Maxillary Labial Frenum and Tongue Tie

When I think of a ‘whirlwind vacation’, I imagine jetting off to Paris for a romantic weekend.

Jetting off ANYWHERE is not relaxing or romantic at all.

I flew with Ruby to Albany, New York yesterday… and here’s why:

Ruby and I have had nursing troubles for ages, and there didn’t seem to be any real solution beyond just muscling through. She had been ‘checked’ for tongue tie at birth and I was told she was fine. She was ‘checked’ again by a lactation consultant and again by my pediatrician who all pronounced her ‘normal’. Several weeks ago, I read an article on “maxillary labial frenum” tie on Facebook, and it got my wheels turning. I checked Ruby’s upper lip. It looked like this:

Ruby's Maxillary Labial Frenum

I was sure the moment I saw it that it was tied. My little wheels kept right on squeaking. I tweeted about it. I had a bunch of responses, but one person in particular (and I can’t remember who) sent me to, where I started reading article after article. I knew it, this was our problem, and Ruby need to be ‘fixed’.

I began talking with Brock about getting Ruby’s lip tie separated, and brought it up with our pediatrician. I knew many people flew to Albany, NY to see Dr. Kotlow because of his experience and his methods of laser separation WITHOUT the use of anesthesia, and we were prepared to do so as well. My pediatrician talked me into getting a consult with a plastic surgeon before I considered flying. When they called to schedule my appointment, the earliest they could get us in for a consult was June 22nd. I called Dr. Kotlow’s office and asked how soon they could get us in – to see if it would be worth our time going that route. I was asked, “Would you like to come in tomorrow?”

That sort of cemented it for me. I looked into flights to Albany, and there was a non-stop option. Brock’s dad, Ted, help me plan out the flights, the tickets were bought… and it all happened to work out. We were going. The very next day.

That night, I slept well but woke at 6am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I got up and showered, got dressed and myself all ready. I re-packed the diaper bag and picked out an outfit for Ruby. I cleaned. I ate. I changed the car seats so Brock would have a seat for Ronan while I was gone. I sat. I tweeted. I got really, really bored. It was 9am and NO ONE else was awake. I finally woke Brock up so I would have some company.

Ruby eventually woke a little after 9:30, and I bathed her and dressed her. She was in a great mood and I was excited for our day. We loaded into the car – me, Ruby, and my trusty Ergo – and it was off to the airport. After parking and checking in, we were really on our way.

Mommy and Ruby - Ready to GO!

Security took us mere seconds to get through. In the Charlotte airport, I wasn’t asked to take Ruby out of the Ergo, but instead was given a quick pat-down. We arrived at our gate and patiently waited. Ruby was handing out smiles left and right! I stood near the counter so I could be sure to hear if they called my name, and I could see on the monitor how many passengers had checked in, how many seats were left. We were flying stand-by, and all we needed was ONE seat to get on the plane! I watched as person after person walked down the jet-way, and I felt myself getting more and more nervous. My hands started shaking, and I was a little sweaty. There were at least 4 other people still ‘sitting’, so I assumed they were also stand-by. By my counting, there was only going to be one extra seat. After the last person boarded, I nervously walked up to the counter and said who I was, and that we were waiting for a seat on the plane. I had mentally prepared my sob story, and how I was taking my poor, sweet baby for surgery… but the gate agent picked up a boarding pass that was sitting next to him, scanned it, smiled at me and said, “Enjoy your flight!”

We were on the plane!

Nursing... on a plane!

While on the plane, I began chatting with the lady sitting beside me. I told her I was planning on nursing Ruby while on the flight, and she was very pleased! She told me that she had breastfed all three of her children, the youngest of which is now 47. We had a lovely conversation about breastfeeding and how it would be wonderful to see more women doing so, more normality and less derision. Ruby smiled and smiled at her. I think it made her day. She became Ruby’s honorary airplane grandma, and held her so I could have a bathroom break.

Ruby and her new friend.

After landing in Albany, I hopped in a cab that was waiting curb-side at the terminal. I told the driver the address, and we were on our way. Nerves had really started to to kick in, and I was starting to feel scared about putting my tiny, sweet baby through surgery. We arrived at the dentist’s office, and it looked like a repurposed house. I wish I had taken a picture of it. But as soon as we walked in, it became apparent that this place was in the business of kids. There were sweet, lovely, colorful signs every where… there was even a carousel in the waiting room! Dr. Kotlow has been a pediatric dentist for so many years, his patients are referred to as “Kotlow’s Kids.”

Kotlow's Kids - 20 minutes early!

I filled out mountains of paperwork, and Dr. Kotlow came in and introduced himself. He asked to examine Ruby, and laid her down between us with her bottom in my lap, and her head on his knees. The man is incredibly professional, and incredibly proficient. He pulled Ruby’s lip up harder than I ever have, and it immediately became apparent how tied her lip really was. He then forced his fingers and thumbs in her mouth and pulled her tongue up as far as he could, and showed me how tight her lingual frenulum was. I had no idea how significantly tongue tied she was, but he described it as a “very severe tie”. Ruby wasn’t bothered in the least by all of this, and he handed her back to me so I could watch a video about the procedure. While the video was very informative, and showed exactly how the procedure is done (using clips of actual procedures) my heart was racing. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it.

Dr. Kotlow came back, asked me if I had any questions, and said, “Ok! Let’s get this done!”

He held his hands out to Ruby, and I hesitantly placed her in his arms. With very confident, assured hands, he carried her away.

I was suddenly very alone with her paci and my tears.

Seeing this picture still makes me cry.

I strained and strained my ears to hear her screams of torture. I convinced myself that it was awful, and my poor baby was going to be scarred for life. I prepared myself to sit in suspense for the duration of this exhaustive procedure. Moments later, and I am not exaggerating, but mere MINUTES later, I heard her whimpers coming back down the hall. My shock was washed away with relief at seeing my baby with tears down both cheeks, but quite obviously fine. He said the procedure went smoothly, and commented that she was a VERY good yeller. He showed me her incisions, and it didn’t seem to bother Ruby at all. I suspected that she was crying simply because she had been restrained and not at all because she was in pain. He said he would leave the room and allow me to nurse to see if I noticed a difference.

Boy, did I notice a difference.

It was as though I was nursing a different baby. It was as though our problems had melted away. It was as though she was nursing the way she was meant to all along. I cried, and I cried – happy tears. I felt justified, vindicated… but most of all, just thankful. My fears of picking up and flying across several states for a problem that may have been all in my head just melted away.

Dr. Kotlow returned and could tell from my face that things had improved. I thanked him profusely and we went over our “discharge” instructions. He showed me how to stretch her incisions so that they wouldn’t heal back together. We discussed what normal healing would look like. He pointed out potential problems to look for and gave me his cell phone number. He told me I could call or email him any time with any questions or concerns. He then apologized that we came such a very long way for such a very short visit, and I assured him that it was incredibly, unbelievably worth it.

Happy it's all over.

We cabbed our way back to the airport and over-exhausted Ruby fell asleep as I was waiting in line to check-in. I walked to security, and put my things on the conveyor belt, assuming that I would be allowed through with Ruby in the Ergo as I was in Charlotte.


They insisted I take her out of the Ergo and put in on the conveyor to go through the x-ray. I questioned it, told them I hadn’t been required to take her out at our previous airport, and was informed that it was “regulations” and that the rules were the same everywhere. Let me just say this – airport security, and all your pompous crap is just power tripping. Anyways.

I had lunch at a cute little salad bar, and watched as leagues and leagues of people went to McDonalds next door instead of opting for soup, salad or sandwhich. I laughed and moved on to our gate. We waited almost two hours for our flight home, and I was given a seat before we even started boarding. The flight wasn’t even close to full, and my last anxiety faded away. We had survived the trip, we simply had to survive the flight and we’d be home free.

Ruby was fussy on the flight, and unable to fall asleep. She comfort nursed more on that single airplane ride than she ever had before, and I think both of us found it relaxing. I can already tell that she finds nursing to be less frustrating than ever before. Near Charlotte, when we started making our descent for landing, I strapped Ruby in the Ergo and she became very upset. She was screaming and didn’t want to be strapped in, but I felt that it was necessary to have some extra security when taking off and landing. I whipped out mah boobage and nursed her in the Ergo and it calmed her instantly. BECAUSE she was in the Ergo, it was nearly impossible to tell that I was breastfeeding her. However, when the flight attendant walked by, she stared intently at what we were doing, and when she figured it out, she gave me the most heinous stink-eye I’ve ever seen. I laughed it off, and said to my seat-mate, “Did you see that look? I’m entirely impressed,” to which she responded, “You’d think she’d just be glad the baby isn’t crying.”

Landed, traversed the airport, and a short car ride later we were HOME. Brock immediately noticed how mobile her tongue was – it’s incredible to watch her experiment with her new-found mobility. I nursed her again and put her to sleep around 9:30pm, and she slept until 7 this morning. She’s my hero.

Here is a before and after comparison of Ruby’s lip.

Maxillary Labial Frenum - Before and After

Since photo-blogging our journey yesterday, I have had several people ask me questions about the lip-tie, the procedure, and what to do. Here’s how I feel about it – it was so easy, so fast, and quite obviously doesn’t bother Ruby a bit. (I have done the stretching exercises several times since we’ve been home, and she smiles immediately afterwards.) My only question is – Why not? If there is a chance it could improve your nursing relationship, or improve your child’s chance of not having speaking/eating/etc problems in the future… what really is there to lose? I read an entire thread of people on Facebook yesterday who opted not to have tongue or lip tie clipped as an infant and ALL of them had it done at a much later time, suggesting it be done earlier because it’s easier and heals faster.

Check out the link (again, it’s and see what Dr. Kotlow has to say about it. I am SO thankful I decided to go through with this, and could not be happier with the result. If you have a question or a concern, consult a pediatric dentist or ENT – and find someone that can do it without general anesthesia, because it isn’t necessary. And good luck. 😀

  • Holly

    Awesome! Kai just came up to me and asked “why are you sad mom?”. I said, “I’m not sad, I’m just sooo happy for my friend!”. Glad to hear your nursing journey has improved. Keep up the good work :) I’ll be contacting you if I have any issues with my new little one!

    • Mandy

      You are so sweet, Holly! I’ve been facebook stalking you, can’t wait to hear new news. I am SO, SO happy for you and your family! Love you!

  • acjjj

    Hi Mandy, I will pass your story on to my colleauges — so glad you got the help you needed. A few questions for my learning:
    -were your nipples visibly damaged (scabbed, cracked etc)?
    -what did her tongue tie look like? Was it a posterior tongue tie? (Did he have to clip flesh or just the membrane under her tongue?)

  • Dome

    ” Let me just say this – airport security, and all your pompous bullshit is just a cluster fuck of power tripping”

    Priceless. I’m so glad everything turned out alright! I bet it was a very intense experience for you and Ruby, and I can imagine how relaxing it must be for both of you now. Good luck in everything! See ya 😀

    • Mandy

      Thanks Dome!

  • Becca

    “airport security, and all your pompous bullshit is just a cluster fuck of power tripping”

    hahahahahahah this made my day, and is so true!!

    I’m so glad everything went well for you all!! A step in a happy direction for your nursing relationship!! I’m so happy for you and Ruby that all is well and everything worked out!! <3

    • Mandy

      Thanks Becca! Miss you! We need a play date. 😀

  • sarah

    Oh my goodness. I am so glad it is better for you. You know carsyn was tongue tied. We had it clipped at 1 week. But now after seeing this. I think he is lip tied also. I will have to ask his doctor. I know after tongue clipping he nursed so much better. Thanks for sharing.
    sarah´s last blog post ..Baby Loves Spotlight Sunday 27

  • Cate

    Oh Mandy, I am SO unbelievably happy for you and Ruby both! I know how much the nursing struggles have pained you and I’m so glad that this procedure has helped.

    Also, the reactions people have to nursing in public are so funny. The woman sitting next to you on the flight sounds lovely, but the stink-eye flight attendant? Not so much!
    Cate´s last blog post ..June Goals

  • Janus

    You have to remember that the vast majority of airport security screeners don’t measure up to the high standards of professionalism and competence set by the Keystone Cops.

    Glad to hear that this has apparently taken care of Ruby’s nursing problem. Will this in turn take care of her pooping problem?
    Janus´s last blog post ..FoodQuest- Culvers

    • Mandy

      I really hope so! :)

  • Supa

    Oh Mandy, you are such an amazing WOMAN! I’m so proud of you.


    • Mandy

      Thanks Supa Beff. Luff you!

  • Angela

    Hurray for your victory! I’m so glad it all worked out. I hope this solves her pooping problems, too. Isn’t it crazy how fast babies heal?

    • Mandy

      Unbelievable! She isn’t even a week out and I can hardly see the incisions anymore. I have a feeling all sorts of things will fall into place. <3

  • Sarah

    You did the right thing! I had our son’s tongue-tie fixed when he was eight days old in an ENT’s office. No anethesia, easy and fast procedure. I nursed exclusively for ten months and am so grateful for Dr. Magda Pugh!

    • Mandy

      I only wish we had found it sooner! I will be looking closer with future children. I’m glad it was done so early for you, it makes a world of difference. Thank you <3

  • MamaSuperPow

    I finally got a chance to read this! It made me tear up. I’m so happy and relieved for you, your babe and your breastfeeding relationship!!

    • Mandy

      Thanks mama! <3!

  • AmyDB

    Oh, this post made me cry! And then cry again. I’m so happy things are good for you now, and that you had a wonderful doctor who was quickly able to get this necessary surgery done for you. When you said it instantly made a difference with nursing, I wanted to jump up and down for you. Nursing my Tate has been the moat amazing experience of my life, and to think of having it be a struggle for you breaks my heart. Congrats to you and your beautiful girl! And eff the haters…I’ll never understand how another WOMAN could ever find nursing to be offensive. I just feel bad for people like that…and then I turn my face back down to my beautiful boy being fed in a healthy and beautiful way. :o)

    • Mandy

      Thank you so much! I agree – breastfeeding was my favorite part of the journey with my son. I’m so excited to find joy in nursing my daughter. 😀

  • Leslie

    What a wonderful story Mandy! I’m so happy that it all worked out for you and Ruby and that she is now nursing like an all-star! I know the feeling of passing your baby off to a stranger for a procedure/surgery! You can’t help but cry! I’m so glad it all turned out well!! And what sleeper you have! I’m jealous!!

  • nic @mybottlesup

    oh shit, i am so very behind… and now i’m crying because this is absolutely astounding to me. i am amazed and encouraged, constantly, at the lengths that parents are willing to take for their wee ones.

    this is awesome. all of it. awesome.

    go ruby, go!

  • Helen

    I found your blog when I was doing a search for labial frenum. The picture looked so like my daughter’s mouth. I want to thank you. Her frenum doesn’t affect nursing negatively but I read the article about it causing cavities with great interest. I rushed to check my two older children and they have it as well but not as bad. That certainly explains all of the dental work they needed. I’m calling my dentist Monday morning to see if I can spare my baby all of that dental work with a simple procedure.

  • Melodie

    I just googled “complete lip tie” and this was #8! I was like, “Hey, I know her!”

    The earliest I can get into the surgeon’s office is next Friday. I’m considering scheduling an appointment with the pediatric dentist on our cleft team.

    • Mandy

      Hah! That is the coolest thing ever! I really do think you should try an appointment with the Ped dentist. They may say you should wait a while, but it would be worth asking!

  • Rachel

    Thank you so much for this information and sharing your journey. My 20 month old daughter has this too but my husband and I didn’t notice it until two months ago. We were very fortunate that it didn’t/doesn’t interfere with nursing, but I fear that it may be impeding her speech. Our dentist said the only issue may be a gap in her teeth. But now i’m not so sure. I think I may have some researching to do. Thank you!

  • Jennifer

    Thank you so much for posting this story. I am struggling with breast feeding with my third child after sucessfully nursing my first 2. My daughter has a pretty severe tongue tie but the doctors are not concerned what so ever. I am, considering it is effecting her latch and now my supply. We have finally got her a referral for the end of the month but were told they won;t likely do anything since she is now 5 months and almost done nursing/bottles (She even has a hard time bottle feeding). I was mad because she is only 5 months and not close to being done at all. I was hoping to nurse for 1-2 years. I was ready to give up breast feeding tonight. I have renewed hope now and will put up a fight so this is corrected! Thank you!

  • Sarah Nichols

    I wanted to THANK YOU for posting this! My son has always been a problem nurser. He is now 5 months old and was JUST diagnosed with a lip tie and tongue tie (short frenulum, as opposed to the anterior attachment). My oldest son also had a tongue tie (severe). I was very adamant about them checking my younger son for it and everyone told me he did not have it, that he was fine… and of course 5 months later look at that, he has it. We have an appointment to have them both clipped on November 14th. I am really hoping this helps with our nursing relationship! I am feeling a lot of guilt about it though because while our nursing relationship is difficult, its still doable. I feel bad for putting him through pain for my own convenience…but I know in the long run it will be worth it.

    I feel like I could’ve written this :)

  • Sarah Pruitt

    I just saw this last night on Facebook and read it just out of curiosity. After I looked at the pictures I noticed that my 8 month old may have this as well. We got thrush in the first 3 weeks of nursing which caused me to wean my 2 1/2 year old, who was tandem nursing, due to the pain from a crack in one of my nipples from my then 3 week old being aggravated by the pain of the thrush. We haven’t had any problems nursing since but I’m trying to figure out if this is something that causes problems as they get older? Should it get checked out anyway? I consider myself pretty smart but I can’t get a whole lot of info from the articles that you referenced.

  • Cori

    Thank you soooo much for this post. I read it on Friday, poured over the kiddsteeth articles, and emailed Dr. Kotlow Saturday night. He replied Sunday morning and I sent him several pictures of 3 of my 5 kids’ mouths. He said to bring all 3 in. I scheduled with his office today and bought our plane tickets for next week! We’ve had so many issues that this should help resolve (speech, cavities, gagging, poor latch, been told we’ll need braces, etc.). If it weren’t for your story I’d never be doing this!! I’ll be flying up there from FL with a 9, 7, and 4 mo old. Thanks!

  • Jason Erin G

    Hi, I just found this, and your baby’s mouth looks just like mine. But she doesn’t have problems nursing. But she does have reflux. I’ve read that tongue tie can cause reflux. Did your baby have reflux?

    • Mandy A

      Ruby surely did have reflux – or all of the symptoms. She is no longer being treated for reflux – we noticed her symptoms disappear shortly after having her tongue tie clipped. Dr. Kotlow believes that reflux is caused by tongue tie as well, so it’s worth looking in to!

  • Emily Minich

    This is amazing. Thanks!

  • Heather

    Just found your blog by doing a search as well. I’m in the Triangle, NC. A friend of mine referred me to Carolina ENT in Raleigh. Unfortunately, they don’t take my insurance. They referred me to another place near them, WakeMed ENT, that accepts my insurance but apparently, my insurance requires a referral from my son’s regular pediatrician. I took him to his pediatric group today (not his regular doc as she was booked) and he wouldn’t read any of the information I brought to him, the symptoms we’re both experiencing or the pdf info from Dr. Kotlow. He said my son was fine and tried to put him on reflux meds. He wasn’t going to give me the referral until I told him I already had the appt made and would pay out of pocket if I had to so basically, it was just a shut-up referral but at least I got one.

    I’m not sure how he could ignore what I was telling him:

    *choking (while eating and sometimes while not)
    *occasional voice hoarseness
    *mucousy stools
    *jaw quivering when eating, like his muscles are tired
    *popping on and off the breast, acting like he’s frustrated and/or in pain
    *arching his back and crying inconsolably, especially at night
    *sleeping for only 5-15min much of the time during the day and waking up screaming
    *vomiting/spitting up
    *pinching/clawing at his stomach (he does this when I’m assuming it hurts)
    *rattly throat — not being able to clear saliva/mucous from his mouth/throat
    *when nursing, his top lip curls under
    *excessive drooling (could also be a teething thing)
    *occasional sleep apnea, even though I changed my diet 2+ mos ago (gluten/soy/dairy/peanut-free, low on the spicy/gassy/tomato/citrus foods, mostly organic)
    *blanched/flattened nipples for me after feeding him
    *clicking sounds while feeding, especially during let-down

    I have an appt with the ENT on Tuesday Jan 24th. I really hope they can help us. His lip looks like your daughters. His tongue has some mobility but in the back, it looks caught.

    • Mandy A

      I really, really hope they can help you out! It sounds like so many of your little boy’s symptoms are the same as Ruby’s. It’s amazing how many of those things can be interconnected to in improperly functioning mouth.

      Please don’t give up, even if they tell you there is nothing wrong! Go with your gut and your heart – there are people out there who listen and will help. Good luck, and good work fighting for your sweet babe. <3

  • Stephanie J.

    Thank you for sharing your story, especially for the pictures! I’ve been searching desperately for pictures of a lip-tied newborn. My daughter’s lip looks exactly like yours. I am firmly convinced this is causing our breastfeeding issues.

    I’ve been feeling really down about my breastfeeding abilities as this is our second child that I’ve had to supplement. Our first daughter was tongue-tied and we were told it was minor and not to worry about it. At 14 weeks I finally got the Pedi to listen to me and have her frenum clipped. We saw an immediate improvement, but the damage to my supply was irreversible. I breastfed and supplemented for 15 months.

    To avoid that nightmare with our second daughter, I stressed to both my new Pedi, and the hospital Pedi who examined her at birth, that I was very concerned about diagnosing a tongue-tie. BOTH assured me she is not tongue-tied. So we go home to reflux, gas, shallow latch, blanching nipples, sleepy/tired baby, extremely long feeding sessions (followed by a bottle), low supply. I’ve been thinking it must be me since I was told she’s not tongue-tied! After examining Dr. Kotlow’s articles, I think she actually is tongue tied, just not obviously so.

    Now to find someone to take care of this closer to home…

  • alexis lombardi

    thank you so much for all this great info; i might be making an appt with dr Kotlow for my two babies here in AL … what a big trip!

  • Leah Greenwald

    Hi Mandy,
    Did you get any opinions that were to wait to have her frenulum corrected? I sent pics of my baby’s lip and under her tongue to Dr. Kotlow and he says she has class 4 ties. However, my husband doesn’t want to rush into something since she nurses fine (for the most part). I’ve had 2 pediatricians tell me to wait and see if she grows out of it, and we are seeing a third in 2 weeks. Any advice?

    • Mandy A

      Hi Leigh!

      I had a couple of experiences… mostly from my pediatrician and Lactation Consultants that said they couldn’t imagine her lip tie being a problem. When I consulted Dr.Kotlow, and read his information on the problems of lip-ties, and how exactly they were alike to my problems, I decided to have it done anyways.

      My advice is far from medical. It’s personal opinion, but I’m more than happy to share it with you. My advice is… why wait to see if she gets a problem? Why allow it to become a problem? If there is a chance that it will improve your nursing relationship from “for the most part” to “awesome all the time!” I don’t think there is any reason to give yourself a chance to look back and wish you had clipped. I can’t think of any reason NOT to clip, and I’ve never met someone that had clipped and wished they hadn’t. I honestly see no drawback or risk.

      I know that may not help you make a decision… This is a tough one. My biggest peice of advice is to go with your mommy gut. Don’t do something that feels wrong to you, but don’t hesitate if you think you should. Chances are, you are probably right!

      Good luck – I hope you end up happy with your decision in the end <3

  • Ghodges84

    I am so grateful to have found your blog. My 5 month old is suffering from a lingual and a labial tie. I live in Monroe, LA and I have been searching here for a doctor or dentist who is willing to treat his condition. My search has not produced any results because everyone refuses to treat him because of his age. I would love to visit with Dr. Kotlow to have this situation resolved. If you don’t mind me asking, how much was the procedure and does insurance cover it? Please fill me in. Thanks!

    • Mandy A

      The procedure was 450 all inclusive and my insurance covered. I paid approximately 90 dollars out of pocket! It was totally worth the trip. Good luck!!
      -Sent from my iPhone

  • Maria

    Wow! Thank you for your post! My son Ty is not quite 4 months old and the last 2 months of nursing have been a nightmare. Vomiting, refusing to nurse, pulling off repeatedly, crying, gas, foremilk imblance due to 2 min feedings, LONG nursing sessions when he does eat, slow weight gain and even some weight loss. He was diagnosed with reflux, I restricted my diet and I cried a lot. I was told about lip-ties when confiding in my local La Leche League leader and looked on Dr Kotlow’s site. I knew then that my son had a lip tie but my Dr reassured me it was not a serious issue. The problems have persisted even with reflux medications. After reading you post I am more determined than ever to get his fixed.
    Being a Canadian I am hoping to dig my heals in and get referred to a surgeon here who can fix it under medicare but I will shell out the $ if necessary. I knew I needed to “grow a pair” to get this done and your post have motivated me! Thank you

  • Kacie

    I wish I had read this months and months and months ago :( I took my son today for his first dentist appointment. He’s 16 months old and our dentist informed us that he had this!! I had no idea! I tried and tried and tried to breastfeed him when he was smaller and was told that I was doing something wrong, that I wasn’t producing enough milk, that I wasn’t holding him right blah blah blah After all that discouraging feed back, I switched to formula. Now it makes sense why he wasn’t able to latch on correctly and would get frustrated. :( I wish I had researched it, but being a 1st time mom, I didn’t know :( Next baby I will check the day he/she is born and hopefully have a better experience with nursing.

  • Hjeg1979

    I have been all over the internet 2day trying 2 find out what can b done to help my 9 month old daughter! This is by far the most helpful piece I have read. I am from NC as well & very worried that help will not b easily found here. We had soooo many problems in the beginning with nursing & I still feel like we r having some problems. U wud think the Dr & or LC wud have checked 4 this. I am a 1st time mom & never even knew of this, but sure enough after reading about it, my daughter is lip tied, & I think it is the worse (IV) 4m what I can tell all the way between her teeth! My supply has never been wonderful so I have been on domperidone for the last 6 months! Did u notice a difference in ur supply after the procedure? She also tends 2 gag a lot with solids & has very loose slimy stools & reflux 2. Did Ruby have these problems & if so has the procedure helped them? Did u ever have 2 go back 2 NY for a follow up? I really want something done ASAP, but I feel like its going 2 b a fight. Thank u so much 4 this guidance!

  • Mandy Fresolone

    This story made me cry. My baby boy had the most difficulty nursing; we struggled through it for two months before the Dr demanded he be given formla. He is two-years-old now and finally I know that he definitely has the same tie as Ruby. I could cry for days. I had him checked over and over; I saw many lactation nurses. No one said anything about this. I wish I had known. We will never get those precious first days back again. I am so happy for you and Ruby, and I’m especially thankful to you for posting this. More mothers, doctors, and nurses need to know about this condition.

  • hurt yet relieved.

    I just discovered my daughters MLF is like that.. Had no idea about it until literally 2 weeks ago. She is now 13 months old and I havent nursed her since she was 4 months old because of constant issues and no answers. Im honestly devastated.

    Thats all it would have took… ugh. Im sick.

    I didnt even know about any of this until just like, 5 mins ago when I googled what the skin was on her upper lip because it was a distinguishing feature that like I said I had just discovered 2 weeks ago and needed to update on her Child Safety Services profile in case god forbid she ever went missing!

    unreal. My world is spinning. Im so (insert word here?!). I would still be nursing her right now if I only knew.

    Im so beyond glad that you and other moms knew about this and could fix it.
    I was made to be the bad mom because I wasnt nursing her properly. I was made to be this terrible person because I was quiting before 6 months. I literally lost a friend over it! Upset is not even a word to describe how I feel.

    It was a long time ago and I have to move on but Im honestly not sure how to feel. Im going to get it corrected asap. Im going to just tell myself that all the haters can suck it because it wasnt me! I DID THE BEST I BLEEPING COULD! I love my daughter more than this planet. thats a lot because I am a serious tree hugger. It isnt my daughters fault, it isnt my fault. Its dumb medical professionals who tell you everything is alwasy effing normal. Well guess what?! not this time. I just mentally slapped a lot of people.

    Thank you for this. haha seriously.

  • Kristy O

    Thanks for sharing your experience. We have an appt with Dr. Kotlow next week. I am anxious about the procedure & the exercises but I know it’s the right thing tod o. My little one is 6 weeks and I wish we had done it sooner. I really hope it makes breast feeding better. Like you I was just planning on suffering through it. Glad everything worked out for you and Ruby.

  • Sher

    Thank you so much for your post…it is exactly the experience that i had with my daughter..

    immediately after she was born, i breastfeed her but found myself struggling a lot since my baby seemed to be unsatisfied even after hours of breastfeeding and eventually raised her billirubin blood figure in abnormal range which needed intensified care at the heart broke down and after seek lots of information and visit to several different doctors as well as lactation consultant, i finally convinced that my baby had tongue tie and got her treated at the age of 2 months old

    afterwards breastfeeding are no longer a nightmare experience but I still couldn’t fulfill hundred percent of her needs so had to combine with formula though I really want to be able to gave up formula, it seemed impossible..I thought my problem was also affected by my physical condition that had made me unable to give milk as much as she really needs but now I begin to realize another fact. After her tooth grew (at the age of 7 months) and I gave regular dental cleaning, I found that I had trouble on cleaning her upper teeth.. it seemed to be uncomfortable for her.

    Now, by the time she is 13 months old, I found there are some kind of a brownish color on her upper teeth, at first I thought that it was because I didn’t do proper dental cleaning but as I tried hard to clean it, i realize that the stain couldn’t be removed by casual dental cleaning and her discomfort when I cleaned up the upper teeth is what made me understand that she also have MLF…my question for those so called expertise that I met before, none of those mention about this so the procedure that taken previously was only for the tongue tie… so now I feel so unsure as she has grown at this age, it would have been easier for all if she had treated also for her MLF by the time her tongue tie released..

    If anyone had similar experience with mine, please kindly share,, as I am still struggling to find the best solution for my dear daughter..Thank you so much

  • Barbara Jewell Aptsiauri

    My two month old boy has a lip tie (looks exactly like what your little one had). We found out about it (being a problem) just a couple weeks ago. He’s had issues latching that I had to deal with now feeding is ‘easier’ still a bit painful sometimes, but he spits up after every feeding and sucks in air as well (burping doesn’t help neither does meds…we thought it was reflux so did his pedi) I am terrified about the surgery…as they said they weren’t going to use any general anesthesia –they said that with a baby you don’t know if there would be an allergy or not and the procedure takes less than 5 mins so it’s unnecessary. However, they told me to feed directly before the surgery and after not to feed him for 3 hours?? Not exactly sure how that’s going to work out if he’s upset as he can’t hold a pacifier himself (or drink anything from a bottle) if I hold the paci for him it takes a while for him to get the hang of it.

    I’ve read that a lip tie can contribute to refluxy problems (by air getting in)… did your little one have any issues like that before the surgery and if so did they improve after the surgery??

  • Barbara Jewell Aptsiauri

    The post below this is from me as well it just didn’t come out like that for some reason…Trying to talk hubby into getting it taken care of this week… but we have shots tomorrow so plan to wait a couple days because I know he’s not going to be a happy camper tomorrow night LOL Hubby wants to wait ’til after New Years!! I told him it’d be better to go ahead and get it over with so that hopefully by then baby boy would be a more happy less refluxy tot. Thanks for posting your story makes me a lot less terrified about the pain/discomfort my LO is going to have to go through. I knew LO had a problem when he was 2 days old (he would vomit up colostrum!! Like bunches at every feed/after he’d been asleep for an hour or more…the on staff pedi said ‘it was NORMAL ALL Babies do it'(even though first LO didn’t) and I got the same answer from every pedi we visited until we took him to one who saw him feed and listened to him gagging/wheezing/clicking but didn’t check his mouth so was diagnosed as reflux. Meds aren’t helping though… we had taken LO to a bone specialist (I’m calling him that but I don’t know what he actually is…but if a child has a dislocation or something he’s the person you see to fix it?) here (Republic of Georgia…from SC though) who was the one who diagnosed LO with the lip tie!! My hubby asked if insurance would cover the op costs and they looked at him like he was crazy and told him the op will cost a whole $15 but if he wants to have the insurance cover it he’s more than welcome to fill out all the necessary paperwork and bring it to them. XD

  • Laura Davis

    I wish I had found this blog several months ago :( we have the Exact. Same. Kid. Except no one helped me, her pediatrician has never looked in her mouth, she was evaluated by a SLP with an uncoordinated suck, but never looked in her mouth. She has an upper lip tie, and a BAD one. Sad thing is, I completely transitioned her to a bottle, against her own poor will, because I couldn’t handle it. The only reason I even thought about looking in her mouth was because of GOOGLE. I googled her symptoms over and over and over… and finally the LIP TIE popped up… 4.5 months later :( She meets with her pediatrician next week. Hope its what I think it is. And shame no one ever looked in her mouth. Soooo glad I found this article. I don’t feel like the only one in the world struggling with this issue.

    • Mandy

      I’m sorry you just found it now :( Please let me know if there is anything I can do or say to help <3

  • Kandace

    Thank you for sharing your journey! We are scheduled to go in for a frenectomy on Friday, but after reading your post, I want to call the same doctor and go through the same steps because I am sick to my stomach about the anesthesia. I will call tomorrow morning. Let me ask, and forgive me if it’s in this post, how old was your daughter?

    • Mandy

      I’m sorry I didn’t answer sooner, dear. Ruby was 4 months old with her first revision, and 9 months old when we decided to re-revise. My 3rd child, Ryder, had his lip and tongue ties revised at 6 days old, and then again at 3 months old – so we have experienced nearly every age. <3