You have waited patiently for nine months. You have cared for yourself, prepared a special place in your home, and been showered with attention from loved ones. Now that your sweet baby is here, you want to take the best care possible of that innocent little life.
It would be magical if parenting was that easy, but it often is not. Sometimes babies need a little help in order to do something seemingly simple, like nurse at their mother’s breast or take a bottle. About 10% of babies are born with a lip tongue tie (sometimes both!), which can make eating very challenging for both mother and baby. Let us help with laser tongue and lip tie correction treatment.
What is a Tongue Tie?
Under your tongue and inside of your upper lip is a piece of skin called the frenum. Most of us have never thought about our frenums because they function properly. You can pull your upper lip away from your teeth, lift your tongue, and never have any trouble. However, some babies are born with a tight frenum, which means that there is little to no movement for the tongue or lip.
We call this a tongue or lip tie because the tongue or lip is attached when it should be free. Both conditions make nursing challenging because Baby cannot create the necessary suction around the nipple of the breast or bottle. You might notice that your baby has a poor latch, slides off the nipple, shows symptoms of colic, shows symptoms of reflux, has poor weight gain, is unable to take a pacifier, or chews on the nipple.
If you are nursing, you might notice that you have creased or cracked nipples, bleeding nipples, infection, plugged ducts, mastitis, or thrush. You also might notice that the baby never seems full, and your breasts never seem empty.
Comfortable Treatment for Tongue and Lip Ties
Once you have identified the cause of your baby’s eating difficulty, it’s time to decide on treatment. There are two options. The first is a more surgical approach. Your baby would be sedated, and a scalpel would be used to loosen the frenums. Sutures are often needed to promote healing, and many babies experience discomfort from this process.
We recommend a much more comfortable treatment option: laser treatment. During this procedure, your baby is swaddled and held carefully. Young babies are perfectly safe to be fully awake because the treatment does not cause pain. We use a laser to loosen the frenums and give your baby mobility in the lip and/or tongue. Each frenum takes about a minute to treat, and then you are given the baby to immediately nurse.
It may take a few tries before Baby relearns how to nurse with a newly freed tongue or lip, but we can show you techniques to help your baby adjust as quickly as possible.
Post treatment, your only responsibility is to stretch the area to prevent it from healing back together. It won’t be long before the tissue is completely healed and your child is eating well! As the baby grows, you will not have to worry about the eating and speech problems associated with long-term tongue ties, or the dental concerns that can develop from long-term lip ties.
Learn more when you call our office today for lip tie correction. Make an appointment using our convenient online form, and let us take a look! Taking care of a tongue or lip tie is sometimes the difference between being able to nurse your baby or not, so give us a call as soon as you notice a problem! We can’t wait to help!
Get Your Baby Nursing Better! Is your baby a fussy eater? This FREE e-book explains how lip-ties, tongue-ties can derail nursing.