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Haikal Siregar, Indonesia

Protector of 2 squirts

About Haikal Siregar

Frenotomy is a procedure that involves having the frenulum snipped to rectify the tongue-tied condition. It is a minor surgical procedure but could still be traumatizing for an infant (and of course, the parents). Potential complications would include ulcers under the tongue, bleeding, infection or damage to the tongue and salivary ducts. If I’m not mistaken, there are some breastfeeding positions and some exercises that could help mobilize the baby’s tongue and improve tongue mobility. These could be tried in place of performing the surgery. Typically, for mild cases where feeding is not affected, and if baby’s tongue could reach his/her teeth (quite likely that speech development would not be impeded), surgery is probably not necessary. I think it is best to bring your baby to your doctor or lactation consultant for their assessment and professional input.
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A colleague at work mentioned that her daughter's lingual frenectomy was a success. Her daughter is 3 now and there are no side effects to it. According to her, the procedure did not take long at all. Baby will be swaddled and the tongue is gently lifted up using fingers or a special instrument, afterwhich the frenulum (the thin skin under the tongue) is then quickly snipped with sterile scissors. The tongue is then again gently lifted to ensure the frenulum has been completely clipped. Whole procedure takes less than 15 seconds and no anesthesia is needed. Baby can breastfeed immediately after the procedure. Think she had it done at one of the hospitals but you can approach the dentist for more information too.
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Your wife can also try placing clean cabbage leaves onto her breast to help reduce the swelling. Like what Vanessa has mentioned, massaging and expressing by hand would help ease the swelling. Breastfeeding can be challenging. Stay by her side and help her with other tasks to show your support. Take care!
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You can slowly massage the breast 1st. Alternatively, please use a warm towel and put it around the breast area so that the breast will feel warm and milk flow can be stimulated to release milk more easily. Once there are milk flowing out, you can start off with hand expression before using the pump. Hand express can be very tiring but effective when the breast is swollen. Once the breast is softer, switch it to using pump so that your hands aren't tired. Do this regularly so that the breast will know that it needs to be emptied every time.
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In fact, one very good way is to massage her breast so that it stimulate milk production. With having more milk, it may help her to feed/latch more confidently and giving her the idea that "Yes, I can do it. Baby is drinking and emptying my breast." Give her assurance that she is doing a good job. Tell her things like baby is still learning and it takes time. Meanwhile, you can either hand express or by using a breast pump to assist you so as not to engorge the breast that is not latched on.
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In the event if your wife feels uncomfortable while breastfeeding with one of the breast, you can assure her that this is normal as some mothers and some babies are used to being fed only on one breast. Worried about the swelling? Pump it out. She may not feed on the left for example. Feed baby on the right and pump both breast after that. There may be more milk on the breast that is being latched on even after latching.
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Thanks a lot for the advice. However the other breast doesn't really expel a lot of milk unless pumped by hand. Any tips?
I agree with the mommy above, use the pump on the breast that she is having problems with and continue nursing with the other breast. My best friend experienced the same thing and this method seems to be the best way for her. Don't lose confidence over this, it might affect her overall breastfeeding experience, which is otherwise beautiful. Hang in there!
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She should use a pump on the breast that she does not feel comfortable breastfeeding with. I personally prefer my right breast for direct latching and left for pumping. Have not run into any issues as such. Best still I've figured out how to do both at the same time - so I save time!
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There are some position that your wife can try. Show her the graphic so she can follow. It is important to boost her confidence so do not forget the compliment and give litle gift for her.
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