Last night we watched the fun and compelling documentary where Cherry Healey explored the topical issue of breastfeeding and asked 'Is Breast Best?'
The World Health Organisation advises that all mothers breastfeed their children for at least the first six months after birth, but Cherry herself found the experience painful and traumatic and eventually gave up.
We were also watching the interesting #IsBreastBest hastag tweets on Twitter. People have very strong feelings on the subject.
A recurring Tweet was that if breastfeeding was difficult one of the underlying causes could be tongue tie.
Tongue-tie is caused by a short string of tissue under the tongue that restricts tongue movement. Many babies with tongue-tie are breast fed with no problems, but in some cases a tight tongue tie can interfere with a baby's ability to breastfeed.Tongue tie can be hard to diagnose in newborns. If you are having trouble breastfeeding, these are some of the signs that your baby could be tongue-tied:
- sore nipples during and after breastfeeding
- baby has difficulty latching on to the nipple
- baby often loses suction while feeding and sucks air resulting in excessive wind & maybe vomiting
- baby fails to gain weight
- a white compression mark on the nipple after breastfeeding
If it is necessary, a tongue tie release is carried out, by cutting the tongue tie under the tongue. It is a quick procedure. There may be a small amount of bleeding, but this stops quickly in most cases and babies can be fed straight afterwards.
Tongue tie does not necessarily affect speech. Many people with a tongue tie will have normal sounding speech.
Our reasons for potentially referring a child to have a tongue tie release would be:
- If production of the following sounds was affected because of it ... l, r, t, d, n, th, sh, and z
- Imprecise articulation at speed, because of it
- Poor dental hygiene due to food debris not being removed by the tongue’s action of sweeping the teeth and spreading saliva.
- Messy eating due to the restricted ability to 'clean up' inside and around the mouth
- Sometimes the tongue tie is very obvious causing self-conciousness
Thank you to breastfeeding-problems.com for the image