After making it through a difficult birth, Jordan Talley was relieved to hear her firstborn, Lucy, was stable and healthy.
Finally, Jordan thought, she could embark on the everyday life of a new mom: breastfeeding, bathing, diaper-changing, and more.
But despite doing everything as her doctors had advised, Jordan saw that Lucy was weakening, and she didn’t know why.
At four weeks old, Lucy had sunken eyes and cheeks, her skin was sagging with a yellowish twinge, and she weighed less than she did at birth.
Jordan went to her doctor in Bowling Green, Kentucky, who told her that her breast milk likely didn’t have enough calories.
Confused, she went to a lactation specialist – who immediately confirmed the simple reason: Lucy had a tongue tie and a lip tie, affecting her ability to nurse.
Connective membranes had caused the tongue to be tethered to the base of the mouth and the upper lip to the upper gumline, meaning she couldn’t suck to consume the milk.
Jordan is now hoping to educate other mothers out there to prevent them from facing the same struggles.
Jordan Talley, from Bowling, Green, Kentucky, is warning new mothers about an invisible breastfeeding danger that led to her infant daughter, Lucy (pictured left, before diagnosis, and right, after) falling dangerously underweight, with her weight falling at one point to five pounds, 12 ounces
Jordan and her husband, Aaron, were surprised when their daughter Lucy was born weighing only six pounds and eight ounces when weeks before she had read seven pounds in a ultrasound
It was a difficult birth right from the start. Jordan was induced on April 9 after her blood pressure started to run dangerously high.
Lucy was born smaller than Jordan, and her husband, Aaron, expected, weighing only six pounds and eight ounces when weeks before she had read seven pounds in an ultrasound.
Jordan had suffered from gestational diabetes both during her pregnancy with her first daughter and during her pregnancy with Lucy and feared the baby’s blood sugar levels would be affected.
While her first daughter’s blood sugar levels were low and required a NICU stay, doctors said that Lucy’s were normal.
Jordan began breastfeeding and assumed that Lucy was feeding well because her mouth was moving.
‘We met with the lactation consultant before we were discharged from the hospital because I was having nipple soreness,’ Jordan wrote in a post on the blog Love What Matters.
‘She told me that it was probably because Lucy had a shallow latch, so she showed me some holds and tips to help her get a deeper latch.’
Lucy went home from the hospital weighing six pounds, one ounce, but Jordan said she didn’t think much of it.
However, Lucy’s weight began to drop. During her one week check-up, Lucy’s weight fell to five pounds, 12 ounces. Lucy would also scream ‘as if nothing was coming out’ while being breastfed (Pictured, Jordan, Aaron and Lucy)
Babies are born with extra fluid and often drop some ounces when that fluid is lost in the first few days of life.
During her one week check-up, Lucy’s weight fell to five pounds, 12 ounces. Despite nursing, Jordan said her breasts would hurt ant her daughter was fussy.
‘For some reason, she seemed to pull away from her latch and scream as if there wasn’t anything coming out,’ she wrote.
‘I was starting to get nervous that my body wasn’t making enough milk for her.’
The following week, Lucy’s weight had gone up to six pounds, one ounce, which was an improvement but less than her birth weight.
Jordan asked the doctor to check for a tongue tie or lip tie, which she says she read can affect breast feeding.
Pieces of connective membranes under the tongue and behind the upper lip are called frenula. When they are tight, the frenula tether down the tongue to the base of the mouth or the upper lip close to the upper gumline.
During her one month checkup, Lucy weighed six pounds and seven ounces – less than her birth weight – her eyes and cheeks were sunken and her skin was sagging with a yellowish tinge (Photo by Jordan Talley Photography)
The doctor told Jordan that her breast milk probably didn’t have enough calories in it and recommended she use formula for Lucy
Jordan’s friend advised her to see a lactation specialist who told her Lucy had a tongue tie and a lip tie. Connective membranes had caused the tongue to be tethered to the base of the mouth and the upper lip to the upper gumline, affecting Lucy’s ability to nurse
This makes it difficult to move the tongue in an effective manner or flange the upper lip out and the baby is not able to be properly nurse.
Her doctor looked in Lucy’s mouth but saw no issue.
After one month, the infant had only gained six ounces. Her eyes and cheeks were sunken and her skin was sagging with a yellowish tinge.
The doctor told Jordan that her breast milk probably didn’t have enough calories in it and recommended she use formula.
‘It felt like someone had taken a knife to my chest when he said that. He might as well have said: “Your milk isn’t good enough for her”,’ she said.
The specialist referred Jordan a doctor who performed tongue tie and lip tie revisions. Due to the urgency of Lucy’s situation, the revisions performed the next day (Pictured, Lucy)
Following the revision, Jordan said her daughter began to pack on weight, and her skin began to clear and have color return to it. During her next check-up, Lucy (left, with her dad, and right, with her mom) weighed seven pounds, eight ounces
Jordan’s friend advised her to see a lactation specialist. The next day, the specialist told Jordan that her daughter did indeed have a tongue tie and a lip tie.
The specialist referred Jordan to a doctor who performed tongue tie and lip tie revisions, which involves using a scissor or a laser to snip the tight frenula so that the tongue and lip can move properly.
This is only recommended if the tie is preventing feeding. In some cases, no problems are caused from a tongue tie or lip tie and and the frenula may loosen over time, resolving the issue.
Due to the urgency of Lucy’s situation, the revisions performed the next day.
‘Immediately after the procedure, I got to nurse Lucy. As soon as she latched, I could feel a difference. It didn’t hurt anymore,’ said Jordan.
Following the revision, Jordan said her daughter began to pack on weight, and her skin began to clear and have color return to it. During her next check-up, Lucy weighed seven pounds, eight ounces.
‘The greatest lesson in this is that I was not failing my baby. It wasn’t her fault, nor was it my fault that she was not able to eat properly,’ Jordan said.
‘Had I not reached out, I imagine I would have given up entirely. I would have continued to feel as though I had failed myself and my daughter, leading me down a path of depression and mom guilt.’