Before my daughter was born I’d always imagined I would feed her
naturally. After all you know what they say, breast is best.
I know some mother haves problems getting the baby to latch on, and it
can be sore, and some mothers just aren’t able to.
I loved the thought of the bonding that takes place between mum and baby
in this intimate moment just the two of you.
When my daughter was born, she instinctively knew what to do, and she
appeared to latch on beautifully, I was so pleased.
However once we had left the delivery room and we were on the ward,
things changed. My daughter appeared to be latching on but it was very
On a number of occasions I pressed the call button so I could request
some help with breastfeeding, but nobody came (that’s another story)
For the whole night I tried to feed her but she just didn’t seem to be
getting it, and I wondered what am I doing wrong? Why cant my baby grasp
Well the next morning my questions were answered. A consultant come
around to see us, you know the usual to check how baby was doing.
She asked how my daughter had been feeding during the night and
explained that she didn’t seem to be managing very well, she didn’t seem
to settle at all. The consultant checked her over, and straight away said she has a tongue
A what? A tongue tie. I’d never heard of this before, it sounded like
something she’d just made up.
The consultant explained that a tongue tie occurs in babies who have a
tight piece of skin between the underside of their tongue and the floor
of their mouth.
In essence it prevents the tongue from being poked out, lifted up and it
can even sometimes affect language skills.
Tongue ties can sometimes affect the babies ability to feed, making it
hard for them to attach themselves to the breast.
It occurs in only 3-10% of newborn babies. Normally the tongue is
loosely attached to the base of the mouth but with a tongue tie this
piece of skin is much shorter. It can be treated simply by cutting the piece of skin that connects to
the tongue to the roof of the mouth. It is a simple and painless
procedure and can resolve feeding problems immediately.
At the time when I was hospital with my daughter it was explained to me
that the skin could be cut but I was not made aware of how this would be
done and I certainly didn’t think it would be painless. Anyway we
decided not to have it cut, as I couldn’t bare the thought of putting my
newborn baby through anything like that.
There are alternatives to breast feeding a baby with tongue tie, we decided
we would bottle her breast milk instead so she still got the same goodness just
from a bottle.
If in the future it turns out that the tongue tie affects her speech
then obviously we will consider what options will be available to us.
The procedure is normally carried out with a anaesthetic in older
children. However we don’t see her tongue tie affecting her speech as
she’s 11 months old and can say mum and dad and various other words
Have you been affected by tongue tie personally or does your baby have a
tongue tie? If so did you have difficulty feeding, and did you decide to
have it cut? We’d love to hear from you, please leave your comments