To be able to attach to the breast and feed effectively a baby needs to be able to open their mouth wide, extend their tongue and draw an adequate amount of breast tissue in their mouth. The tongue needs to then move effectively to remove the milk.
Some tongue-tied babies may not be able to achieve some of these things and so may present with some of the following symptoms:
- In mother – sore, damaged nipples, misshapen nipples after breastfeeds, poor drainage of the breast leading to engorgement or mastitis, reduced milk supply, exhaustion from frequent feeds.
- In baby – visual restriction of tongue, difficulty getting and or sustaining a deep attachment to the breast, frequent or very long feeds, weight concerns, difficulty controlling milk flow, dribbling / choking easily, making clicking noises, wind problems.
Please note that there may be other causes of these problems aside from tongue-tie and so skilled breastfeeding support is very important.