Tongue and Lip Tie

Does your baby not feed well, not gainweight or does not latch on?

Your baby could have what is commonlyknown as ‘Tongue-tie’ or ankyloglossia inmedical terms.

What is Tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie results when the frenulum (theband of tissue that connects the bottom ofthe tongue to the floor of the mouth) is tooshort and tight, causing the movement of thetongue to be restricted.

What is Lip-it?

Lip-tie is similar to Tongue-tie however the frenulum in this instances connects the upperlip to the gums, causing the restriction.

Why is it important for breastfeeding?

The immediate importance is the negativeimpact that a tight frenulum can have ona baby’s ability to breastfeed effectively. Inorder to extract milk from the breast, thebaby needs to move his tongue forward tocup the nipple and areola, drawing it backin his mouth and pressing the tissue againstthe roof of his mouth.

What can be done?

A simple procedure called a “frenetomy” thatcan quickly correct the problem. In arelatively painless in-office procedure, thedoctor simply clips the frenulum to loosen itand allow the tongue full range of motion. Ittakes less than a second, and because thefrenulum contains almost no blood, there isusually only a few drops of blood. The baby isput on the breast immediately following theprocedure, and the bleeding stops almostinstantly. Anaesthesia and stitches are not necessary. The baby cries more because he isbeing restrained for a few seconds than hedoes because of pain.

Who can help?

Dr.BertilleBouvier, a FrenchG.P. will help with breastfeeding support to newparents as well as performingthe tongue-tie and lip-tieprocedure.