Post # 1
My nipples have always been fairly flat, but the left is worse than the right. Baby T had difficulty latching on the left side when he was first born. The hospital gave me a hand pump to try and help pull my nipple out, but at our pediatrician check up on day 3, the nurse/lactation consultant said to use a nipple shield. I got one, and once he got used to it on the left, wouldn’t nurse on the right without it. So we’ve been using it since then. I haven’t had any problems, except a week or two where nursing was pretty painful, but it went away. I went to a local La Leche League meeting and met with a really highly recommended lactation consultant who was showing me how to get him to latch without it so I could start weaning him. She said we were really lucky that we hadn’t had problems, because many babies who use a nipple shield don’t gain much weight and the mom usually has a lot of pain and her supply goes down because the nipple shield prevents the baby from getting the milk out effectively. She said we could cut the frenulum so he can get his tongue out to latch better and then we can wean him off the nipple shield. I’ve tried to nurse him a few times without the shield and it’s difficult to get him to latch well and I get a pinching pain.
So on to my questions:
1. Anyone use nipple shields? Did you have issues with supply and pain? Did your LO gain weight well? How long did you use them for? Did you eventually wean off them?
2. If your child was tongue tied, did you cut the frenulum? Did it help with nursing?
Post # 3
I didn’t nurse but I was born tongue tied and my oldest daughter was as well. I had mine corrected when I was 12yrs old. I have not corrected my oldest daughters because it hasn’t hindered her speech or anything else. I’m not sure that’s totally helpful info for you other than, it most likely doesn’t have serious effects on the child. Good Luck!
Post # 4
This hasn’t happened to me, but your story could be written by a close friend of mine I swear! Her son was born tongue tied and they clipped it probably about two weeks after he was born. It wasn’t a big deal. She was worried he would be uncomfortable or in a lot of distress but apparently he was fine. I think that day he was a bit fussy, but after that things improved greatly. He’s definitely eating a lot better!
She’s also using a nipple shield nursing (she developed a sort of yeast infection on one side and it was really painful for her to nurse) and I think it’s helped her although she doesn’t enjoy using it at all. Her son is definitely gaining weight and is a big boy so I don’t think it’s hindering his getting enough to eat! He was born about 2 months ago at just under 8 lbs and is now about 11 lbs 🙂 The plan (I believe) is to wean him off of it ASAP, she’s just waiting for her infection to finally go away which can take upwards of a month.
Sorry I don’t have better answers, but I thought I’d share since my friend has been going through something similar!
Post # 5
so, i have nothing helpful to add because my LO isnt here yet. Just wanted to share, I was pretty sure where the frenulum
Post # 6
I had my frenulum clipped as a baby. When my son was born, we were having trouble with nursing and I was using a nipple shield. Finally, a pediatrician noticed that he was very tongue tied. My supply was low and he was having trouble gaining weight (almost readmitted at 4 days old because of weight loss). We had a frenotomy and he now has more tongue movement and I can typically nurse without the nipple shield. At 3 weeks, my supply has unfortunately stayed low even with fenugreek, pumping, etc… and we are still supplementing with formula. I am actually thinking of stopping nursing because it has been so stressful for me, and for my son. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions.
Post # 7
The #1 reason why babies don’t gain weight on nipple shields:
LLL does not inform the mother of the necessity to supplement after the baby nurses on a breast with a shield.
The holes in the shield are smaller and fewer. The baby gets less milk. So if baby nurses for 40 minutes, they’re basically getting the amount of milk they would have gotten at 20 minutes. So you’re supposed to give the baby a bottle of expressed milk, or nurse twice as long as you normally would.
This lack of adequate breastmilk can cause failure to thrive, and even death. My son almost died because La Leche League doesn’t inform mothers on this.
Post # 8
@mrstilly: We haven’t been using nipple shields, but my son was diagnosed with posterior tongue-tie today. We are going to an ENT tomorrow afternoon to get an assessment and have his frenulum clipped. I don’t have any advice, but I will let you know what difference I see in his latch/nursing once he has the procedure.
Post # 9
@futuremrshc: Thankfully this isn’t an issue for us. The LLL consultants I have met with have seemed to be very informed and helpful. I have been using the Medela nipple shields, which have four holes, which is way more than the breastflow bottle we’re using. I’m not sure if there are differences or not between brands. When I pull him off my breast, I can see milk in and around the nipple shield, and when my breast is very full, I can fill the nipple shield and it leaks out of it rather quickly before I get him latched on, so it seems like if you have milk, it comes through the shield quickly. Baby T was 10lbs 9oz at brith and was 13lbs 10oz at 5 weeks, so he isn’t having any issues with weight gain, and he’s only feeding between 5 and 12 minutes a side.
@jubyju22: It would be great to hear if there are any changes in your sons latch after the procedure.
@bakerella: I’m glad to hear that your friend’s LO was’t in too much pain after the procedure. DH is really concerned about putting him through it, but it doesn’t sound like it’s too bad.
I’m hesitant to go through the procedure right now since we are doing okay for the time being. But my LO does get quite gassy and he’s been spitting up more often, since every time he latches he sucks down air until he gets to the milk. It’d also be nice to not have to worry about if I have a shield with me, or if I drop it and don’t have another clean one. I also worry about speech issues in the future, since I am tongue tied and was in speech therapy for 2 years in elementary school.
Post # 10
The times that tongue-ties are fixed are during infancy (if there’s trouble feeding), during toddlerhood/beginning of school (if there’s trouble with speech), or later on if the child has trouble swallowing and eating normally. I saw a girl who was so badly tongue-tied that she literally could not bring her tongue out of her mouth, meaning she couldn’t lick an ice cream cone, and she had trouble making some speech sounds (like Ls and Ts). The procedure really isn’t a big deal at all, takes just a minute, fast recovery, etc. So I’d talk to an ENT and see what they think. I really can’t see it being something you’d regret, and it may be something you wished you’d done sooner. Can’t hurt to get more information at least!
Post # 11
If you are considering doing the procedure, I would recommend doing it now rather than later. I was tongue-tied, it didn’t really affect my speech except L’s were sometimes difficult. But when I was 20 I needed to have my tonsils out and my ENT convinced me to get a frenulectomy too. It was the worst healing process ever. I had to get stitches under my tongue because she cut it too far and my tongue was swollen for days. She did tell me that had it been done when I was a baby, I wouldn’t have had any problems since kids heal so quickly.
Post # 12
I used nipple shields when nursing my first daughter and had no problems at all.
Post # 13
@mrstilly: We went yesterday to anENT and had our sons tongue looked at. The ENT said he was definitely tongue tied and that we should clip it. She explained the procedure and why we should do it. She said that tongue tie can affect his ability not just to nurse, but to eat solid food when the time comes. Plus she said it can make speech difficult and it is better to do it now than wait. We went ahead and had it clipped. He screamed and it about broke my heart, but he nursed quickly afterwards. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in how his nursing feels.. it hurts less and he seems more efficient. I would definitely recommend getting your son looked at and going ahead with the procedure if that is what they recommend. Good luck!