My son was born in 2009 at a birth center with CNMs. He was breathing fast when not nursing at the center and so we transferred to the local NICU to make sure he was ok. Later I learned that breathing oddly can be a sign of a tt. (he was also 9lbs). At the hospital I asked at least two different “lactation specialists” to check his latch and everything as I had difficulty with my daughter. They glanced at him and said he was fine. We left after two days. At home he would attach fine and was gaining weight and generally doing much better then his sister had. But I didn’t think his latch looked quite right and I was feeling bruised. I took him to the LC at my CNMs office and she immediately saw what I saw. He had a posterior tongue tie and and very thick tight lip tie. He couldn’t flange his top lip out and while his tongue could stick out a little he couldn’t keep it over his gums and it was obvious it would slip back if you let him suck on your finger. I went to my pediatrician and asked for a referral to an ENT to clip his lip and tongue. She didn’t know anything about breastfeeding or tongue ties but was agreeable to the referral. At the ENT they said the tongue tie probably wouldn’t affect his speech. I told them I wasn’t worried about his speech at this point (he was maybe 4 weeks old) but he was hurting me. They agreed to clip his lip (it was very thick and tight) and did so at the following appointment, but they would not clip his tongue. He continued to have his tongue slip back while feeding.
I read that dentists generally know more about tongue ties then other drs so when he was 6 weeks old and I went to my regular teeth cleaning appointment I asked my dentist if she knew anything about tongue ties. She said yes and agreed to look at my son (who was with me anyway). She said she could fix it right then and there and after putting a bit of lidocaine on it she clipped it. He couldn’t nurse right away due to the lidocaine, but after it wore off he did much better then before. He started playing with his tongue by sticking it out all the time. He did that for months. He also stopped hurting me while feeding. He nursed until just after 3 and is a healthy happy preschooler with no speech problems.
I don’t know what would have happened if my dentist wasn’t so awesome. I don’t know why the NICU nurses and the CPMs (who were otherwise great) didn’t catch it sooner, or why the ENT and ped didn’t understand.