Breastfeeding is a beautiful and bonding experience between a mother and her baby. However, for some mothers and infants, breastfeeding can be challenging due to a condition called tongue tie. Tongue tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition where the tissue connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too tight or restrictive. This condition can affect a baby’s ability to breastfeed effectively, causing difficulties and frustrations for both the mother and the baby.

At the Tongue Tie Institute, a part of Upbeat Pediatric Dentistry, we understand the impacts that tongue tie can have on breastfeeding and the importance of providing support and guidance to mothers and infants experiencing these difficulties. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of tongue tie on breastfeeding and provide valuable tips for overcoming these challenges.

What are the most common difficulties moms breastfeeding a tongue-tied baby have?

Poor Latch and Ineffective Milk Transfer

Tongue tie can make it difficult for a baby to achieve a proper latch while breastfeeding. The restricted movement of the tongue can prevent the baby from creating a vacuum and effectively extracting milk from the breast. This can lead to poor milk transfer, inadequate nutrition for the baby, and discomfort or pain for the mother.

Nipple Pain and Damage

Due to the ineffective latch caused by tongue tie, breastfeeding can result in nipple pain, soreness, and even nipple damage such as cracks or bleeding. This can be a discouraging and painful experience for the mother, making it challenging to continue breastfeeding.

Inadequate Weight Gain

Tongue tie can interfere with a baby’s ability to effectively extract milk from the breast, leading to inadequate weight gain. This can be a cause for concern for mothers, as they want to ensure their baby is receiving the necessary nutrition for healthy growth and development.

Frustration and Stress

Difficulties in breastfeeding due to tongue tie can result in frustration and stress for both the mother and the baby. The inability to establish a successful breastfeeding routine can impact the emotional well-being of the mother, leading to feelings of guilt or inadequacy.

What can I do to overcome these breastfeeding difficulties?

Seek Support and Consultation

If you are experiencing nipple pain or damage, it is crucial to seek support and consultation from a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding specialist. They can offer guidance on proper latch techniques, positioning, and provide tips to alleviate discomfort. Additionally, our team at the Tongue Tie Institute can work closely with your lactation consultant to ensure comprehensive care and support for you and your baby.

Seek Professional Evaluation

If you suspect that your baby may have tongue tie and it is impacting breastfeeding, it is important to seek a professional evaluation. Our experienced team at the Tongue Tie Institute can assess your baby’s condition and provide personalized recommendations for treatment options, such as laser frenectomy, which can release the tongue tie and improve breastfeeding.

Monitor Weight Gain and Supplement as Needed

Regular monitoring of your baby’s weight gain is essential. If there are concerns about inadequate weight gain, consult with your pediatrician and lactation consultant to determine if additional supplementation may be necessary. In some cases, releasing the tongue tie through a laser frenectomy procedure can improve breastfeeding efficiency and lead to better weight gain.

Seek Emotional Support and Connection

It is important to seek emotional support during this challenging time. Surround yourself with understanding and supportive individuals, such as your partner, family, friends, or support groups for breastfeeding mothers. Sharing your experiences and concerns can provide comfort and reassurance that you are not alone in this journey. Remember, seeking professional help and exploring treatment options can help alleviate these challenges and restore the joy of breastfeeding.

Treatment Options for babies with Tongue Tie

At the Tongue Tie Institute, we are committed to supporting mothers and infants in overcoming the difficulties associated with tongue tie and breastfeeding. Our skilled team of professionals, led by experienced pediatric dentists, provides comprehensive evaluations and treatment options tailored to meet the unique needs of each child and mother.

If you are facing challenges with breastfeeding and suspect that tongue tie may be a contributing factor, we encourage you to reach out to us at the Tongue Tie Institute. Together, we can work towards improving breastfeeding success and nurturing a strong and healthy bond between you and your baby.