At this point you and your partner have probably seen either your Pediatrician or a Lactation Consultant and they have suggested your little one has a possible lip or tongue tie. As all parents do, we begin to fell anxious and search Google for advice. At Feed Well Co are here to provide you with info and guidance. First off, what is a tongue tie is a condition that restricts the tongue’s range of motion and proper oral function. Known to be present at birth and develops during uterine growth very early on- around 9 weeks gestation! It is a tight, short band of tissue tethering the tongue’s tip to the floor of the mouth. It can affect how a child eats or breast and chestfeeds, and speaks. A lip tie is a medical condition that occurs when there isn’t enough space between your baby’s upper gum and lower gums. The labial frenulum may be attached too closely to one side of the upper gum ridge. A lip tie can limit movement and make feeding difficult.
So now where do you go to get a further evaluation and treatment ? We would recommend Pediatric Dentist or ENT who specializes in lip or tongue ties. Anyone can take the class but it takes true skill to have a full, functional release so make sure you are working with a preferred provider. Let’s talk about after care…Your baby has now had the tongue and/or lip tie released but how do you comfort after this procedure? I will discuss how to provide comfort and pain management while you navigate through the healing process. For most babies the first 48-72 hours after the procedure can be the hardest. Here are a few of the things we suggest in clinic:
- There are generally no feeding restrictions after a frenectomy, you will be free to feed your baby as often as possible on demand. Some babies will latch immediately while others may need more time to learn how to nurse effectively.
- Babies are usually calmed by skin to skin contact 30 minutes prior to a feeding session, during and between their feedings. Mothers may choose to baby wear throughout the day, or co-bathing with baby on her chest. This increases oxytocin hormone levels which lowers pain receptors.
- Swaddling if desired
- Rocking/ swaying or gentle butt patting
- Generally pain relievers are not needed but staying up on pain management is imperative. You should discuss with your pediatrician the use of Tylenol and proper dosage. Usually the recommended dose is based on your child's weight.
- Arnica is a holistic alternative to over the counter medications. However, we recommend talking to your pediatrician prior to giving it.
- Gentle wound care: this consists of performing the oral stretches and exercises discussed by either your provider or Lactation consultant in a gentle and effective manner.