Tongue Tie

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

Your baby could have what is commonly known as ‘Tongue-tie’ or ankyloglossia in medical terms.

What is Tongue-tie?

Tongue-tie results when the frenulum (the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is too short and tight, causing the movement of the tongue to be restricted.

What is Lip-it?

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

Why is it important for breastfeeding?

The immediate importance is the negative impact that a tight frenulum can have on a baby’s ability to breastfeed effectively. In-order to extract milk from the breast, the baby needs to move his tongue forward to cup the nipple and areola, drawing it back in his mouth and pressing the tissue against the roof of his mouth.

What can be done?

A simple procedure called a “frenetomy” thatcan quickly correct the problem. In a relatively painless in-office procedure, the doctor simply clips the frenulum to loosen it and allow the tongue full range of motion. It takes less than a second, and because the frenulum contains almost no blood, there is usually only a few drops of blood. The baby is put on the breast immediately following the procedure, and the bleeding stops almost instantly. Anaesthesia and stitches are not necessary. The baby cries more because he is being restrained for a few seconds than he does because of pain.