The process of establishing a long, happy breastfeeding relationship can seem daunting, but rest assured that you will be surrounded by a team of caring, lactation support professionals who are committed to you and your little one. In many instances, this process requires the help and knowledge of multiple providers. We have created a team of providers that are here to help you.
Like any other muscle in the body, the tongue can only move in ways that it has been trained, or freed to do. It is possible to develop bad oral habits like leaving the mouth open, sucking on a finger, tongue thrusting, or having an improper (reverse) swallow pattern. All of these habits negatively impact the growth and development of the face. In order to learn proper oral habits, we often recommend that a child work with a Myofunctional Therapist. Myofunctional Therapists are trained to correct improper oral rest posture and can have a significant impact on the growth of your child.
Any child over the age of 1 year old is recommended to work with a Myofunctional Therapist after having their tongue-tie revised. The reason for this is that they will now have increased mobility and movement in their tongue but if proper habits and tongue position are not learned, as well as to help the child develop the proper strength in their tongue, then the true benefits of releasing their tongue will not be realized.
Bodywork and Occupational Therapy
Before and after a tongue and lip tie release, it is ideal to be able to undergo gentle bodywork and manual therapy to release tight muscles and connective tissue, improve blood and lymph flow, and strengthen the connection between brain and muscles to improve coordination of the suck/swallow/breathe rhythm for efficient breast and bottle feeding. Neurovascular therapy, craniosacral therapy, and lymph drainage are used in conjunction with oral motor exercises to facilitate an optimal breastfeeding experience for both mother and baby. Occupational therapists that specialize in feeding challenges and have taken advanced training in manual therapies, such as those listed above, can provide optimal support for parents and babies both before and after a tongue tie release.
Prior to the release, manual therapy is very effective in opening and softening the tissues of the face, mouth, neck, and upper chest. After the release, manual therapy is helpful in minimizing scar tissue and maximizing mobility and coordination of the lips, tongue, and jaw for better feeding.
Lactation Support (IBCLC)
A lactation consultant is committed to helping remove any roadblocks that a mother and baby encounter in their breastfeeding relationship. After a tongue-tie release, it is ideal to work with lactation support as both baby and mother learn to breastfeed again. The support and knowledge offered by your lactation consultant will make a world of difference in leading to a happy, successful breastfeeding relationship.