I always knew I wanted to breastfeed if I had a child. I was breastfed and I figured that’s what boobies are for.
Randomly I just love the word boobies, boob. Just so friendly sounding!
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed, what I didn’t really know was what that meant. I thought you just put baby to the boob and boom breastfeeding. I’m at that stage now, 7 months in, but I wasn’t at first.
Before I go any further I am not shaming any mother who does not breastfeed. Yes I think breast is best but sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way.
As part of the newborn assessment it was identified that Sidekick had a tongue tie. I learnt that a tongue tie is where the strip of skin connecting the baby’s tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual. If you need more info on tongue ties the NHS has info here.
I was assured by all the Midwives that it wouldn’t be an issue, it didn’t look that bad. See that phrase ‘it doesn’t look bad’ should have been a red flag, because surely its not about how it looks its about how the tongue moves because of it? But you know just squeezed a person out of me.
So we began breastfeeding. I could get her to latch well on my left boob but not on the right. My milk came in within 24hours, a bit unusual for a first time mum, and boy did I produce milk. I was like a cow, seriously so much milk. My right boob had a really strong flow so Sidekick ended up choking all the time.
But whilst Sidekick was feeding and producing lots of nappies her weight dropped. I had to have lots of follow ups to make sure she was gaining weight. She was but it was hurting me.
To ensure she made up her weight I religiously fed her every two hours but my nipples paid the price.
Despite Sidekicks latch being good (I was seen by a lot of breastfeeding nurses) I was still getting chapped, bleeding nipples. I was applying nipple cream all the time but it just wasn’t helping.
I raised the issue of her tongue-tie with my Health Visitor and she was the only professional at this point to actually put her fingers in Sidekicks mouth to feel how her tongue worked. She referred us straight away.
Turns out the tongue tie was bad. We went and saw a specially trained doctor and they said and I quote ‘Its not about how it looks, it’s about how it feels’ turns out Sidekicks felt pretty bad, so bad it had to be cut twice.
The procedure doesn’t really hurt as the tie they are cutting doesn’t have many nerves but its unpleasant. You imagine having scissors in your mouth!
As soon as it was done Sidekick was put straight on the boob. I cannot describe the difference in terms of how her feeding felt, especially on the destructo right boob. Feeding no longer hurt, Sidekick fed calmly.
The difference this made to her feeding is huge. No longer was she forever on the boob, she started to gain weight, my nipples began to recover, I began to breathe a little easier.
So if you’ve stumbled across this post because your baby is affected by a tongue tie and you think it’s causing problems, I would strongly suggest you demand to see a specialist. They will advise you on whether or not a tongue division (that’s the name given to the snip) is required and you can always opt not to have it done.
Having this simple procedure done made Sidekick happier and it saved my nipples!!
So now we happily feed whenever she wants it. It took a while getting here but I’m so glad we did.