Does my Baby have Tongue-tie?
A tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) occurs when the connective tissue under the tongue causes restriction in the tongue movement or function.
- Tongue-tie occurs in 2.8 – 10.7% babies. It can be hereditary and occurs more often in boys.
- A tongue-tied baby may not be able to poke the tongue out beyond the gum line / lips; and /or may not be able to lift tongue or move it side to side. The tongue tip may look notched or heart shaped.
- Not all tongue ties affect breastfeeding
- This may interfere with correct attachment at the breast leading to some of these problems:
- Nipple pain and damage
- Low milk supply
- Plugged ducts / mastitis
- Early weaning
- Frustration, disappointment and discouragement with breastfeeding
- Baby can’t latch or stay latched
- Fussiness and frequent arching away from the breast
- Clicking sound while nursing (poor suction)
- Problems with milk transfer
- Low weight gain or weight loss
- “Chewing” of the nipple
- Baby falls asleep within one to two minutes of beginning to nurse beyond the first few days
Frenotomy is a minor surgical procedure performed using scissors. It is quick and the baby will often settle soon after. It can be performed without anaesthesia.
Releasing tongue-tie is generally a useful and low risk treatment, there may be a small amount of bleeding.
Infection is rare. Some babies may become fussy at the breast for a period of time afterwards. There is a small risk of reattachment and scarring that may require a repeat procedure. Post-operative exercises are advised for this reason.
Breastfeeding is usually encouraged straight after the procedure – at Baby Steps Health Centre a Lactation Consultant is available to help with breastfeeding support.
Most mothers notice significant improvement in breastfeeding after frenotomy, others may not notice improvement for several days as it may take some time to retrain the tongue to re-establish good movements.Book “Tongue Tie assessment” appointment
At Baby Steps we offer a multidisciplinary approach with experienced trained Lactation Consultants and General Practitioners. Your 45 minute consultation includes a thorough breastfeeding analysis including structural and motility assessment (lip and tongue) and review by our GP Obstetrician for diagnosis and treatment choice.
A Baby Steps GP Obstetrician can perform a frenotomy if required at no additional out of pocket expense or refer to the relevant specialist (e.g Paediatric Dentist, Surgeon or Speech Pathologist) or return you to the care of your Lactation Consultant. Laser frenectomy, performed by a paediactric dentist, is an effective method for lip tie, and submucosal tongue tie.
You will receive a follow up phone call from the Lactation Consultant a week after the visitBook a Consultation Book a Home Visit
- Position and attachment
- Oversupply and engorgement
- Pain while feeding
- Cracked nipples
- Low supply
- Flat/inverted nipples
"You have no idea how much that meeting just meant to me! I'm basically dancing around my house and messaged mum and my husband to tell them how much better I'm feeling about everything! Looking forward to the email and starting new plan straight away. Finally feel like there is a goal and some clear paths in my very muddled mind. You are a gem!"
Baby Steps Health Centre is a professional caring service for new families led by experienced GP Obstetricians, Child Health Nurses, and Lactation Consultants supported by Women’s Health Physiotherapists, Dietitians, Speech Pathologists, Psychologists and Paediatric Physiotherapists.
(08) 9387 2844
21/127 Herdsman Parade, Wembley WA 6014