Lip ties and tongue-ties are a common occurrence – 4 to 11% of babies are born with a lip tie, and 2-4% are born with a tongue-tie. Despite their prevalence, there is still a lot of confusion about what these conditions are, why they make breastfeeding more difficult, and what can be done about them. In this blog post, we will explore what exactly lip ties and tongue-ties are, why they present difficulties for breastfeeding mothers, and what treatments are available to help. If you’re struggling to breastfeed due to lip or tongue ties, this post is for you.
What is lip ties?
Lip ties are a common condition that can make breastfeeding more difficult. Lip ties occur when the tissue that attaches the upper lip to the gum is too tight. This can cause the baby to have trouble latching on to the breast and getting enough milk. Lip ties can also cause pain for the mother while breastfeeding.
There are several reasons why lip ties may occur. Genetics may play a role, as some families are more likely to have babies with lip ties. It is also thought that certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of lip ties.
Most babies with lip ties do not need treatment and will eventually be able to breastfeed without any problems. However, some mothers may choose to have their baby’s lip tie surgically corrected in order to make breastfeeding easier.
What causes lip ties?
Lip ties are caused by a short frenulum, or ligament, that attaches the lower lip to the gums. This can make it difficult for babies to latch on to the breast and get a good seal. Lip ties can also cause pain for both mother and baby during breastfeeding. In some cases, the baby may not be able to get enough milk from the breast, which can lead to weight loss or poor growth. Lip ties can also cause problems with dental development.
How does it affect breastfeeding?
Lip ties can make breastfeeding difficult because it can cause the baby to have a poor latch. This can lead to less milk transfer and can also cause pain for the mother. In some cases, it may even be necessary to pump and bottle feed.
Lip tie release surgery
When your baby has a lip tie, it means their top lip is attached to their gums a little too tightly. This can make breastfeeding more difficult because it can impede your baby’s ability to latch on correctly. Lip tie release surgery is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed by a pediatric dentist or oral surgeon. The goal of the surgery is to release the tissue that is attaching the lip to the gum so that your baby can latch on correctly and breastfeed more easily.
The surgery itself is usually quick and easy, and most babies recover from it quickly with no problems. However, there is always a risk of complications with any surgery, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about all the risks and benefits before making a decision. If you decide to proceed with surgery, your baby will need to be anaesthetized for the procedure. This means that you will not be able to breastfeed them immediately afterwards, so you’ll need to pump milk beforehand and bottle feed it to them until they are able to latch on again after the surgery.
Lip tie release surgery can be an effective way to help improve breastfeeding for both you and your baby. It’s important to weigh all the risks and benefits before making a decision, but if you do decide to proceed with surgery, know that it is usually quick and easy with a good recovery rate for most babies.
After the surgery
After the surgery, it is important to keep the area clean and dry. You may have some swelling and bruising, which is normal. Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to care for the area. You should also avoid drinking alcohol or smoking while you heal. These can cause problems with wound healing.
Pros and cons of having the surgery
There are a few pros and cons to having the surgery. On the plus side, it can help to improve your baby’s latch and make breastfeeding easier. It can also help to reduce the risk of developing mastitis or other breastfeeding problems. On the downside, the surgery is usually not covered by insurance, so you will likely have to pay for it out-of-pocket. Recovery from the surgery can be uncomfortable, and there is a small risk of complications. Overall, though, most parents who have the surgery feel that it was worth it for the benefits it provided.
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