Nanny to Mommy: Lip Tie - What is it?



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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lip Tie - What is it?

I received an email today from a mother who thanked me because she came across my blog and had to google lip tie, but realized this may have been the reason she had issues during her breastfeeding journey. Then I realized that although I may have mentioned lip tie, I never discussed what it is.

I was looking at your blog and read about your daughter having a lip tie. I wanted to say thank you, because I never heard of that condition so I googled it. That's when I realised my daughter has the same issue. I managed to bf her until she was 18months but it was sooooo hard and I was still feeling guilty about it. So thank you! If I have another baby in the future at least I will know! :)


Breastfeeding a Baby with Lip Tie

SweetPea self-weaned at 14 months. I had trouble with her latch in the beginning and constant issues with supply. My daughter was always on the lower side of the dreaded percentiles. And I blamed myself constantly. The horrible mommy guilts had sunk in.

When SweetPea was around 18 months old, I came across a blog (and for the life of me I can not remember it now) that talked about lip tie and included pictures. I now know what my daughter had that made our breastfeeding relationship more difficult, that I believe contributed to my PPD, but now I know for my next baby and ways to boost my supply, so I won't get as frustrated with myself.

SweetPea went undiagnosed but I could have saved myself a ton of heartache and stress. If you are having issues with your baby's latch or your supply, I would talk to a doctor about upper labial tie (which is the scientific name of lip tie). Now there isn't much they know about the issue. But I think just knowing your child has a lip tie, can help with the stress levels, which can ultimately help with the breastfeeding bond in general.


What is an upper labial tie?

Inside your mouth, there is a small fold of tissue which runs between your upper lip and gum (you can feel it with your tongue). This is called the maxillary labial frenulum (or frenum). Most people have no significant frenulum attachment, but sometimes this frenulum attaches further down the gum, or runs between the front teeth and attaches behind them, causing restricted movement of the upper lip. It's similar to tongue tie, but involving the upper lip and gum instead. An upper labial tie can occur on its own or in conjunction with a tongue tie. It's also possible to have a lower labial tie (involving the bottom lip and gum).

Breastfeeding an Infant with Lip Tie

This picture is the best I could get of my daughter, but there are better ones online.


Depending on the severity of the lip tie, they may want to clip the frenulum. Like with any child surgery, make sure you have done your research on all the risks involved, also research doctors, as well as the procedure that will be done. We worked through our lip tie. With the help of breastfeeding cookies, fenugreek, and frequent feedings. There are lip ties that are severe than hers. Just consult your lactation consultant or pediatrician.


When should you consult a physician?

You are the mama and ultimately know what is best. So if you feel you need to talk to a doctor about it and even seek a second opinion, then you do what you feel is best. Trust those mommy instincts. Other times to talk to your doctor or lactation consultant are if your latch is painful. In the beginning, the initial latch on might be painful. As the baby nurses though, it should not continue to be painful. Try repositioning your baby. After years of working in child care, my main issue was how I was holding SweetPea to nurse. Baby and mommy should be tummy to tummy.
You should also talk to your doctor if you feel your child isn't urinating enough. Breastfed babies can sometimes go 5 to 7 days with out pooping, some poop every hour, but they should, according to KellyMom, have one wet diaper for each day of life (1 on day one, 2 on day two…). But once mom’s milk comes in, expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet.

I hope you find this helpful. My favorite resource for breastfeeding advice is KellyMom. Feel free to share your breastfeeding experience or questions in the comments below! :)

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13 comments:

  1. Interesting! I've never heard of such a thing, but it makes sense.

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  2. found you via the blog hop! following you too! interesting post. i plan to breastfeed my kids if i can when i have them. i hope to learn more about frugal living, freebies and parenting tips! my blog: http://myeloquentrambles.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. A very small percentage of women actually can't breastfeed for some reason. You can do it, future mama! :)

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  3. Hi, I am visiting from the Ultimate Blog Party. Sweet Pea is just adorable :) I have never heard of Lip Tie before. You did a good job of explaining it. This is definitely information to know.

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  4. Hello I am your newest follower from the blog hop on your blog would love for you to follow me back. Thanks :) Feel free to Like or Follow me on my other media sites!!!

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  5. I'm visiting from UBP. I love your blog name because I did that too (went from a nanny to a mommy) and yes, it is so worth it!
    I had never heard of lip tie either. Little Man and I had lots of trouble with nursing and I had a lot of guilt about it. I have no idea if this was the problem but if it was it would have been nice to know.

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  6. Hi new follower from SSS...funny I have an pediatrician from that is great at her job, but she ask the same questions when it comes to her children...when to consult a pediatrician. lol
    Living F.A.B.ulously on Purpose

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  7. I think it's wonderful that you blogging about this was able to help someone else. :)

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  8. Great resource!

    Nice to 'meet' you!

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  9. My oldest son had a tied tongue. It was cut a 3 weeks of age. He continued to breastfeed for 3 years and 3 months. My middle son had no such condition and was breastfed for almost 2 years.
    My youngest came along and I just couldn't get him to latch on well at all. The lactation consultants at the hospital didn't believe me when I told them there was something wrong with him and not my positioning. I informed them of my first child's frenulum so they checked the baby's tongue. They did not bother to check his lip, though. After a week at home he began screaming for hunger and I had no choice but to resort to the formula I was given as samples.
    It took quite a few office visits before they finally discovered his lip being tied. It never occurred to me this could have been the problem.

    Thank you for sharing this important information with other moms who may not know this is possible with any baby.

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  10. I've never heard of this before now. Glad you shared. I have a lot of breastfeeding mommy friends (my children are all weaned) and will direct them here if anyone runs into this issue. Thanks for sharing! I'm visiting from www.artistic31mama.com and the Mom's Monday Mingle. I'm one of the co-hosts this week and I'm glad you joined us! I'm following via all your social media. Have a great week!

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  11. I just wanted to let you know I featured your post over at the Tuesday Baby link up this week! Thanks for linking up.

    www.adventureswithcaptaindestructo.com

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  12. Thanks so much for sharing this - not something I'd every heard of, would be great if you could add it to the breastfeeding link up - Alice x

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Thank you for dropping by! I would love to hear what you thought. :)

Thanks!
♥,
Diana