Last time, I shared the exciting news that my baby, David, was born and that my goal to breastfeed him exclusively was more difficult to achieve than I had expected.
Everything indicated to me that some level of ankyloglossia could have been the cause for David’s low weight gain and constant fussiness, as well as my sore nipples and perceived low milk supply. Researchers have also reported that inadequate milk supply may be rooted in decreased ejection reflex as a result of maternal nipple pain or in suppressed lactation as a result of the infant’s inability to drain the breast (Ballard JL et al, 2002). I had already heard about that while pursuing my Master’s Degree in Maternal and Child Nutrition, but now looking back, I think sleep deprivation and pain prevented me to take that into consideration in the first place!
We left to the hospital again to discuss my observations with the lactation consultant. She agreed with me and scheduled a procedure to get his tongue clipped that same day. It was a fast and I think painless procedure, since the baby didn’t even cry! Right after that, I put him to the breast and everything was different! From then on his feedings were short but he seemed satisfied and not fussy anymore. This indicated to us that before having his tongue clipped, he needed to stay at the breast longer to get some milk. He was probably nursing more because his suck was less efficient. Over the next few days, my milk started flowing much more easily and breastfeeding was not painful at all! And the most important result was that, David achieved a normal rate of weight gain within 2 days after the procedure. Our efforts were definitely worthwhile! We were successfully breastfeeding!
I really hope sharing this experience will help those moms who want to breastfeed their babies to keep on trying despite the obstacles you might face at the beginning. For those moms-to-be who are still waiting for the baby, my advice would be to keep in mind all the resources you have at hand once you leave the hospital. And make sure those around you know about them, so they can act proactively when needed! Also, by clicking here, you can read some tips to get through your baby’s first week of breastfeeding...successfully, that we published some time ago.