Posted by: thiscait | October 16, 2008

The Snip

Did that get your attention?  Put down your weapons, I’m talking about his tongue. 

Teddy has had issues with nursing from the beginning.  He has gotten enough to grow into a huge and healthy nearly six-week-old, but it has not been easy for him.  He chokes frequently, swallows a ton of air, and has to do a lot of starting and stopping along the way.  It seemed to be getting worse rather than better, so Jen visited a lactation consultant this week.  We assumed it was just that Jen has always tended toward oversupply, and nursing two has ramped that up.  Wrong.  The LC grew more and more concerned as Jen spoke and after some investigating decided that Teddy’s tongue was not moving enough to fully block of his airway when he swallowed.  She also decided that his tendency to arch was probably torticollis and that he has imbalanced muscle tone.  Jen left with her head spinning.

Yesterday was one of the hardest days he’s had yet.  He was miserably gassy from swallowing too much air, choked the majority of the times he nursed, and wailed for most of his waking hours.  After an entire morning of trying to reach an ENT, we managed to schedule an appointment for this morning. 

The ENT was not completely convinced that the tongue was the problem, but agreed after some examination that it was perhaps somewhat limited by a longer than average frenulum, and offered to clip it as a starting point.  We agreed, and 6mm of Teddy’s frenulum was snipped, giving his tongue a new level of freedom.  In the two nursing sessions since, things seem to be better, but it’s hard to say, since he now has to learn what to do with his new range of motion.  If this is not the solution, we will begin swallowing studies and other fun tests to see if we can determine what the problem really is.  I hope we don’t have to go that route.

Next week we have a pediatrician appointment, so we’ll talk about the arching thing then.  We think it’s about his position at (and probably prior to) birth and are not overly concerned.  But we’re aware that it could be reflux, torticollis, or any number of other things.  Again, we’re hoping for the simplest answer, and that the frenulum-snipping is the worst he (and we!) will have to endure.



  1. Sorry to hear Teddy had such a rough day. But glad that things may be getting better. Luckily you didn’t have to go searching for someone to clip the frenulum. I’ve heard stories of moms searching desperately in the metro area for someone to do it. Apparently there are a lot of docs who won’t do it.

  2. the poor wee lad!

  3. Keeping my fingers crossed that this will solve the nursing issues.

  4. Aww, poor little guy, and poor you all for having to watch him stuggle! Here’s hoping that he learns his new tongue freedom skills quickly and that they go a long way to making life easier for everyone.

  5. Here from LFCA with my best wishes for your little fella to be feeding with ease and making his mamas life easier very soon.

  6. My first, J, had a bit of a swallowing problem. And my last, Jo, has torticollis. So if you want to talk, email me. Sounds like as difficult as things currently are, he will ultimately be okay (my unofficial diagnosis, but I know a thing or 2…).

  7. Both my kids had torticollis, most likely I’m told from the way they were positioned in the womb. At any rate, both could only turn their heads to one side. After physical therapy at around 2-3 months of age to give them greater range of motion and stretch and strengthen their neck muscles it was all fine. The one thing to keep in mind is that if left untreated they end up with a misshapen head from the pressure on only one side if they always turn their heads one way. Catch it early and it’s easy to correct. Good luck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: