We all have a band of tissue under our tongue that connects to the floor of our mouth, called the frenulum. When that tissue is too short, too tight, or too far forward, it impacts tongue movement and can be called restrictive. Tongue tie can lead to pain with breastfeeding, feeds that take a long time due to poor milk transfer, reflux symptoms from swallowing air, or poor weight gain for baby. All these things make mealtimes stressful for mom and baby, but we can help.
Frenotomy, also known as tongue clipping, is a procedure to release tethered oral tissues that may be impacting breastfeeding. Frenotomy is considered for infants having trouble establishing breastfeeding, not gaining weight, or whose mothers are having continued pain that’s not improving after help from a lactation specialist. Good candidates are babies under two months old who have already received their vitamin K shot and been seen by lactation to rule out other reasons breastfeeding may not be going well.
The procedure itself takes just a few seconds and mom can feed baby right after. Sometimes this first feed feels better right away, but improvement can also take time and continued work with a lactation consultant.
- Improved latch/breastfeeding
- Better transfer of milk
- Reduced nipple pain for mother
- Possible improved speech/articulation in the child’s later years
- Possible bleeding at the incision site
- Salivary gland trauma
- Possibility of no improvement in latching/breastfeeding
If, after skilled lactation help, we feel a release is needed, our frenotomy-trained pediatricians will perform the procedure quickly in our office. Mom and baby will soon be on their way to more satisfying breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks at all hours together!
Your pediatrician may have specific exercises to help healing after a frenotomy. He or she will discuss these with you at your visit.
We highly encourage moms to see their lactation consultant three to five days after a frenotomy to work on positioning, latch, and to check the wound.
Feel free to send us a message through MyHealth if you have any questions.