"Tongue Tie division at Wishaw Hospital Maternity Department"

About: Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Glasgow Wishaw General Hospital

(as the patient),

I have recently given birth to my second child in August 2015 and my first in September 2012, both of whom were delivered at Wishaw hospital maternity department.

With both babies I was keen to breastfeed however both had tongue ties which were undiagnosed whilst within the unit.

My first child's was very pronounced to the tip of her tongue and after a few weeks of severe pain and bouts of thrush and mastitis I was no longer able to breast feed her and had to go onto formula and bottles.

My second child had a full tie which did not quite reach the tip of his tongue and when I asked if it could be checked I was told he was fine. We subsequently endured multiple bouts of mastitis, thrush, blocked ducts and green nappies which were all related to his tongue tie, only through perseverance and family support did I manage to continue to feed until we received an appointment to have this divided at ten weeks after waiting a number of weeks for the appointment.

We were informed that the QEUH in Glasgow was the only centre to have this procedure carried out. It is a very straightforward and quick procedure which has enabled me to continue feeding however this should have been picked up on when carrying out the initial checks on the baby in hospital and carried out before we were discharged. I am aware of others also having similar issues following the failure to diagnose and rectify a tongue tie and would ask that you include this simple check within the checks that you carry out on newborns and look to carry out the procedure in house to save others going through similar distress as we encountered.

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Responses

Response from Wendy Drysdale, Senior Midwife, Maternity Services, NHS Lanarkshire

picture of Wendy Drysdale

Dear Vkh,

Thank you for contacting us and sorry for the delay in responding, however I have communicated with our Infant Feeding Development Midwife to include some information within this response to you. I am sorry to hear you had these difficulties, and glad the issue was resolved to enable you to continue to breastfeed your second child. Healthcare professionals have learned a lot about breastfeeding and tongue tie over the last few years and work is currently ongoing at a national level by the Scottish Infant Feeding Advisors Network to look at service provision across the country.

Some babies with a tongue tie can feed effectively from the breast with no intervention, therefore an invasive procedure would not be performed without reason and unfortunately frenotomy doesn’t always resolve feeding issues without ongoing support. When a tongue tie does impact on breastfeeding as you describe in your personal experience; I can appreciate how difficult this must have been and that it is a very challenging time for all.

In Lanarkshire our Infant Feeding Development Midwife has been working closely with our colleagues in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde over the last few months and regularly attends the clinic in the Queen Eliazabeth University Hospital to learn more about this very specialised procedure. NHS GG & C informed us in August 2015 that they did have a long waiting time to see clients for this procedure and some of those clients were from Lanarkshire. We therefore are currently supporting our staff being trained in this procedure and do plan over time to develop our own service in Lanarkshire to compliment the already comprehensive breastfeeding support service already provided.

I would be keen to meet with you to discuss further and hear your ideas on how we could improve the service we provide. Please contact our Patient Affairs Manager, Yvonne Ross on telephone: 01698 366558 if you would like to arrange to meet.

Kind Regards

Wendy

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