Tongue-tie and Breast Feeding

Tongue and lip ties are concerns for nursing mothers and can be developmental problems that begin in the womb. At Tejas Ear, Nose and Throat, we understand the importance of diagnosing and treating tongue and lip ties before they become detrimental to breastfeeding or other typical developmental milestones.

What is a tongue-tie?

The frenulum is the tissue underneath the tongue that gives it flexibility from the lower jaw. Babies that have less of this tissue that normal may be diagnosed with tongue-tie, and in some cases, the same problem can occur with the lip. Any restricted movement of the lip or tongue can cause trouble to a healthy young infant that needs nutrition. Information regarding treatment is based on which classification the tie falls in.

Why is tongue-tie a problem for breastfeeding?

Babies with a tie will have difficulty securely latching onto the breast they are feeding from. This is recognizable in situations where the baby has to work harder to get milk, and in turn, can cause  damage the nipple. If the tie is classified as severe, then the baby won’t be able to nurse at all. Because tongue-ties have been so common throughout the years, bottle-feeding became more popular. For mothers that still want to nurse, bottles are not always a viable option to their natural routine.

Knowledge is power

Some mothers are turned off of breastfeeding due to the pain caused by babies with tongue or lip ties. This is a problem, especially if they don’t realize that the condition is treatable. Many first-time parents aren’t familiar with the condition, so a little bit of knowledge about ties can go a long way in treatment.

  • Ties can also make bottle feeding difficult
  • Solid food is harder to swallow
  • Lack of breastfeeding decreases milk production
  • Colic and reflux are possible problems caused by ties
  • Speech problems can develop over time
  • Teeth problems in children and teens can be worsened by untreated ties
  • The earlier it is treated, the less problematic it becomes with age
  • Putting off the procedure leads to expensive surgeries later on

Get treated

Tongue and lip ties are small problems that can be life changing if not addressed at infancy. Dr. Oscar A. Tamez of Tejas Ear, Nose and Throat excels in treating all classifications of tongue and lip tie and can help nursing mothers reconnect with their babies in need. It’s a safe procedure that can be treated so infants can grow up healthy and happy.