So I have an update on the baby born on Friday! I finally got to see him Tuesday, and he and mom were struggling quite a bit with nursing. The lactation nurses at the hospital assessed him and told her that he was in fact tongue tied which was making latching on very difficult, as he wasn’t sticking his tongue out at all. (which was exactly what I saw during the brain score assessment). They had her start using breast shields (ugh…) to see if they could keep working on it and give her tissues a break. She came home with not a lot of confidence on what to do and was in a very stressed out and in a frustrated place that morning in that she can’t get him to awake enough to nurse well. When she gets him roused and gets him on her breast, he goes right to sleep! He had already lost his 10% body weight, her milk was just starting to come in, and it was making her very worried that he wasn’t getting enough nutrition. After 4 hrs in the middle of night trying to get him to nurse, she finally resorted to pumping some colostrum/milk, and gave him the ounce or so from a bottle and he sucked it right down.
When I got to re-access him, his molding was almost gone (he had mild distortion, with most of the molding all the way back to the occipital bone, and some on the left parietal bone). I went right into rechecking his brain cycle which was about the same as when he was born (120). He was having a ton of twitching throughout his body as I held his head and he started to unwind in his neck right away. I started doing some cranial releases, and he had a good amount of strain at the occiput, all the way into his neck, throat, hyoid, up under the mandible where the tongue attaches, all the way up into his little chin which curled in under his lip! I got the sense, especially with the molding he had, that his head was tucked down into his chest pretty tight either in the womb and definitely during labor, causing these strain patterns in his throat, mandible, chin and tongue. I got a huge release on top of his tiny chin, under his lower lip, and underneath his chin at the very top of his throat (it felt very connected to his tight tongue inside his mouth), all while holding his occiput, and his little mouth popped open and his bottom lip seemed way looser already (it would curl under when he tries to nurse, and even with some help to coach it down with a finger while he tries to nurse, it was super tight!).
Mama was feeling ok with all the releases, but the worry of him needing food was overwhelming her, so we took a break and gave her the chance to nurse. He struggled to latch, and would fall right to sleep when he would get to the breast. She tried a few more times, and then got frustrated. I asked her if she would be ok if I did the mouth releases next, as I know it would really help his latch, and she said ok. I did the work with him on her lap, and what I experienced next was short of extraordinary!! His mouth was SO TIGHT! I have never felt anything like that! He had horrible tongue thrust, and it took a full minute for the tension to release to even get my finger back to the hard pallet. Once I got there, his neck started unwinding. His pallet seemed nice and wide, but had strain throughout the whole pallet including the entire soft pallet too! I moved to his TMJ’s, and could barely get my fingers in there at first, but they both released very quickly as we had already had nice releases of the pallet. I then moved under his tongue which had NO space at all, and had to just wait while his little frenulum let go enough so I could even get underneath. When it released, everyone in the room could hear the difference in his mouth as I moved my finger around under his tongue. His frenulum was still very tight, and we waited to get it to release even more, before I moved on to the tongue. His tongue seemed ok in the back, but the front was tight and we got some small releases there. We easily could have kept going as he was sleeping and totally content throughout the whole thing, making a couple squeals when we released the super tight TMJs, but mom was getting tense knowing he hadn’t eaten in about 4 hrs, and she wanted to try nursing again. She was still using the nipple shields which weren’t helping at all, but the lactation consultant told her to use them 🙁 He again just kept falling asleep and she got really upset, frustrated and emotional and decided to just go upstairs and pump some milk, and give him a bottle to get him some calories. I took the baby and went with her upstairs and sat with her while she pumped, and continued some more cranial releases, as well as a few more oral releases before she gave him the bottle. He woke right up with the taste of the milk, and he became very alert, and did a good job regulating the flow of the little bottle. He was so alert, that we thought she would try the latch again, but he just couldn’t couldn’t get his mouth open wide enough yet. I suggested sticking with pumping every 2 hrs, and feeding him with that same bottle to get some calories in then offering the breast right after to continue working on his latch. This will ease her anxiety of his nutritional needs while helping to bring in her milk, and help shape her nipples to make it easier for him to latch as he learns to open him mouth wider and stick out his tongue more. This made her her feel much better, knowing she at least had a way to get him milk to get his weight up, and once its up and he is more active for feedings we can work more on his latch and breastfeeding. After the bottle and all the CFT, he was nice and alert, looking around at everyone, and she took a picture of him and I for his baby book 🙂 the look he was giving me was priceless, just gazing into my eyes as if to say “Thanks”.
I spoke with her again today, and she said with the work we did on Tuesday she was noticing a difference in his sucking/feeding and he was doing much better. Her lactation consultant had suggested the frenulum snip procedure, and I strongly advised her to let me do a couple more releases on his mouth, tongue, frenulum before she goes that route. She saw her Dr today for his circumcision 🙁 (ugh…personal choice, I know), which went well (as well as one can go i guess), and her Dr is very opposed to the frenulum procedure, and was actually upset with lactation consultant for recommending it with out consulting her Dr first. She’s planning to keep her appt on Monday to get his impressions about the procedure, and she wants me to come do more releases on him as well. I am hoping to see him that same day before they do anything else. I assured her that with a couple more treatments, I really think we can get his tongue and frenulum released without a procedure, and this will help to release the full strain pattern that is the cause of all of it, which will benefit him for his entire life!
I will keep you posted as things progress!! So far, what I experienced with the oral work and the changes I saw in him after the first treatments were completely profound! I can’t wait to do do more!!
(*just a side note suggestion: I used the small finger cots as they were less bulky, and I could still use by hand without having to change a glove every time I touched something. All you had to change was change a tiny finger cot. Its nice to have both options, depending on the age/size of the mouth you are working on!)