barely any breaks from the end of one and the start of the next. Finally the tongue tie was divided which took a matter of seconds and appeared to cause very little distress to Dora.
Now I naively thought ‘Brilliant it will be plain sailing from here’ which it wasn’t. The pain was no different. I went to Kendal Breastfeeding Group with a friend and met a brilliant and very patient breastfeeding councillor but this first session ended with my leaving in floods of tears as Dora would just not play ball.
I struggled on with the pain for another week giving the ‘odd bottle’ for some relief and seeking advice from a variety of sources. Two incorrect things stuck in my mind: being told ‘breastfeeding hurts’ and also by a health professional to just stop and give bottles. However, my friend encouraged me to go back which I can honestly say was the best thing I ever did, Ann spent a lot of time helping me with positioning and helping Dora re-learn how to latch.
This I realised finally was not going to happen overnight and was going to take some perseverance but with the different positioning techniques Ann showed me there was an instant improvement in the pain and slowly over the next few days things got easier and less painful.
Now 20 weeks down the line Dora is a healthy 15 pounds 2 ounces, I no longer dread the feeds and I enjoy the closeness and bond it has given us. I am also donating milk to the local milk bank which is something that until recently I didn’t even know existed, it’s so simple and they don’t put you under any pressure to donate set amounts; they send out everything by post and then arrange collections every few weeks, the donated milk goes for premature babies and I think any excess can go for research, breastfeeding has finally become that easy thing I thought it would be from the beginning.
– Sally, mum of Dora