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Is Your Baby Tongue Tied or Not Latching?

Is Your Baby Tongue Tied or Not Latching?

A large number of women have some type of obstacle when it comes to breast feeding their baby. This is completely normal, and typically an issue that moms can figure out with the help of their pediatrician. However, when it comes to breastfeeding obstacles, latching is often one of the most common. It can be difficult for babies to latch on to their mother’s nipple or stay latched so that they can get a steady supply of breast milk.

If your baby is struggling to latch, one of the first things to look into is whether or not your baby is tongue tied.

What does it mean to be tongue tied?

When babies have this condition, it means that the frenulum, or the little pieces of tissue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth is either too short, too tight or too thick. This is a condition that impacts approximately 5% of newborns and it can prevent a baby’s tongue from moving freely or from sticking out past their gums. In some newborns, it can cause their tongue to look heart-shaped.

This condition, also referred to as ankyloglossia, can cause some babies to have issues with latching. While most babies with this condition who are still able to breastfeed without issues, in some cases, where the condition is more severe, it may prevent the baby from latching onto the breast or form a seal when they have latched.

Some babies with ankyloglossia also struggle to open their mouths wide enough to latch or to make the movements needed to squeeze the milk ducts under the nipple while breastfeeding. There are a few signs and symptoms you can look for that may let you know that your baby is struggling with this condition:

  • Irritability and crying with your baby as they are always hungry and frustrated
  • Abnormal nipple shape when baby finishes breastfeeding
  • Poor weight gain in baby
  • Sore nipples in the mother
  • Painful breast issues in the mother including plugged milk ducts and breast engorgement
  • Low breast milk supply

If you have any questions about breast feeding obstacles or any other health question related to your journey into motherhood—contact the experts at Continuum Pediatrics today. We can help you determine if your baby is tongue tied or if there is another issue that is preventing them from latching. We are here to help answer your questions and make sure you and our baby are as healthy as possible. If you would like to make an appointment, give us a call here at 817-617-8600 to schedule one today.