Tongue-tie

Monday January 19, 2015 at 8:40am
I have two gorgeous new nephews, both born over the Christmas period! Finlay is my brother and sister-in-law’s second baby and weighed in at a massive 10lbs 10ozs; Noah, my sister’s first, was a more moderate 7lbs 7ozs. Both are being breast-fed and, as often happens, both mums have experienced some difficulties feeding. This always strikes me as odd as breast-feeding is meant to be the most natural thing in the world – something in the development of humans has obviously gone a bit awry! There are breast feeding classes, lactation nurses, endless pieces of advice as to how to go about it and yet so many new mums give up because of soreness, baby not putting on weight, sleepless nights, none-stop feeding. The list of problems can seem endless!   

Finlay is a case in point. He was feeding non-stop, gulping, hiccupping and not gaining weight. Mum, meanwhile, was sore, stressed, worn–out and on the point of giving up. Four midwives gave different pieces of advice but none actually saw Finlay breast-feeding. The last midwife referred them to a lactation nurse who immediately diagnosed the problem as tongue-tie. All the signs were there! A quick snip freed the tongue and, for the first time, Finlay was able to latch on and feed properly.   

According to the Baby Centre Medical Advisory Board, http://www.babycentre.co.uk/e1001109/medical-advisory-board, “tongue-tie happens when the string of tissue under your baby's tongue which attaches her tongue to the floor of her mouth, is too short. If your baby has tongue-tie, her tongue can't move freely, and this can cause problems.”  

Studies vary but it is thought that 4% to 11% of babies have the condition. Some cases are mild and breast-feeding is not affected but, if you are experiencing problems, it is worth getting your baby checked for tongue-tie.   

The Baby Centre says that if your baby’s “tongue can’t move freely, they may   

•   have trouble latching on 

•   slip off your breast while feeding 

•   not gain weight as expected 

If your baby is struggling to feed because of tongue-tie, you may have sore, painful nipples, which may make you both feel frustrated.”   

The condition is not thought to be inherited but, funnily enough, Noah had the same problem. At least my sister knew what to look out for!          

» Categories: Health

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