A mucous membrane called the frenulum is centred on the underside of
baby’s tongue and attaches the tongue to the floor of his mouth.
defect like this can make it look as if baby has a short tongue or
sometimes no “free tongue “ A tongue-tied baby might have some problems
moving his tongue up and down and side to side. A tight or short
frenulum or “tongue-tie” can make it difficult for baby to feed at the
Baby cannot bring his tongue forward enough to get the
nipple and areola into his mouth. Newborn tongue tied babies can
sometimes breastfeed without problems, as long as a proper latch can be
Sucking is only possible with the forward movement of the jaw and
tongue, and the tongue helps for the seal during breastfeeding. In a
baby will tongue tie this movement is restricted and therefore causes
some sucking problems.
Nipple pain is the first sign of a tongue tie during breastfeeding.
Between 2 – 4% of all babies are born with tongue tie. Breastfeeding a
tongue tied baby can be very frustrating especially if you don’t know
that your baby has tongue tie.
Breastfeeding issues that could be signs of tongue tie
- Tongue tied babies cannot stick out their tongue farther than their lips
- Baby’s tongue is heart shaped at the tip
- Sore nipples, mastitis
- Tongue tie babies lose weight after birth because they are not consuming enough.
- A tongue-tied infant usually has a shallow latch while breastfeeding
- Babies with tongue tie are usually very fussy during feedings
- Breaking suction often during feedings and baby choking
- A breastfeeding tongue tied baby can sometimes make clicking sounds while feeding.
- Moms milk supply is low since baby cannot stimulate the breast to produce enough milk
- Milk usually dribbles down baby’s mouth while feeding since he cannot make a proper seal
- Baby is biting or chewing on your breast instead of sucking
Breastfeeding is not trouble-free for everyone. So problems might have
zero to do with tongue-tie, in which case your midwife, health visitor
or breastfeeding consultant should still be able to help you and your
baby with breast feeding. If you and baby have at least three of these
symptoms above, and those symptoms are not GONE by the time baby is 1
week old - it is time to see a specialist knowledgeable in the frenotomy
Fix tied tongue
- Tongue tie surgery - When tongue tie starts to cause breastfeeding
problems, a procedure called “frenetomy” can be done to clip the frenum.
This procedure is also sometimes called “clipping tongue”. This “frenulum clip” is shown in the tongue tied youtube video here.
is hardly any bleeding and baby can start breastfeeding immediately
after the procedure. Some doctors might say that they don’t do this
procedure anymore, which is not true.
There are many doctors who
still do the tongue tie operation because of its benefits for mother and
baby through breastfeeding. If your doctor refuses to do the tongue
tie release frenulectomy procedure you can find somebody who will.
- Wait it out – Sometimes it is possible that the frenulum will stretch out on its own as a result of baby sucking.
Severe tongue tie
This is when the frenulum is very short or when it is attached to
the tip of the tongue. It may cause some speech problems later in life…
if the frenulum is not cut. A tongue tied toddler might struggle with
pronouncing “th, l, f, g, n, r, “