Parenthood is a beautiful journey filled with unique challenges, and one such challenge that some parents may encounter is tongue-tie in their infants. Tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, is a condition where the strip of tissue beneath a baby's tongue is shorter or tighter than usual, restricting the movement of the tongue. This can lead to various difficulties, especially during breastfeeding.
As a mother, Dr. Casey Strojny has experienced tongue-tie first-hand. She is also trained and educated to treat patients with oral tissue ties. This is our opportunity at Illuminate Natural Wellness & Chiropractic to share the symptoms of tongue-tie and the care options available for infants facing this condition.
Recognizing the Symptoms
Difficulty Breastfeeding: If your baby struggles to latch onto the breast properly and feeding sessions become a source of frustration for both you and your little one, tongue-tie may be a contributing factor.
Fussiness During Feeding: Infants with tongue-tie often exhibit signs of fussiness during feeding due to the challenges associated with latching and sucking.
Nipple Pain for the Mother: Mothers may experience discomfort and even damage to the nipples as a result of improper latching and sucking.
Weight Gain Issues: Persistent feeding difficulties can impact the baby's weight gain, potentially leading to concerns about their overall growth and development.
Speech Development Concerns: While not immediately apparent, tongue-tie can sometimes contribute to speech development issues as the child grows older.
Care and Treatment
Consultation with Healthcare Provider: If you observe any of the symptoms mentioned above, it's crucial to seek guidance from a healthcare provider, such as a pediatrician, lactation consultant, or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. Dr. Casey is trained and educated to identify oral tissue ties and treat many of the symptoms that are present. Dr Andrew Phelan is also highly trained in treating TMJ dysfunction that can be a result of unidentified/untreated oral tissue ties. Both practioners can help identify the proglem and refer to a revision specialist, should it be necessary.
Feeding Support: Lactation consultants can offer valuable advice on optimal feeding positions and techniques to improve the latch, making breastfeeding a more comfortable experience for both mother and baby.
Frenotomy: In more severe cases, a healthcare provider may recommend a frenotomy, a minor surgical procedure involving the cutting of the frenulum to enhance tongue movement. This quick and relatively simple procedure can be performed in a healthcare provider's office.
Post-Procedure Care: Following a frenotomy, parents should adhere to any post-procedure care instructions provided by the healthcare provider. This may include exercises to prevent the wound from reattaching.
Speech Therapy: If tongue-tie is associated with speech development concerns, speech therapy may be recommended later in childhood to address any lingering issues.
Understanding and addressing tongue-tie in infants require a collaborative effort between parents and healthcare professionals. Early intervention and appropriate care can significantly alleviate symptoms and prevent potential complications, allowing both parents and infants to enjoy a more comfortable breastfeeding experience and promoting healthy growth and development.
“In my practice, I see many infants and new moms. It is surprising to me how many new babies have tissue ties. I typically help treat the presenting body tension in baby as well as recommend them to a preferred provider for release. Additional treatment is generally recommended post release as well. In my experience, the results are life changing for both mom and baby.” – Dr. Casey Strojny
Remember, if you have concerns about your baby's feeding or development, consult with Dr. Casey for personalized advice and support tailored to your unique situation. Parenthood is a journey, and with the right resources, you can navigate it with confidence and care.