Breastfeeding struggles - Part One

When my son was born in March 2009, he had a severe tongue tie. The entire end of his tongue was stuck to the bottom of his mouth. Because of this, he could not latch properly to breastfeed. The tongue tie was not noticed by midwives, but my Mum noticed it three days after he was born when he was screaming (as he wasn't getting enough milk). He was also attaching poorly, causing me pain and cracked nipples. The midwives encouraged me to give up breastfeeding and to bottle feed. I ignored them. 


However, I bottle fed my son expressed milk as he could not breastfeed at all. I fought and fought and fought to get his tongue tie cut. The GPs initially said that they would refer my son when he got to two years old, if he had a speech problem. After me calling a few times a day in tears, they said they would refer him to plastics but to expect to wait 14 weeks before we got a referral appointment, so in total a wait of around 5-6 months before an operation. 


When he was 8 days old, with me at my wits end, a new midwife came round to see me. She instantly said, oh no, that's a simple procedure, I'll refer you today. Two days later, his tongue was cut. It was an extremely simple procedure without anaesthetic. The ENT consultant simply snipped the tie with surgical scissors and handed my son back to me. He breastfed instantly and although we encountered some struggles along the way, we managed to make it to six months with him being exclusively breastfed. 


I want to reassure people that the operation is simple. No anaesthetic is required and your baby should only feel pain for a second. If they have the operation at the age of two, it is my understanding that they have to go through a general anaesthetic which would be far more stressful for a parent. I was so frustrated that the midwives were actively encouraging me to give up breastfeeding when it was something I felt so strongly about. Stick with your instincts, you are generally right!
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