Tongue Tie

Tongue-tie has become the default diagnosis for many breastfeeding problems. This is a very misleading and poor medical practice.

Babies may
• Be unable to latch on the breast at all or deeply, causing nipple pain and damage.
• Have difficulties staying on the breast, making a clicking sound.
• Splutter and choke when coping with fast-flowing milk.
• Breastfeed constantly to get enough milk.
• Have poor weight gain or need supplementation to maintain adequate weight gain.
• Develop jaundice that needs treating.
• Be fussy at the breast when the milk flow slows.
• Develop colic.

When you are experiencing these concerns, you are desperate for a solution. While the vast majority of such breastfeeding problems can be resolved by addressing a wider differential of causes like addressing positioning and attachment or evaluating muscular tightness and facial asymmetry, occasionally tongue-tie (or better thought as tethered oral tissue) might be the cause of the problem.

Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is caused by a tight or short lingual frenulum (the membrane that anchors the tongue to the floor of the mouth). The frenulum normally thins and recedes before birth. Where this doesn’t happen, the frenulum may restrict tongue mobility. Tongue-tie often runs in families and is thought to be more common in boys than girls. There is an association between high or unusual palates and tongue-tie because restricted tongue movement may affect the shape of the palate.

Breastfeeding challenges must be addressed but only after a thorough evaluation of breastfeeding. I combine decades of experience and work with an interdisciplinary team, to address the exact cause of the feeding difficulty and connect you to support before you rely simply upon the latest google craze and find yourself still not making progress. Once discharged from the hospital, it would be wise to be evaluated by the baby’s pediatrician and a breastfeeding medicine practitioner before having a procedure by the person offering the procedure. It is easy to get caught in a referral ring.

Creating a Healthier Community by Helping Mothers Breastfeed Their Babies:      Since 1988!