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What is Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia)

Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia) is a condition where some babies have a tight piece of skin (the lingual frenulum) between the underside of their tongue and the floor of their mouth. It affects approximately 4-11% of newborn babies and restricts their tongue movement. This can make breastfeeding, and sometimes bottle feeding, or starting solids difficult.

Symptoms in the baby can any of the following; difficulty feeding, fussy at breast, poor weight gain, colic, reflux, gagging or choking during feeds, frequent clicking sounds.

Symptoms in the mother can be; pain, nipple trauma, repeated mastitis, low milk supply or oversupply.

Tongue-Tie cannot be assessed by appearance only. It should be assessed by a functional assessment of the range of motion of the tongue. A complete history of birth and breastfeeding is also needed, as the symptoms above can be caused by breastfeeding issues other than tongue-tie. A tongue can also be restricted by interventions during the birth process or by positioning of the baby in the uterus.

During our consultation we will discuss how breastfeeding has gone so far and observe a feed. We will work on optimising attachment and positioning and discuss other issues which may cause the symptoms listed above. With your consent, I will assess your baby's tongue function and body alignment, and talk you through each step. We can discuss issues that affect tongue function, and options to improve function. I can refer you to a tongue-tie practitioner if that is your chosen treatment route, or recommend other next steps. I will follow up with you post treatment and provide support, and exercises if needed, to improve breastfeeding.

Next Steps

If you have any questions about a session or would like to arrange to meet, please get in touch.

Important Information

All material on this website is provided for educational purposes only. Online information cannot replace an in-person consultation with a qualified, independent International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or your health care provider. If you are concerned about your health, or that of your child, consult with your health care provider regarding the advisability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your individual situation.