Tongue and Lip Ties
TONGUE AND LIP TIES IN BABIES
Mehjabeen Tirupattur, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
WHAT IS IT?
A tongue tie (medically known as ankyloglossia) is a condition that restricts movement of the tongue caused by a thick or short band of tissue under the tongue called a lingual frenulum.
Similarly, a lip tie is a condition that restricts the movement of the upper lip caused by a thick or short band of tissue under the upper lip called a labial frenulum.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE THEM OR GET IT ASSESSED
Everyone has a lingual and labial frenulum, it’s not a concern just upon examination. The function of the lip and tongue need to be assessed before it’s seen as a tongue or lip tie and can only be diagnosed by a doctor.
Some symptoms may include (but not limited to) the following:
-Not being able to lift the tongue high
-Tongue bowls when the baby cries
-Not being able to stick the tongue out pass the lower gums/lower lip
-Upper lip doesn’t flange (flip out) while baby breastfeeds
-Tugging noted under the upper lip while baby breastfeeds
In order to properly identify whether your baby has a tongue or lip tie issue, the baby needs to be observed feeding at the breast by a lactation consultant or breastfeeding expert. They can tell whether the baby is having any latching difficulties, are being satiated at the breast or if it’s the cause for any pain. Especially lip ties, which can only be seen as an issue while the baby feeds and not just upon examination.
HOW IT AFFECTS BREASTFEEDING
It can affect supply
Especially with tongue tie concerns (which can usually go undiagnosed), not addressing it early can have an impact on your milk supply later. How does that happen? In order for the breast to continue making milk, milk has to be removed. Having a tongue tie may not allow a baby to achieve a deep latch, to stimulate the breast to transfer the milk to the baby. Overtime, this less than ideal latch and stimulation can slowly decrease the supply.
It can be painful
Tongue and lip ties can make breastfeeding very painful. If a mother is experiencing pain, not addressing the cause of the pain will cut her breastfeeding journey short. When latching the baby, if they think they will experience pain, they will hesitate to latch, thereby getting a less than ideal or shallow latch further increasing pain.
WHERE TO GET IT CORRECTED
A lot of places don’t offer tongue tie releases or don’t know how to assess for one. You want to look at reputable places that know how to do both. For example, breastfeeding clinics that have a doctor such as the International Breastfeeding Centre, a pediatric dentist and some doctor’s offices.
Thanks again Mehjabeen for sharing all this information!
xx Dear Heart Co.
A little intro to Dear Heart:
We are two Canadian Mamas with children of our own. Our goal is to offer high quality Baby & Mama products that are made in Canada, using natural materials, like bamboo and linen. All of our bamboo and linen products are made with Oeko-Tex certified fabric that is hypoallergenic, eco-friendly and a healthier alternative for your baby. We are proud that all of our products are designed and made in Canada. Follow our journey on Instagram @dear.heart.co