Tongue-tie and feeding difficulties in babies
Tongue-tie, also known as ankyloglossia, is a condition in which the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth (lingual frenulum) is too short or tight, causing difficulty with certain tongue movements.
This can affect a baby's ability to breastfeed or bottle-feed properly. Some common feeding difficulties in babies with tongue-tie include:
- Difficulty latching onto the breast or bottle nipple
- Inability to keep the nipple in the mouth
- Poor milk transfer
- Frequent feeding or inability to feed for a full feeding
- Clicking or smacking sounds during feeding
- Excessive drooling or dribbling
- Gagging or choking during feeding
- If you think your baby may have tongue-tie and is experiencing feeding difficulties, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional, such as a lactation consultant or pediatrician, for a proper evaluation and treatment recommendations. In some cases, tongue-tie can be treated with a simple surgical procedure called a frenotomy, which involves snipping the lingual frenulum to release the tongue.
- Other treatment options may include lactation support, positioning and latch techniques, and other strategies to help the baby feed more effectively.