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My Journey

“I thought nursing would be easy” – Dr. Lentfer’s Personal Journey with her babies

This is what I thought when my first child was born. “It should come naturally.” Boy was I wrong. My struggles with my first child were what I thought to be “normal” for a new mom. He fought me whenever I tried to get him to latch, but it kind of got better. He would arch his back while nursing. It felt like a full time job to nurse him, taking 45 minutes to an hour to feed him with little time between feedings. We saw multiple lactation consultants and they were very helpful, but I was still struggling.

Our saving grace was a nipple shield, but it was such a hassle to use, and when it came time to ween him off the nipple shield, I felt like we were back at square one. Feeling we had exhausted our resources, I toughed it out and pushed thru, thinking it was probably me and just new mom struggles. The pain got so bad that I would cry knowing it was time to nurse him. I just knew something was off.

If I only had the knowledge about TOT’s (tethered oral tissues) that I have now when he was born. With our second child, it was easier. She did have a “lip-tie” and “tongue-tie” but she was a Rockstar with nursing and I wasn’t having any pain, so with no symptoms, there was no need to perform the procedure…until she was three months. Suddenly, she started fussing thru nursing. Spitting up more. Her hiccups were getting worse. She would come on and off the nipple while nursing, crying in frustration, and my supply was dropping by the feeding. At this time, my husband and I decided it was time to perform an upper lip and lingual frenectomy. Though the post op wasn’t easy, it was worth it. Not all her symptoms are resolved, but she is happier and so are mom and dad.

This is my personal experience and played a huge role in why I offer the frenectomy procedure in my office. I have been there, seeing the results as a nursing mom and as a pediatric dentist. With more than 40 hours of continuing education with some of the leaders in this field, Dr. Bobak Ghaheri, Dr. Lawrence Kotlow and Dr. Richard Baxter, I am happy to be helping other parents who are struggling for answers. A member of The Academy of Tongue-Tie Professionals, Academy of Laser Dentistry and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, I try to stay up to date on the growing research in this field.

Some research supports 4%-10% of the population has a TOT. Some support up to 25% have a tongue-tie. Does this mean every one of these needs to be treated? NO! But if you and your baby are having symptoms, speak with your lactation consultant and primary care provider and please come see us for a consultation.