My response to Doctor Emma Dunning who wrote this: http://www.nzdoctor.co.nz/blogs/2013/september-2013/10/ankyloglossia-a-must-have–for-the-fashionable-baby.aspx

 

Dear Emma,

Your blog that featured on NZ Doctor disgusts me. As a mother of two young boys, I couldn’t help but think it’s no wonder parents are loosing faith in Doctors these days when you have such outdated views on medical issues and procedures. Yes, absolutely, more babies and toddlers are having their tongue and lip ties released. As a mother of a 10 day old baby who had his released at 8 days old, I can tell you why. Knowledge. A wealth of information. A mother’s village.

Even before my midwife checked Eric’s mouth, I’d heard of tongue and lip ties. There are Facebook support groups for them, did you know that? That mothers are SO frustrated and underwhelmed by the support of some Doctors and lactation consultants, that there are national and local support groups that mothers can join on Facebook. Maybe you should join one and hear the struggles of these mothers who battle for their babes. I think you’d find it enlightening. The national discussion group has a wealth of information for Mums. You can find information about ties and how to check for them, there’s a multitude of photos that mothers have taken, so plenty of photos for you to view of babies that have ties and a website that has been made by these mums listing Doctors, Midwives Dentists and Lactation consultants that will support and help you with your baby’s ties. Let me tell you, this isn’t something we are making up. It IS a genuine problem.

How you think that we are putting our babes through the procedure of having them snipped because it’s ‘trendy’ is beyond me and frankly, it’s ridiculous! As parents, all we want for our babies is the best start in life that we can give them. That doesn’t include having procedures done willy-nilly. On the advice of my midwife, I had Eric assessed by a local GP who comes highly recommended, to see if he had a tongue and lip tie. After talking to Dr Brillhart about our breastfeeding issues, he took my squalling baby and checked his mouth, confirming yes, he did have a posterior tongue tie and a lip tie. After a discussion and watching him feed off the bottle, he said that both would require snipping if we were to go ahead. My husband and I had discussed this before the appointment and had agreed prior that if the DR deemed snipping necessary, we would have the procedure done. This was not a decision made lightly.

I can tell you that it DOES make a difference to breastfeeding. While Eric’s latch was ‘great’, it was painful to latch him, my nipples would be squashed and misshapen when he came off the breast and he wasn’t feeding efficiently which meant he required formula top ups. After the ties were released, within 24 hours, he was dribbling milk when he came off the breast, my nipples are no longer squashed and misshapen and his formula top ups have dropped from 50-80mls per feed to a max of 20mls per feed. And by your definition, his ties wouldn’t need cutting, I just need to harden up and get on with it. Screw that.

You obviously have no personal experience with tongue or lip ties, or reflux (which you refer to right at the end of your blog,) or you would not be so judgemental of parents who have their baby’s ties snipped, nor would you discount their struggles. Breastfeeding is hard work. Breastfeeding and struggling to do so is even harder. Were you fortunate enough to have problem free feeding? Lucky you, if you did. Or did you bottle feed? Bottle feeding Mama’s can have just as many issues where there are ties involved, the complete opposite to your personal findings. Clicking, gulping, babies that are extremely windy. The same issues that some of our fellow breastfeeding Mamas have. Ties don’t care how baby is fed.

Shayne

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