101: Tongue-tie

By Abby Johnston

Tongue-tie occurs when the skin under a baby's tongue (the frenulum) restricts it's movement, making it difficult to breastfeed.

Tongue-tie occurs in about 5% of babies, and is more common for males than females. If you think your baby isn't latching properly, if it hurts to feed, or if your baby doesn't seem to be extracting much milk this is definitely something worth exploring.

here we lay down the deets on diagnosis and the super quick fix that'll have you and bub back on your way to happy nursing.

Tongue-tie is often missed in the early stages of breastfeeding, and can cause ongoing problems for some women.

Keep reading if you are having trouble with any of the following issues:

  • nipple pain or damage

  • a flattened, compressed or striped nipple after feeding

  • regular loss of suction during feeding, causing your baby to suck in air

  • gagging during feeding

  • a clicking sound during feeding

  • concerns about your baby's weight gain

It's totally worth getting some time booked in with an Internationally Certified Lactation Consultant.

If it turns out your baby has a tongue-tie it is really no biggie. A quick snip procedure takes only a second or two, and will usually fix the problem.

No anaesthetic is used and in most cases the baby will feed immediately after the treatment to distract from any discomfort, provide natural pain relief and help stop any slight bleeding. The mother will usually notice the change in latch straight away, but it might take a few weeks to see full improvement.

If in doubt, don't suffer in silence. Book an appointment and get an expert to take a look. A tiny snip could make all the difference.

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