HELP! My child's tongue web is too short!

HELP! My child

When our son was a few days old and I was trying to initiate breastfeeding, I realised that Tommy was having trouble with feeding from the nipple, particularly latching and clamping. We discovered that his tongue web was too short and a midwife had to cut it. Despite this, Tommy would not stop crying. After a consultation with a breastfeeding expert, we were advised that his 'hidden' tongue web was too short and that we should have this lasered.

What is a 'short tongue'?

Some babies have a very short tongue web when they are born. This can seriously inhibit effective feeding, from either breast or bottle. If the tissue is too tight it is difficult for your baby to suck and create a vacuum for milk to be expressed.

What are the consequences?

  • Potential mastitis or abcess for mother
  • Multiple prolonged feeding sessions
  • Stunted grown
  • Not enough milk
  • A tired and frustrated mother and child

Because of your child's difficulty in feeding, either from breast or bottle, it could be the case that he is constantly hungry. Mothers can get a cloven nipple or pick up infection

How do I know if my child's tongue webbing is too short?

You may hear a choking noise while baby drinks, they may have trouble latching or staying latched to your nipple. If you suspect your child has a short tongue web, it's strongly advised that you seek expert help. Further symptoms may be:

  • Painful nipples/cut nipples
  • Problems with baby's mouth
  • A restless baby
  • Problem with baby's growth

What are the consequences later in life?

Children and adults with an untreated short tongue can suffer from speech difficulties. The jaw may also suffer growth abnormalities, as it takes over some of the functionality of the tongue to compensate. These jaw problems can be mitigated with medical treatment. Kissing may also be problematic because you cannot fully extend your tongue from your mouth.

If you suspect your child has a short tongue you should seek medical assistance from your general practitioner, the obstetrician, or midwife. Since Tommy has had his laser treatment he has no more trouble with drinking and his reflux has also been fixed!

Source: https://www.nijsmellinghe.nl en eigen ervaring.

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