Too Tied Up To Eat
Your friend posts a picture of her baby with this status: “Nursing Woes. The doctor says he’s tongue tied. Poor little guy. No wonder he never seems to get full! Frenectomy scheduled for Friday! Maybe then we’ll be able to get some sleep!”
What does any of that even mean? Is it why your own baby is also having some problems with breastfeeding?
Googling “tongue tie” is overwhelming. You read about feeding problems, excess gas, and breast damage. There’s a lot of information out there, but how to sift through it all?
At Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics, we can help you “de-mystify” the tongue and lip tie with your child. Thin membranes connect your tongue to the bottom of your mouth and your lips to your gums. These are called frenums. When they connect too tightly or too closely, your infant may be unable to nurse properly.
Tongue and lip tie can cause the following symptoms:
- Poor latching: baby may dribble milk from the side of his or her mouth.
- Sleepy nursing: baby falls asleep before finishing nursing.
- Excessive gas
- Gasping for breath while nursing
Mothers will experience their own set of problems when their nursing baby is tongue or lip tied. The milk supply will at first feel like oversupply, but will then diminish when the baby doesn’t eat enough. Since the baby won’t get full, he or she will need more frequent feedings, causing extreme tiredness for the nursing mom. Finally, a poor latch can cause bleeding, cracked, or otherwise damaged nipples as well as mastitis.
Ties can cause nutrition problems for infants as well as delay speech in older children. If you suspect your infant has a tongue tie or lip tie, make an appointment for an exam with Dr. Cohen at Park Smiles NYC Pediatrics. We can diagnose and schedule a frenectomy for your little one as soon as possible!