What is ‘tongue-tie’ and how does it affect your baby?

I’d never before heard of tongue-tie until a mummy friend introduced me to the problem.  – If you’re a breastfeeding mum and your baby is struggling to latch, you might be interested to hear about it.

What is tongue-tie? The NHS describes tongue-tie as “a problem that occurs in babies who have a tight piece of skin between the underside of their tongue and the floor of their mouth.”

It can sometimes affect baby’s feeding because rather than the tongue being loosely attached to the base of the mouth (which is typical), the short piece of skin means that the baby can’t open its mouth wide enough to latch onto the breast properly. Tongue movement may also be restricted and this also affects latching and sucking.

But not always! There are many reasons why a baby may not be latching or feeding correctly – this is just one possibility; tongue-tie affects between 3 and 10 per cent of babies, and usually boys. It’s not a common problem.

If you do suspect that your baby may have tongue-tie, the best thing to do is consult your midwife or GP.

There is a quick procedure that can fix the tongue-tie but it is not always essential – the experts will be able to tell you.

My mummy friend chose not to have her baby’s tongue-tie fixed because although her daughter’s latching technique isn’t perfect, she still feeds fine.

For more info on tongue-tie, read the nhs.uk and “The guardian” published an interesting article on tongue-tie a couple of years ago, which is worth checking out – CLICK HERE to read.

If you’re the mum of a baby with tongue-tie, how did you resolve the issue?