I wish I had found this article when I was breast-feeding DS1! I cried every day for 13 weeks when it came to feeding, as it was just so insanely painful. I completely dismissed the idea of him having tongue tie, as he was still able to poke his tongue out. But apparently some babies can stick their tongues out with tongue tie. He suffered so many of the symptoms on this list. And my husband had a tongue tie when he was young too (it’s genetic). Well, at least I know now I suppose…
Tongue tie, the hidden cause of feeding problems? (however you feed your baby)
Milk Matters are confident identfying indicators of tongue tie. We can provide information about moving forward either within the NHS and with the private IBCLC oral specialists we work closely alongside.
We now over an International virtual service to help you identify signs of tongue restriction, and explore your options.
What Is It?
If you look under your tongue, you might see it is attached to the floor of your mouth with what is called a lingual frenum or frenulum. This “string” is left over tissue from facial development and typically works its way back down the tongue during pregnancy, reducing to insignificance before birth. Sometimes this doesn’t happen and ties can also occur on upper or lower lips, gums and cheeks.
If the string is too short, or tight and so restricts movement of the tongue, this is termed “tongue tie” (Ankyloglossia).
How Common Is It?
It seems to be a hot topic at the moment, but there are very good reasons for this. Tongue tie in early infancy is far more likely to be obvious in a breastfed baby; bottle teats do not complain of compression, blister if an incorrect tongue action is used, nor does bottle supply dip as a result of poor feeding action. Even if mum finds her baby refuses the bottle or struggles with a slow flow teat, is colicky, refluxy or showing other common signs – it may never be linked to the tongue.
For decades bottle feeding was more popular than breastfeeding, and as a result many medical professionals lost their skills of diagnosing and treating tongue-tie. This means that not only are the statistics we have likely to be misleading because they only include those diagnosed, but also that mums may have trouble finding someone who can effectively recognise and treat the problem. A more recent study at Southampton suggested 10% of all babies born had tongue tie (Note as Ankyloglossia is genetic, this rate may vary area to area and country to country). Read the rest of this entry »