Infant Tongue Tie
A tongue tie is where the strip of skin connecting the baby’s tongue to the bottom of their mouth is shorter than usual. Some babies who have a tongue tie are not bothered by it, but others struggle with the restriction of the tongues movement, making it harder to breastfeed.
To breastfeed successfully, a baby needs to latch on to both the breast tissue and nipple, and their tongue needs to cover the lower gum so the nipple is protected from damage.
If your baby has tongue-tie, they may have difficulty breastfeeding because,
- They have difficulty attaching to the breast or staying attached for a full feed
- Be unsettled and seem to be hungry all the time
- Not gain weight as quickly as they should
- Make a “clicking” sound as they feed – this can also be a sign you need support with the positioning and attachment of your baby at the breast
If a baby is having trouble feeding, they may need a tongue-tie division, a simple procedure that cuts the short, tight piece of skin connecting the underside of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. It is a quick, simple and almost painless procedure that usually improves feeding straight away.
At Pregma, we believe in achieving the best possible pregnancy and birth for you possible. We have a fantastic team of tongue tie clinicians who are ready to help and expertly guide you through any difficulties your baby has.
Frequently Asked Questions
Often the procedure is done to very young babies, who are only a few days old.
The procedure is normally done without anaesthetic, as it does not seem to hurt babies, due to the very few nerve endings at the bottom of the mouth. Most babies sleep through the procedure, while others may cry a little.
When babies are a little bit older, they tend to need a general anaesthetic and recover immediately so they can feed happily.