Tongue Tied

Hello good morning! This is Shellane and I am a mama to a set of fraternal twins: I was super efficient and fortunate to welcome both a boy and a girl in a single pregnancy.

My pregnancy was fairly uneventful. Okay, not completely true, I was like a small oil tanker but other than that, everything went very smoothly considering. I delivered at 38 weeks; 36 weeks is considered term for twins.

I had decided that I would indeed breastfeed my twins. I had been a formula baby myself, having been born during a time where formula was the choice of many new mothers. I think this choice stemmed from convenience as well as breastfeeding being considered “out of fashion” and a generation of new, young mothers taking an independent stance from generations past.

I was lucky to give birth in a hospital that encouraged breastfeeding and even had a visit from their in-house lactation consultant. I was closely instructed by the LC on how to properly position my babies, how to get them to latch on (some misfires there, of course. And by misfires, I mean “ouch” but those were quickly remedied), how long to nurse them, when to nurse them, how often they would eat and so many things that my head spun.

We brought our two bundles of joy home and quickly settled into this routine: one was an eater and one was a sleeper. During our first few days at home, I quickly realized that my girl had a much different approach to eating than my boy. She would often come to me ready and eager to feed but within minutes - like 2 or 3 minutes, she would fall asleep then awaken some time later, ready to go another round. My son on the other hand (other breast?) seemed to feed for a longer time and sleep more restfully.

While gazing upon the oh-so-cute faces of my newborns, I realized something: my daughter could not stick her little tongue out. Her tongue just barely reached beyond her lips. We were slated for our week checkup the following day, so I brought this up with our pediatrician. He quickly determined the issue: she was tongue tied, meaning that her frenulum was shortened and did not allow full range of her tongue and probably the reason she tired out while nursing.

We met with a pediatric dentist the next day; the “surgery” consisted of a small snip and her tongue was freed! With that, she was able to extend her tongue and with the first try, I could see that she was taking in milk so much easier than she had been.

Lesson here: trust yourself. If you see something that doesn’t seem quite right with your baby, mention it. If your doctor does not take your concern seriously, find a doctor who will. You will be the voice of your baby for the next year and their growth and success rides on you speaking up on their behalf.

Hang in there mamas. Enjoy those cuddles, new baby smell and baby chub!