Babies: Is your baby tongue tied?

Mom:

  • Compression, or white stripe across the tip of the nipple when the baby comes off the breast, or a linear crack or scab going across the tip of the nipple because the tongue retracts and compresses the nipple.
  • Misshapen nipple. If the nipple is misshapen after a feeding due to the retraction and inappropriate compression by the tongue.

Breastfeeding problems:

  • Failure to gain weight. Baby breastfeeds very frequently and yet may fail to gain weight appropriately.
  • Sound of sucking air. If your baby loses her seal or suction at the breast causing her to come off the breast frequently and creates the sound of sucking air.
  • Clicking sounds. Your baby may have a restrictive frenulum if the click while breastfeeding is associated with an increase in nipple pain at the time of the click. (The click can be the sound of the tongue snapping back in the mouth or the sound of the loss of suction.)
  • Tongue doesn’t extend properly. When your baby’s tongue can not been seen over the gumline when you gently peel back the lower lip during a feeding. Peeling back the lip will also frequently cause the baby with a restrictive frenulum to come off the breast because of a poor seal.
  • Extremely sore nipples. If your nipples hurt through the entire feeding despite the use of good latch and position technique your baby may be tongue tied. The soreness is created by the tongue rubbing against the tip of the nipple when the tongue is in the retracted position.
  • An increase in pain near the end of the feed as the baby tires and the milk flow slows. Some babies can extend the tongue properly for the early part of the feeding when the milk is flowing faster and they have more energy, but are unable to maintain the correct suck through the whole feeding.

This list is just a guideline. Be aware that some of these same symptoms can be seen in other disorders of breastfeeding and may not indicate frenulum problems.

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