With a baby in hand, I was aware on the concept of tongue – tie and breastfeeding. One of my friends had a bad time feeding her baby. The little one would latch on but find it difficult to feed. She would feed for a small time, be hungry and then again feed. The baby was getting milk, but the breasts of my friend had gone sore and moreover she was not getting enough sleep. She got in touch with a lactation specialist who suggested tongue tie breastfeeding positions.
The medical term for it is ankyloglossia. All of us have a band of tissue which tethers the tongue to the floor of the mouth. This tissue is referred to as lingual frenulum and it does not restrict the movement of the tongue. But frenulum happens to be thick, attached too much forward or tight paving way for tongue tie.
What you need to be aware about breastfeeding and tongue tie
In the days gone by, most midwives were aware of tongue tie. One of their finger nails would be kept long, to snip the tongue tie before the baby starts breastfeeding. When bottle feeding become more popular than breastfeeding this old school of thought vanished.
All of us know that tongue tie is common, and it is not that severe which means it will interfere with breastfeeding. Tongue tie may run in families and is more prevalent in body. One thing is sure that breastfeeding is much better than bottle feeding in the case of babies. This could be the reason on why 70 % of moms who started breastfeeding dropped down to 20 % in the first 6 months.
Babies with tongue tie have problems to latch. To avail a proper latch on the nipple, the baby needs to slide his or her tongue over the lower gum. Babies who have tongue tie compensate tongue movement with the help of jaws more and chewing to get milk. The baby is bound to get tired more easily and regular feeding is needed and the mother has sore nipples.
The treatment of tongue tie
You have to get a surgery done which goes by the name of frenotomy. The frenulum’s is the connecting point for the upper and lower lips to the gums and can cause breastfeeding problems. It is a quick and reliable procedure that can do wonders if the mother is struggling with breastfeeding. There is little pain or any form of bleeding as there are few blood vessels or nerves in the frenulum. The mother will get more sleep, the breasts will sore less and the baby will be a lot happy.
If your baby has trouble latching and works hard on your nipple, ask your doctor about tongue tie. It might be worthwhile to get in touch with an ENT specialist, who is up to date on tongue tie, along with breastfeeding. A simple sip could be the defining moment between a breast and a bottle.