Snip tongue tie to aid breastfeeding in infants


Life changed for one of my friend, when a baby was born about a month ago.  He is a close friend of mine and we have been discussing the excitement and challenges he is facing, as it is his first baby.  His first comment was, parenting isn’t easy and there are lots of things to learn.

Doctors, generally advise breastfeed for the first six month.  My friend’s wife was breastfeeding the baby and they got worried, whether baby drank enough milk or not.  Research reported a problem called “tongue-tie”, which occurs when the connective tissue under the tongue is too tight.  The report revealed that about four million babies are born in the US annually, of which between 40,000 and 100,000 babies are born with a tongue-tie problem.

What problem can tongue tie cause?
Tongue tie can

  • pose difficulty for the new born in its ability to breast feed properly
  • can discourage new mothers from breastfeeding infant to the point that they can stop breastfeeding

Why does tongue tie pose problem in breastfeeding?
As simple as it sounds, breastfeed for the baby is quite a workout and as per University of Florida release:

  • babies to breastfeed effectively, their tiny tongues have to be able to perform a more complex type of sucking than what it takes to drink from a bottle.
  • a tongue-tie can hinder baby’s efforts to move his tongue up, down and out, which he would need to do in order to nurse.

How can tongue tie be fixed?
Tongue tie can be fixed by a simple solution of...

snipping.  Study co-author Sandra Sullivan, Assistant professor of Paediatrics at University of Florida (UF) neonatologist said that “It is called a frenotomy, and it is far simpler than a circumcision, which we do fairly routinely.”

Dr. Sullivan acknowledged that many doctors do not perform this procedure in spite of the benefits to breastfeeding.  Part of the problem may be that the doctors were taught that this procedure is not medically necessary.  

How long does snipping procedure take?
It looks like that the procedure is simple and a quick one.  “It literally takes longer to fill out the consent form for the procedure than to do the actual procedure itself,” said Dr. Sullivan.

Drinking milk from bottle is much easier for the infant as noted in Dr. Sullivan’s comment “If you take a bottle with an artificial nipple, there is not a lot a baby has to do to get milk,” said an article quoting Sullivan.” But, it has been noted again and again in scientific research that breastfeeding is the best food for an infant up to a certain age.

Birth of a child comes with a lot of responsibility.  If you think that your child is having difficultly during breast feed, consult your doctor and inquire about possibility of tongue tie.  I am sure you will take decisions, which are best for your child’s growth.

Healthy Parenting!

2 Responses

  1. Ali Charles says:


    I am a student health visitor looking into tounge-tie for an assignment. I am looking for photos and pictures to use in a poster presentation.

    I really like the ones you have on your web page for tounge-tie and would like to know if I would be able to use them – using the web page source as a reference on the poster.

    Many thanks.

    Kind regards,


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