Many parents and specialists will assign blame for poor latch or painful feedings on an observable 'tongue tie' or 'lip tie'. What sometimes follows is a recommendation to 'clip' the connective tissue in order to alleviate problems associated with poor feeding.
There may be times where this recommendation is warranted, however, a recent publication by Razdan, et al (2020) study recently investigated the presence and severity of that infant maxillary frenulum (a.k.a. "lip tie") and lingual frenulum (a.k.a."tongue tie") on breastfeeding. The study observed infants between 24-72 hours after birth, asked the mothers a variety of questions regarding their breastfeeding experience, and had an experienced lactation counsellor complete a LATCH assessment.
The study found no correlation between the severity or presence of a "lip tie"or "tongue tie" and LATCH scores. It found that mothers who had more experience and knowledge of breastfeeding (i.e., previously breastfed, or with support of a lactation specialist) had high LATCH scores and pain-free feedings with or without the presence of frenulums.
"Attention toward breastfeeding education, particularly in new mothers, should precede maxillary frenotomy in neonates with breastfeeding difficulties."(Razdan,2020).
Razdan, R., Callaham, S., Saggio, R., Chafin, M., & Carr, M.M. (2020). Maxillary Frenulum in Newborns: Association with Breastfeeding. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. https://doi.org/10.1177/0194599820913605
If you feel your child's 'lip tie' or 'tongue tie' is impacting the comfort level or success of your feeding, don't hesitate to reach out to your lactation specialist!
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