Most people have a frenulum under their tongue. This frenulum can sometimes be referred to as a tongue tie if it is tight and restricting the movement of the tongue.
In Bristol about seven - eight % of babies will have a tongue tie divided to help them breastfeed easier.
What are the signs that my baby may have a tongue tie?
- Baby unable to latch onto the breast
- Your baby may latch but then slip off the breast and need to keep reattaching
- Baby may latch and feed well but it is very painful for mother.
Tongue tie may mean that your baby doesn’t remove your milk very well and this can cause problems with:
- Baby losing more than 10% of birthweight
- Baby taking more than 14 days to regain birthweight.
If you think your baby may have a tongue tie please speak to your midwife or health visitor about your concerns. You can also talk to a breastfeeding counsellor at your local support group. Your midwife or health visitor will assess feeding and then can refer you to the Infant feeding specialist midwife for assessment of tongue function.
Tongue ties are only divided if they are causing problems with breastfeeding. If your baby has a frenulum that is not causing any problems then it will not need to be treated. This is why we don’t examine all babies for tongue tie at birth.