What Is Tongue-Tie?

According to the NHS, 1 in 10 babies have the condition called Tongue-Tie. We often get asked about tongue-tie and whether it could be a cause of pain for the mums we are supporting. 

Tongue-Tie is where the strip of skin connecting baby’s tongue to the bottom of their mouth is shorter than usual, leading to potential problems with latching on and feeding. It’s often first discovered if baby is struggling to latch, and can be the cause of some common breastfeeding problems including milk supply, pain whilst feeding and sore or cracked nipples. Tongue tie is quite a common issue we see in newborns, and is really easily sorted with the right support! 

According to La Leche League, A baby may;

• Be unable to latch on to the breast at all.

• Be unable to latch on deeply, causing nipple pain and damage.

• Have difficulties staying on the breast, making a clicking sound as he loses suction.

• 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.

Peer supporters are not trained to diagnose tongue tie but we can support you to see if other techniques on improving position and attachment may work first. If you’re in Salford or Bury, you can book a 1:1 peer support appointment.

If you suspect your new baby may have a tongue tie, make an appointment to speak to your GP or midwife who can help to treat tongue-tie and perform a tongue-tie division, which should improve breastfeeding for both mum and baby.

You can also call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 where trained breastfeeding counsellors can help you. 

Further information from the La Leche League is here

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