Sadly, Hannah Wheeler’s experience is not unique to those who gave birth during lockdown (Alone and in pain: one woman’s struggle for breastfeeding support, 4 October). I experienced excruciatingly painful breastfeeding with my second daughter, born in 2008. The midwives and health visitors just told me to put up with it and that it would improve over time, despite my experience of painless feeding with my first daughter. As my daughter’s weight dropped, I went to my GP, who diagnosed a tongue-tie; that explained the weight loss due to insufficient milk intake. We still had to wait a further six weeks for an appointment to snip the tongue-tie, so my daughter was five months old before the problem was solved. Routine checking for tongue-ties at birth could help to avoid these feeding problems and the associated weight loss issues during a baby’s crucial early weeks.
• When I had my first child (who is now a teenager) I was determined to breastfeed, which during the first three months was very painful due to tongue-tie, and I nearly gave up. At a visit to the GP when my baby was six weeks I was told: “Breast is best, and breastfeeding will be painful.” At that time, the policy of the local health trust was not to intervene with babies born with tongue-tie. However, this policy changed and now tongue-ties can be divided within the first six weeks if there are problems breastfeeding. Tongue-tie occurs in 4% to 11% of newborns. I was given little support on this from my health visitor. However, I did contact La Leche League, a breastfeeding support group who were helpful.