Wessex Independent Midwives Logo

Wessex

Independent

Midwives

Tongue Tie

I was a desperate Mummy with a son who was 100% tongue tied and not feeding. Erika came to our home on a Sunday evening. She really was fantastic and now my son is feeding perfectly.

Tongue Tie assessment with Erika

There are so many reasons a baby may have difficulties learning to feed. One of those is tongue tie. A tongue-tie is a fold of skin that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth causing some restriction in the movement of the tongue. This leads to problems feeding from the breast or the bottle. 


Research done in Southampton shows that over 10% of babies are born with tongue tie. Typical signs of a tongue tie are:

  • Sore nipples, despite good latch and positioning technique, mishapen nipples following a feed
  • Unable to sustain latch – coming on and off during the feed
  • Dribbling out sides of a bottle
  • ‘Clicking’ noise whilst feeding
  • Frequent feeding
  • Baby weight loss
  • Unable to lift the tongue or move from side to side
  • Heart shaped tongue when poking out or lifting
  • Mastitis
  • Vasospasm
  • colic/wind/fractious
  • Reduction in milk supply
  • Taking a long time to feed from the bottle


The good news is tongue tie is easily treated and the vast majority of mothers find immediate relief and improvements in feeding from that moment. Others, notice an improvement over the next few weeks. The procedure is quick, does not require anesthetic and can be carried out in your home.

I have seen Erika twice in the last 2 years due to breast feeding issues with both of my babies. She is knowledgeable and efficient at getting to the root of the problem. She offers solutions and performs division of tongue tie if needed. I would definitely recommend her to other Mums having trouble establishing breastfeeding.

The procedure

I will wrap your baby in a blanket to stop them wriggling. I may ask you to hold your baby's head for me. I put my fingers in his mouth and gently lift his tongue. The frenulum is snipped with sterile scissors and pressure is applied with a piece of sterile gauze under the tongue for a few seconds. The blanket is unwrapped and the baby brought to you to feed immediately, by either breast or bottle. Following division, you may notice a small white blister under the tongue, which does not interfere with feeding.

"I so wish I’d had Lucas’ tongue tie done earlier….. really didn’t realise the difference it would make. No sheilds and I never thought I’d say this but actually enjoying breastfeeding now. Even attempted to feed in public yesterday! Thank you so much!"

I so wish I’d had Lucas’ tongue tie done earlier….. really didn’t realise the difference it would make. No sheilds and I never thought I’d say this but actually enjoying breastfeeding now. Even attempted to feed in public yesterday! Thank you so much!

Common questions about feeding and tongue tie:

My baby can poke his tongue out so can’t have a tongue tie which causes an issue?


The tongue moves from front to back. Some babies can poke their tongue out but have restriction from side to side or up and down. Some babies can easily stick their tongues out but still have feeding issues

I’ve been told his tongue tie is not causing the issues because it’s ‘only a little one’.


The size of the tongue tie does not correlate to feeding difficulties. Some babies are 100% tongue tied and have no probems at all. Some have a tiny tongue tie behind the skin and have lots of feeding issues. We do know if there are feeding difficulties and the tie is divided, up to 97% will improve their feeding problems.

He doesn’t have a tongue tie – I cant see anything


It is a common misconception that you can check for tongue tie just by looking. Actually you should always feel for one. Any obstruction you feel may be a submucosal tongue tie. A tongue tie underneath the mucosa which is not easily seen.

My baby is a couple of months old, so why would the tongue tie be an issue now?


Sometimes, as the breasts soften the ejection reflex settles the baby has to work harder with their tongue tie. It is common to find they have more difficulties around 6-8 weeks for this reason.

My baby is a couple of months old so its too late for a tongue tie division.


I and all tongue tie practitioners are trained to divide ties up to 8 months old, although we are aware some local units do not do this, we can assure you it is safe and within our remit.

If you think your baby has a tongue tie which is interfereing with his or your comfort and feeding please contact me for a consultation. During the consultation visit we will discuss breastfeeding or bottle feeding advice and support and assess for tongue tie division. If the procedure is required we can do it then. After the visit you will have contact with me for any concerns following the procedure.

Cost : £120 initial visit

£20 2nd visit for re division if needed

Please call Erika on 07828719278