Is the most sensational suck ever! Why is Breast-feeding this Painful to many women?

Why is Breast-feeding this Painful?

It shouldn’t be painful. It is a soft sensational suck ever. If it pains you then something is wrong. Who to blame? Tongue-tie! Mostly overlooked but it definitely affects breast milk supply, attributed to baby’s weight loss, and can make breast-feeding difficult and painful. What is tongue-tie?


breast feeding

Also known as Ankyloglossia, it restricts the movement of the tongue. We all are born with a frenulum which is the membrane that attaches the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Some babies are born with the frenulum is too tight or too short.“If that piece of membrane is placed on an unusual spot on the infant’s tongue, it may restrict the movement of the tongue,” said Irene Zoppi, an internationally board-certified lactation consultant and clinical education specialist.

Tongue tie affects about 10% of babies and it can be hereditary. Two types of tongue-tie have been recognized and they both differ in terms of severity. An anterior tongue-tie can be easily noticed because the frenulum is attached to the front of the tongue. Babies with these type of tongue find it difficult to bring out their tongue beyond the lower lip. ‘Or when they cry the tongue will look heart-shaped because it’s so restricted.’

A posterior tongue-tie is not easily noticeable except a specialist recognizes it by looking very closely at the movement of the tongue . This happens because the frenulum is attached just to the base of tongue.

Tongue – tie causes low milk supply and pain “When a baby’s having trouble nursing, it’s not unusual that a common reason is anatomical,” said Dr. Julie L. Wei, a pediatric otolaryngologist at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fla.’This is because the way a baby’s tongue moves when he breast-feeds is much different than when he drinks from a bottle’.

The tongue does most of the breast feeding work by holding the nipple thus if the baby can’t have a grip of the breast he won’t be able to suck very well and emptying the breast will be difficult. He resolves to use his gum on the nipple.’As a result, mom’s milk supply can suffer and the baby won’t gain enough weight ‘“Instead of grasping the breast and the nipple, the baby could be using a chewing-like motion,” Zoppi said.This makes a lot of women want to stop breast feeding.

Tongue – tie can cause speech delays and oral hygiene if isn’t treated. The affected child struggles to talk; pronunciation and articulation become difficult. An undiagnosed tongue tie delay speech and mom will be worried. Every mom should try to stick her tongue down when talking! Have you done that? Try to talk or suck orange while your tongue is still on that position! You will be able to have a feel of what babies encounter with tongue tie . They really struggle for things which are meant to come easily. ‘Even if children receive speech therapy, they won’t reap the most benefit until their frenulum is released.’

Treatment options

Hello mom, now that you can feel your baby’s trouble what are you still waiting for?

‘For babies under 3-months-old, the treatment is an in-office procedure that is quick and has minimal risk. Using a pair of scissors and a topical anesthetic, the frenulum is clipped. There is usually minimal bleeding and the baby can breast-feed immediately. For some babies with a posterior tongue-tie, the procedure may have to be repeated.’

‘After 3-months-old, physicians may recommend the procedure be done under general anesthesia which is also quick, has minimal risk, and doesn’t require an IV or a breathing tube.’

‘A pediatrician or pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor usually performs the procedure, although in some parts of the U.S., dentists do as well. Some physicians may use laser which may work better for thicker membranes.

‘According to a study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, 89 percent of women whose babies had their frenulum released showed improved breast-feeding including a better latch and less nipple pain.’

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