Tongue tie affects around 4-11% of newborn babies. It’s more common in boys than girls, and sometimes runs in families.
What is a tongue tie?
Some babies who have tongue tie don’t seem bothered by it. In others it can restrict the tongues movement making it harder to breastfeed. It may not become apparent until your baby has feeding problems. The front part of the tongue should be able to extend and cup the breast (or bottle teat) and draw it into the mouth, the back part of the tongue should lift and drop in a rhythmic motion allowing a good suck/swallow/breathe pattern, but when a baby cannot do this well it can impact on their feeding.
How is a tongue tie divided
• Failure to latch
• Fussing at breast
• Choking or spluttering
• Poor weight gain or weight gain may be good but your baby is feeding continuously
• Inconsistent nappy output
• Colic/reflux symptoms that are not resolved with medication
• Low milk supply after an initially good supply
• Recurrent mastitis (inflammation of the breast) and or blocked ducts
What the evidence says:
You can find more information at http://www.nice.org.uk/PG149. Understanding NICE guidance – information for people considering the procedure for their baby, and the public.
Currently there is no published evidence supporting a link between breastfeeding issues and lip tie.