Tongue-ties and breastfeeding are a challenging combination. When a tongue and/or lip tie is present, it can feel—or even be—impossible. The Academy of American Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies receive breast milk exclusively until six months of age, and continue to be breastfed at least through the first year of their lives. In light of these recommendations, if a tongue or lip tie is impeding the breastfeeding relationship, it is in the best interest of your child’s health to have them evaluated and addressed.
One of the common misconceptions is that since a baby can stick their tongue out that they aren’t tongue-tied. The ability to stick your tongue out has nothing to do with the ability to lift your tongue up. During proper breast feeding, the tongue must be able to elevate to the roof of the mouth.
Our office wants to support breastfeeding moms to the utmost of our ability. When lip and tongue-ties are not released, breastfeeding problems will continue. We understand that it can be scary to consider putting your little one through a tongue or lip tie release, but the benefits to both mother and child are many. A tongue or lip tie is not something that will self-correct, and the consequences of ties reach beyond a difficult breastfeeding relationship. However, breastfeeding is the first major hurdle, and a significant one in establishing your little one’s immune system. If at all possible, it is important to us to help you maintain your breastfeeding relationship both for your health and for the health of your little one.