Tongue Tie and Infant Feeding  Specialist

Throughout the North East we specialise in supporting babies with Tongue Tie and mums with feeding.

 

We perform the medical procedure, division of Tongue Tie, also known as Tongue Tie Release for all babies, supporting mums that both breastfeed or bottle-feed.

What is a Tongue Tie?

A Tongue Tie is when a thin membrane of skin (lingual frenulum) attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth or the lower gum ridge, which restricts the tongue's movement. It can be attached at the very back of the tongue (posterior) in the middle or at the very front tip of the tongue (anterior). The procedure to divide a baby’s tongue tie is called Frenulotomy. The membrane under the tongue is divided to enable optimum tongue movement and function to help babies feed more effectively. 

How can we help you?

How to Spot a Tongue Tie?

Some Tongue Tie's may be noted at the new born examination undertaken usually by a Paediatrician or a Midwife with additional competency; others may be diagnosed whilst the mother and baby are still receiving post-natal care or when baby is older, by a Health Visitor, Breastfeeding Specialist or GP. The following clues may be present;

  • Visible membrane or ‘string’ joining the tongue to the lower gums or the floor of the mouth.

  • The tip of the tongue may be, ‘flattened’, ‘heart –shaped’ or ‘notched’ at the tip

  • The tongue doesn’t lift up fully to the roof of the mouth, particularly noticeable when baby is crying. It may also be ‘squared-off’ when lifting or sticking out rather than pointed

  • The centre of the tongue may be ‘humped’ or have a hollow shaped depression in it when lifting it

  • The tongue may not be able to protrude beyond the lower gum, therefore not cushioning the nipple from pressure during breast feeding causing damage, compression or distortion of the nipple

  • Poor attachment the baby can ‘slip off the nipple

  • Poor latch to the teat of the bottle, allowing air to be breathed in

  • During a feed milk dribbles down the side of the mouth

Reasons for Treating Tongue Tie

The treatment for Tongue Tie is a simple procedure called a frenulotomy (sometimes called frenotomy or frenulectomy). Not all babies and children with Tongue-Tie need treatment, some may be fine without it. National guidance from the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE guidelines) suggests that frenulotomy is usually safe for young babies and could help with feeding problems. Frenulotomy may be recommended in babies up to 6 months of age if there are;

Difficulties with feeding for baby which may or may

not include the following;

  • Poor weight gain

  • Prolonged jaundice

  • Fractured frequent feeds

  • Baby feeding ‘all the time’

  • Baby appearing unsatisfied after a feed

  • Agitation and frustration whilst feeding

  • Head-rocking or waving on approaching the breast for a feed

  • Clicking’, ‘slurping noises’ may be present.

  • Dribbling of milk during a feed

  • Falling asleep prematurely during a feed

  • Multiple attempts at latching or maintaining latch ‘Slips of the nipple’

  • Use of expressed breast milk or artificial milk supplements

  • Excessive coughing, choking, vomiting, colic and reflux

  • Restricted tongue movement

Difficulties with Breastfeeding for Mothers may include;

  • Distortion and or compression of the nipples resulting in pain, damage, loss of tissue

  • Incomplete milk transfer by baby resulting in engorgement and/or mastitis

  • Poor initiation and maintenance of maternal milk supply

The presence alone of a visible or anterior sub-mucosal (hidden/posterior Tongue Tie) is not an indicator for treatment with frenulotomy. Tongue mobility is the critical factor that affects feeding.

In the UK, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) operational guidance regulates our practice in the treatment of Tongue-Tie. NICE states that the procedure to divide a Tongue Tie should be carried out only to assist mother and baby to feed more effectively. Frenulotomy should not be undertaken as a procedure for concerns that parents may have about their baby’s future ability to speak, eat or for cosmetic reasons.

What to Expect after Frenulotomy

Following the procedure, some mothers and their babies find an immediate improvement in feeding. For others it will take longer, sometimes weeks or more for feeding to improve as the baby acquires new skills to feed. Whilst having a Tongue Tie both mother and baby have acquired adaptations to their feeding to work around their difficulties. 

After the procedure, it can take some time for some mothers to gradually transition from the use of... for example, nipple shields, finger or syringe feeding expressed breast milk or artificial milk, whilst their Breastfeeding gradually improves.

It is important that you view Frenulotomy as part of a plan to improve your feeding; it is not always an instant fix.

Tongue Tie North East highly recommends bodywork following the procedure, through either seeing a paediatric chiropractor or a cranial osteopath.

Testimonials

“Very professional and friendly service from Iona. I couldn't believe how quick the procedure was. The information that I was given was invaluable, thank you so much.”
Rachel Tree
 
 

CQC regulates Tongue Tie North East to provide care at Tongue Tie North East.

We haven't inspected this service yet.

We checked this service was likely to be safe, effective, caring, responsible, and well-led during registration.

Contact Us

Have a question or want to book an appointment?

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info@tonguetienortheast.co.uk