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Tongue tie speech therapy – done and discharged

I’ve mentioned N’s tongue tie before and the saga of getting it checked, referred and diagnosed.

I’m astounded at how many people you mention tongue tie too who’ve had it themselves or their children have.  And yet it’s never mentioned in ante-natal classes about breast feeding, or how it doesn’t seem to be on the breast feeding or newborn check list.  Given breast-feeding is so important and beneficial, and how tongue tie can really impact the ability to breast feed, surely it should be one of the things checked for when the baby is born, or while the mother is still in the hospital, if not after during the first couple of midwife checks.

N wouldn’t breast feed (supposedly had a good latch but wouldn’t suck), and with us having been in hospital three days post csection you’d think that should have been picked up.  I’d not heard of it to ask about until I knew of friends’ babies having it picked up.  Or if not picked up at birth when it can be easily snipped straight away before needing anaesthetic,  at one of the checks later on given it can impact speech.  But N’s was picked up by nursery last summer.

Since then his speech hasn’t really been too much of a worry (sods law after setting the wheels in motion and them taking so long for referrals that all is improving by the time appointments come round), but I still wanted to get his speech checked although the tongue tie wasn’t impacting his eating or anything else (he stopped dribbling soon after we realised he had tongue tie).

So finally our speech therapy appointment came up and yesterday we went along to the hospital.  N thought he was seeing a doctor, but I had to explain that we were seeing a speech therapist who wanted to see him play and hear him talk, and that I’d also be there.  We took along a soft toy and I suggested that he might want to talk to her about it.  He didn’t seem too worried, even though he’s been to the hospital in the past to see my mum when she was in there for a bit, as well as for out-patient appointments.

At his 2 year health visitor check he wouldn’t talk at all, but this time he couldn’t be stopped, which is more normal to him.  He was chatting about everything he saw, all the toys.  They played tea parties together with N none the wiser to the ‘test’ questions the speech therapist was asking him.  The only thing he wouldn’t play ball with was opening his mouth for her.  Oh, and he wouldn’t count with her…he never wants to say the number two which was what she wanted to check with the ‘t’ sound.

Turns out that there’s nothing to worry about.  Luckily his tongue tie doesn’t seem to be impacting him – my theory is that he talks so much that his tongue’s stretched and is used to moving around so much that it’s able to form the words.

He’s even saying ‘l’ which often comes later.  The sounds he’s less clear on are those that aren’t expected until later development so it’s all good.  Quick discharge from care and no need to see the registrar again which is brilliant.

N was a little star, and he was given a sticker of his choice saying he had been ‘truly terrific today’.

I’m so pleased that nursery had picked it up, even if it was sods law that by the time the appointments happened it felt like a waste of time using up an appointment.  But the speech therapist said he had a great vocabulary, and was doing really well.  She’d much prefer to get children checked just in case there was any help needed earlier rather than later.

My take outs are that there’s definitely something missing in the newborn phases.  We know that midwives are stretched, and despite breast feeding being the method of feeding that’s advised, there seems to be gaps in simple communication and checks that could help initial breast feeding.  We were in hospital 3 days, saw a specialist breast feeding midwife, and there was no mention of tongue tie or checking for that to see if that might have been one of the causes of N not feeding.  Seems like a no brainer and a 1 minute check, and likely a 1 minute solution if required.  Once we left hospital we were already bottle feeding as we needed to feed him something and pumping didn’t work.  It seems so essential to get this check early on as some areas do.

Have you had any experience with tongue tie – being picked up or not?  And any experience of speech therapist with children of a similar age?

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  1. You’re right, it should be talked about and mentioned earlier as it is quite common, I find. Both of my kids have a tongue-tie, as has my husband. They actually picked Boo’s up on her discharge check-up in the hospital, 24 hours after she was born. It was chance, I think, that we had a midwife checking her that deals with tongue-ties so happened to spot it, as they don’t look for it as routine. We were referred, but then the referral was cancelled as she was breastfeeding well. So when Little Man arrived, I asked them to look for it in theatre (he was a planned C Section), so they did, and yes, he had one, too. Again, fed well, so I opted not to have him referred. It caused no issues at all for Boo, and so far, I can’t see any for Little Man either. It should be mentioned more often, though, I totally agree.

    1. It’s interesting how it all depends on whether the parent or nurses know a lot about it. It’s never mentioned in parenting magazines either (or I never read about it at all in the year+ I was reading them, but I guess as you say some children aren’t impacted by it at all and then others are. I know people who weren’t impacted until it was picked up that dental hygiene could be harder to keep up due to it, so then they had it snipped as older teenagers which is the other aspect. Definitely something that should really be followed up on as part of HV/midwife post birth checks as they’re checking breast feeding or general checks

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