The first weeks with a newborn are slow and hazy. You fall into a routine: eat, sleep, change the diaper. It is a beautiful time. But if your baby is having trouble eating, it can be a nightmare. You may have pamphlets or books on breastfeeding. Maybe you even saw a lactation consultant to help you nurse. But, if it seems harder than it should (your baby feeds 'round the clock and never seems satisfied), your little one may have a tongue or lip tie which can be fixed with frenectomy therapy.
What Exactly Is a Tie?
Touch your tongue between your upper front teeth and lip. You should feel a taut membrane there called a frenulum. There’s also one between your lower lip and teeth as well as under your tongue. Sometimes, these membranes are too tight for your baby’s mouth to effectively nurse. This means that their lip or tongue is effectively tied down.
The older your child gets, the greater the chance a tongue tie impacts their speech capabilities. In fact, when left untreated, tongue ties can even cause lisps!
Can You Fix It?
Yes, with a frenectomy! A frenectomy is a relatively easy procedure that we perform with a laser to revise a tongue or a lip tie. Babies should be able to nurse much easier immediately after the procedure. Your child may need a local anesthetic and there may be a little discomfort for a day or two, which can be managed with Tylenol. In 4 or 5 days your baby should be completely healed.