Tongue-Tie & Lip-Tie: What You Need to Know |

Tongue-Tie & Lip-Tie: What You Need to Know

Does your baby feed well? Is your baby gaining weight? How can we help? Here's Koster Clinic's advice.

Posted on

8 October 2015

Last updated on 11 December 2018
Tongue-Tie & Lip-Tie: What You Need to Know
Does your baby not feed well, not gain weight or does not latch on? Your baby could have what is commonly known as ‘Tongue-tie’ or ankyloglossia in medical terms. Here's what you need to know about this condition.
  • What is Tongue -tie?

Tongue-tie results when the frenulum (the band of tissue that connects the bottom of the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is too short and tight, causing the movement of the tongue to be restricted.

  • What is Lip-it?

Lip-tie is similar to Tongue-tie, however, the frenulum in this instances connects the upper lip to the gums, causing the restriction.

  • Why is it important for breastfeeding?

The immediate importance is the negative impact that a tight frenulum can have on a baby’s ability to breastfeed effectively. In order to extract milk from the breast, the baby needs to move his tongue forward to cup the nipple and areola, drawing it back into his mouth and pressing the tissue against the roof of his mouth.

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  • What can be done?

A simple procedure called a “frenectomy” that can quickly correct the problem. In a relatively painless in-office procedure, the doctor simply clips the frenulum to loosen it and allow the tongue full range of motion. It takes less than a second, and because the frenulum contains almost no blood, there is usually only a few drops of blood.

The baby is put on the breast immediately following the procedure, and the bleeding stops almost instantly. Anaesthesia and stitches are not necessary. The baby cries more because he is being restrained for a few seconds than he does because of pain.

  • Who can help?

Dr. Bertille Bouvier, a French G.P. will help with breastfeeding support to new parents as well as performing the tongue-tie and lip-tie procedure.

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