Signs and Symptoms of Tongue Tie and Lip Ties

We have had quite a busy month in New York. One of the more notable things that we’ve done while we were here is get Emilia’s tongue tie and lip tip revision done. I knew from when Emilia was about a week old that she had a lip and tongue tie. I found out when Emilia was just a couple of weeks old while at her chiropractor. Our chiropractor, Dr. Dodge has done a wonderful job of bringing awareness of lip and tongue ties to the area which is really helping a lot of moms with their breastfeeding relationships.

emilia chiro

I had no idea what the effects of a tongue tie or lip tie was until I started doing some research after I realized that Kyla had a lip tie. One of the things that I learned is that if there is a lip tie present that there is most likely a tongue tie present as well. I also learned about all the signs and symptoms of tongue and lip ties.

What’s a tongue tie and lip tie?

A tie occurs when the frenum that connects the tongue or lip to the surrounding structures is tight, too wide or attaches to an area that prevents normal function.

Signs and Symptoms for Mom

  • flattened nipples
  • cracked/blistered/bleeding nipples
  • plugged ducts, mastitis, thrush
  • pain while nursing
  • milk supply issues

Signs and Symptoms for Baby

  • poor latch
  • Bloating, Gassiness
  • Poor weight gain or weight loss
  • gumming/chewing/biting of nipples during nursing
  • hard time taking a pacifier or bottle
  • long feeding time and/or frequent nursing
  • Infrequent bowel movements (please see below)

Long Term Effects

  • Issues with Speech
  • Tooth decay due to milk being trapped between lip and teeth (with a lip tie)

The symptoms that Emilia and I experienced are: 

  • flattened nipples
  • gumming of nipples
  • infrequent bowel movements

The bowel movements of baby isn’t a symptom that I came across often, if at all but it nagged at me anyway. I’ve always been told that it can be normal for breastfeeding babies to not poop often however my older kids would have bowel movements every day multiples times a day. Emilia on the other hand would only have a bowel movement every 3-4 days. It was odd for me and while I know every baby is different something about it seemed off for me.

When I worked with Doctors on Demand I found Tanja Knutson a lactation consultant who specializes in tongue and lip ties. When I spoke with her I asked her if Emilia’s bowel movements could be related to her tongue tie and her response was ABSOLUTELY! Why? Because her tongue wasn’t able to stimulate the vagus nerve which helps to stimulate digestion.

The gumming of my nipples and the infrequent bowel movements is what ultimately made me decide that I was going to move forward with a tongue and lip tie revision.

Tongue Tie Before & After

 tongue tie

Lip Tie Before & After

lip tie

These picture were both taken right before and right after the procedure was done! Within a week I noticed that Emilia wasn’t clamping down as much and after two weeks she was having daily bowel movements which is a huge increase from her previous every 3-4 days. She also healed really quickly which is a huge plus. I’ll be sharing more before and after pictures to show how she has been healing and things we did to help the process along.

Does your baby have a lip or tongue tie? Do you have any questions about the revision process? 

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