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  • Rica Peralejo Reveals Struggles With Newborn Son's Lip- and Tongue-Tie

    Rica's newborn had to undergo surgery to correct the condition.
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Rica Peralejo Reveals Struggles With Newborn Son's Lip- and Tongue-Tie
PHOTO BY @ricaperalejo/Instagram
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • Actress Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, who gave birth to her youngest child on June 9, 2019, is slowly adjusting to life as a mom to 5-year-old Philip and month-old son Manu, and she admits it hasn’t been easy. 

    As any new parent would know, caring for a newborn entails waking up frequently at night to feed and soothe the baby, whose sleeping pattern is yet to adjust. Based on Rica’s post, she and husband Joseph seem to be used to Manu waking up every hour on a normal night. 

    What makes it harder, though, is the fact that Manu had a lip-tie and tongue-tie at birth, for which he had to undergo surgery.

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    On June 30, Rica mentioned about Manu’s lip- and tongue-tie in an Instagram post.

    “Manu has severe lip tie and tongue tie which were advised to be severed. Poor boy had to endure pains in the mouth! And as his mom, hindi ako mapakali. Iyak lang ako ng iyak pag umiiyak siya! And then it was followed by nursing readjustment... tearful episodes also. Iyakan muna bago maka-latch. Hay!” she wrote.

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    A lip-tie is a piece of tissue under the baby’s upper lip that connects to the upper gums. When it is too thick or too tight, it could restrict the movement of the upper lip.

    A tongue-tie, on the other hand, is a strip of tissue (the frenulum) that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth too tightly. About 4 to 11 percent of all newborns have tongue-ties. It is also quite common for tongue-ties and lip-ties to occur in tandem.

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    In an earlier post, Rica sounded anxious and distraught as she listed down the many goings-on in her life. 

    “Lip and tongue tie release, a newborn crying and crying out of pain, unlearning and relearning your nursing dynamics, your body going haywire because of stress, his body not knowing so much while feeling so much, on top of it all your husband heads straight to work with zero sleep, and your firstborn falls off the edge of the bed,” Rica’s long list of worries read.

    “I went to bed engorged and hopeless about how to express all the milk he won’t get [because] he is afraid of the overactive let down. I slept anxiously and expecting the worst,” she added.

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    A lip-tie or tongue-tie in a newborn could pose problems when breastfeeding, among others, as the “ties” may prevent him from latching properly onto the breast and therefore restrict feeding. 

    Both tongue-tie and lip-tie could be corrected with a quick surgical procedure (a frenotomy, or a tongue-tie / lip-tie revision), which Manu enderwent, during which the thick membrane is cut or severed using a laser or sterile pair of scissors to free the lip or the tongue.

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    On July 6, Rica gave her followers an update — a happier one — on Manu’s condition. 

    “Here we go with the normal newborn schedule, with added challenges for us because we had lip and tongue tie revision that brought us back to square one of our nursing journey,” she wrote. 

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    Rica went on to say that breastfeeding Manu after the procedure involved “lots of reassuring actions and therapy, communicating that we love him and that we are sorry he had to get the surgery.”

    As expected, it meant more sleepless nights for the 38-year-old mom, but like before, nothing could dampen Rica's spirit.

    “But we try and we try, bleary-eyed, we try... and then one day I notice him trust me and smile at me and find refuge in me all over again and that’s a win!”

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