Have you noticed any of the infant feeding problems listed above, even after working diligently to get a good latch? Has anyone told you “the latch looks good, you just need to toughen up” or “your baby’s tongue/lip is tight/restricted?”
When my first child was born I was told her latch looked great, yet I was suffering from bleeding, cracked nipples, in excruciating pain, and had mastitis by the time she turned a week old. I now know she had a severe lip tie, but 18 years ago I’d never heard of such a thing. I would not wish the pain that I endured while nursing her on my worst enemy!
Tongue and lip ties (also known as oral restrictions, or Tethered Oral Tissues/TOTs) can be controversial. It is important to point out that IBCLCs can not diagnose oral ties (or anything else, for that matter- we can’t diagnose, period).
I firmly believe that not all frenums are ties, not all problems can be fixed with latch, and tongue ties can’t be diagnosed simply by looking at a picture.
Nevertheless, I have had extensive training in assessing normal oral function for newborns and infants and am very experienced in identifying tongue and lip ties. I do a manual oral exam, and use multiple assessment tools to assess whether your baby’s oral function is optimal.
If your baby does have impaired oral function or restricted tongue or lip movement, I will work with your family on an individualized care plan that may include latch and positioning adjustments, suck training exercises, and/or evaluation and treatment of tethered oral tissues by a trusted, experienced laser provider.
If your family chooses to have your baby’s tongue tie and/or lip tie diagnosed and treated, it is imperative that you work with an IBCLC before and after treatment in order to protect your milk supply and help your baby regain full oral range of movement.
My moderate approach to tongue ties and lip ties has helped hundreds of families in MetroWest Massachusetts. Worried your baby has a tongue tie or lip tie? Let me help you, too.