Friday, July 11, 2008

Tongue Tied Babies & Breastfeeding

Just to clarify, yes, that was a real memory that I was dreaming about... about Sean and I floating down Canyon Creek and the big snake...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Infants born with a birth defect that restricts tongue movement may have persistent difficulties with breastfeeding, researchers from Australia report. In such cases, minor surgery usually resolves the problem, leading to better milk intake and less nipple pain for the mother.

Ankyloglossia, commonly known as tongue tied, is a birth defect in which the mucous membrane that connects the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth is too short, limiting tongue movement. Immediately after having a minor surgical procedure called frenulotomy, the tongue can often dramatically extend out of the mouth, which it could not do before. This can allow breastfeeding, help improve speech and promote proper tooth arch development in growing children.

Dr. Donna T. Geddes, at the University of Western Australia in Perth, and her associates evaluated 24 breastfeeding mothers and their "tongue tied" infants (age 4 to 131 days) with persistent breastfeeding difficulties after receiving professional breastfeeding advice.

Ultrasound scans of the infants' mouth while feeding showed that the infants pinched the tip or the base of the mother's nipple and seemed to have trouble getting milk from the breast.

The infants underwent successful complication-free surgery to correct the "tongue tied" birth defect.

When assessed 7 to 29 days after the surgery, average milk production had increased significantly, "inferring that infants were able to remove more milk from the breast" after surgery than before.

Ultrasound showed better attachment to the breast, with less nipple compression in all cases but one, and nipple pain decreased significantly. The mothers continued to breastfeed for up to 24 months.

"This study provides evidence in support of frenulotomy for infants experiencing persistent breastfeeding difficulties despite professional advice."

SOURCE: Pediatrics, July 2008.