Tongue-Tie (Ankyloglossia) Assessment and Division

Does my baby have tongue-tie?

Breastfeeding-mums

Infant feeding issues have been associated with tongue-ties. These feeding issues include a poor or shallow latch, reflux and excessive spitting up, poor weight gain, gagging or choking, milk leakage, and frustration at the breast or with bottles.

Our Advice

  • The decision on whether or not a tongue-tie is impacting on feeding and whether it is appropriate to offer to divide will be based on functionality, not on appearance.
  • You should avoid feeding the baby for an hour before the appointment so he or she will be interested in feeding during the consultation.
  • Bring your red book and a blanket to wrap the baby in and if the baby is having top ups or is bottle-fed bring some expressed milk or if using formula a carton of the ready-made formula you usually use.
  • I will take a detailed medical history for both mother and baby, birth history and feeding history from you and I may observe baby feeding.
  • I will assess tongue function and then discuss my findings with you.
  • We will go through strategies, which may be more appropriate than tongue-tie division, or which may be needed alongside division, to improve feeding such as positioning and attachment, boosting milk supply, suck training, etc.
  • If tongue-tie division is appropriate I will go through the potential outcomes and risks of the procedure with you so you can make an informed decision on whether to go ahead or not and you will be asked to sign a consent form.
  • I will swaddle your baby in a towel or blanket and place them on the couch in the clinic room under a bright lamp or surgical lighting.
  • If I have an assistant in the clinic then he/she will hold your baby’s head (unless you prefer to). However, if I am working alone then a parent will need to hold the baby’s head.
  • Once the frenulum has been fully divided I will place a piece of gauze under the baby’s tongue and pass the baby to mum to feed.  Babies usually latch on within a minute and bleeding is usually very light and stops quickly once the baby is feeding. Most babies tolerate the procedure well with just a short cry before they feed.
  • I will observe baby feeding and provide support with this.
  • I will also go through some simple, gentle tongue exercises you can do with your baby and explain to you what to expect in terms of healing and recovery.
  • I will stay with you until any bleeding has settled.
  • Babies are often unsettled in the first day or two after a tongue-tie division and might need more cuddles and nurturing.
  • After the procedure, you’ll probably see a white patch under your baby’s tongue; this takes 24 to 48 hours to heal but it won’t bother your baby

What you achieve

  • Dramatically improve breastfeeding comfort and efficiency for both mother and baby
  • Positive relationship between a successful frenectomy and improvement in speech and feeding skills

Book an appointment today

We offer various Antenatal and Postnatal appointments. Online, face to face and even in your own home.

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