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Sally Tedstone
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Breastfeeding Expert Midwife and Breastfeeding Educator with UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative
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Breastfeeding

Tongue tie in babies

Tongue tie, also called ankyloglossia, is a tight piece of skin between the underside of the tongue and the floor of the mouth.
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In Short
In extreme cases tongue tie causes breastfeeding problems and pain for the mother.

Tongue-ties do not always cause problems and do not always require treatment.

If the tie is causing problems with feeding, division of the lingual frenulum can be carried out as early as possible by a trained health professional.

Tongue tie division may enable the mother to continue breastfeeding rather than having to give up breastfeeding due to pain and inefficient feeding. NICE has approved the division of tongue tie.

How common is tongue tie?

Tongue tie occurs in around 3-10% of newborns.

What is tongue tie?

Tongue tie, also called ankyloglossia, is a tight piece of skin between the underside of the tongue and the floor of the mouth.

Can you treat tongue tie?

Many tongue-ties do not cause problems and do not require treatment. However, if the tie is causing problems with feeding, surgical division of the lingual frenulum can be recommended and carried out as early as possible. This may enable the mother to continue breastfeeding rather than having to give up breastfeeding.

NICE has approved the division of tongue tie.

Where can I get my baby treated for tongue tie?

The UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative has a list of clinics in the UK, which treat tongue and information about other practitioners.

If your baby has a severe tongue tie they may not be able to latch on properly and empty the breast of milk. This can lead to painful nipples, cracked nipples, engorged breasts, supply reduction and problems with babies getting enough milk. After treatment, it is important to get help with breastfeeding as you and your baby may have to relearn approaches having had to compensate for difficulties with feeding.

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DISCLAIMER
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.