Is My Baby Tongue-Tied?

type2You might be surprised to find that most of your baby’s breastfeeding and bottle feeding challenges are NOT your fault. As an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, IBCLC I have worked with thousands of women in helping them become successful in their breastfeeding goals. As I notice by the time a mom seeks out an IBCLC, they are not only in crisis mode but feel that NO ONE understands the emotional and physical pain they have endured for days, weeks, months and even a year. Moms want to be able to provide for their babies and when the experience is less than ideal, they question their ability as a mother.

A tongue tie is a restriction underneath the tongue keeping the tongue from functioning correctly. When there is a tongue restriction, “sometimes” there is also a lip restriction. When there is an obvious lip restriction, the research shows that a posterior tongue tie exists. What does this all mean? Your baby needs his lip and tongue to function properly and correctly or the baby may:

  • cause sore nipples/often times persistent yeast or a nipple bacterial infection
  • plugged ducts/mastitis from poor drainage
  • GI upset in baby such as gas, spitting, grunting, poor sleep, arching and any symptoms that appear to be colic or reflux. They may always want to nurse. Often times, infants are on reflux meds without much improvement.
  • not be able to sustain the latch and falls off the nipple or stays just at the tip.
  • have long feeding times and infant does not seem satisfied even though weight gain is appropriate.
  • not be gaining enough weight and your milk supply seems to be lowered.
  • may choke, cough or gag during feedings whether it is with a bottle or breast.
  • milk leaks or dribbles outside the baby’s mouth during breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
  • appear to have a food allergy.

You and your baby may have all or some of these listed above.

If your baby’s tongue may not look like the one pictured above, does not mean that your baby is not tied. According to American Academy of Pediatrics there are four different types. It will depend on where the frenulum lies to relationship to the tip of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. And the functionality of the tongue and lip. A baby needs the lip and the tongue to work properly in order to suck, suction, swallow and even breath well. This important concept is over looked by alot of health care providers.

Unfortunately, the majority of health care providers have no idea the effect a restricted tongue and lip has on breastfeeding, the mother’s confidence in breastfeeding, let alone the over all health of the infant. Most importantly to note, most have no idea what a posterior tongue tie looks like or treat properly.posterior tongue tie (1) (1)-page-001

Because I want the best for my clients breastfeeding success, I have created the Tongue Tie Specialty Center. Whether you live in Utah or anywhere else in the world – help is available and you are not alone.

I have seen hundreds of breastfeeding relationships be saved by getting the tongue and if necessary the lip restriction revised. Feeding your baby is suppose to be easy and enjoyable. Your baby needs to be happy and healthy. The right help is available!  Picture above shows a Posterior Tongue Tie, Type 4 – ENT, Oral Surgeon or a Pediatric Dentist is needed to release this type of restriction. This simple procedure is easy, quick and effective for breast and bottle feeding issues.