Baby difficulty latching at the breast?
Baby frustrated when at the breast?
Very short feeds and falls asleep at the breast?
Can you hear clicking noises?
Colic and reflux symptoms?
Milk dribbling out from mouth?
Slow weight gain?
Mum has sore nipples?
Painful breastfeeding? (Breastfeeding SHOULD NOT be painful)
Low milk supply?
Any of the above sound familiar?
It can be a number of things and should be assessed by a qualified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
One thing it may be and we see a lot of is a Tongue Tie. This is diagnosed after a full comprehensive assessment by a Lactation Consultant. You can’t diagnose just by looking in the mouth.
There are 4 different types of tongue tie. A baby with a tongue tie like above may have no problems breastfeeding but a baby with a thick posterior tongue tie could have a lot of problems breastfeeding and cause a lot of pain to mum.
A tongue is the main tool to breastfeeding. It’s like the gear box in the car (I always go back to the mechanics of a car for examples). That’s how important it is.
My second boy Daniel has a tongue tie but we breastfed with no issues. So, I left alone.
So, you can see, it needs a comprehensive full assessment by a Lactation Consultant. Not just assessing the anatomy and function of the tongue and mouth, a full assessment of what breastfeeding is like and observing a breastfeed.
Why is it so common now?
Yes, it can. After being diagnosed by a Lactation Consultant. They can advise you where to go for a tongue tie release (frenotomy) procedure. Locally to Cork, we have one GP who performs frenotomies. In Clonmel, there is a paediatrician who performs frenotomies.
It is simple, fast procedure and very safe. No anaesthetic is required. A sugar solution is usually given to help relax the baby (you can also give something similar before babies have their vaccinations). Baby is swaddled and head is held by either the mom or dad or an assisting person. The Dr performing the frenotomy lifts the tongue up and with a blunt scissors snips the frenulum (membrane). A tiny drop of blood will appear and baby may cry for about 10 seconds. Baby is paced to mums breast to breastfeed straight away. A lot of babies breastfeed perfectly afterwards and some babies, need a bit of retraining as they haven’t being used to opening their mouth that wide and moving their tongue around. But this is easy to do. A lactation consultant will give a plan here. Little exercises are then shown to you by the Dr to perform on the baby to ensure the frenulum does not reattach when healing. It’s simple and very safe. In relation to breastfeeding, it can save a breastfeeding journey.
You can contact me for a consultation, 087 403 3352, if you have any of the symptoms above and think your baby may have a tongue tie.
Practice Nurse and Lactation Consultant
Mobile Number: 087 403 3352
Facebook: Lactation Talk with Orla Dorgan
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I recorded this after Night 2 for Keela and myself while in CUMH. I recorded it for Facebook Live.
It explains what to expect and my experience.
It can be a hard night and most healthy babies will experience this. It's good to have lined up support for this night whether you are at home or in hospital.
Hope you find it helpful. xx