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Breastfeeding is a fundamental aspect of early mother-child bonding and provides essential nutrients for an infant’s growth and development. However, challenges such as tongue and lip ties can significantly impact the breastfeeding experience for both the mother and the baby. These conditions, often present at birth, can hinder the baby’s ability to latch onto the breast properly, leading to various breastfeeding difficulties.

Tongue Tie and Lip Tie Defined

Tongue tie, medically known as ankyloglossia, occurs when the strip of skin beneath the baby’s tongue (lingual frenulum) is shorter than usual, restricting the tongue’s range of motion. Similarly, a lip tie involves a tight or thick band of skin attaching the upper lip to the upper gum, limiting the lip’s movement.

Impacts on Breastfeeding

Tongue and lip ties can interfere with the baby’s ability to latch onto the breast effectively. A proper latch is essential for efficient breastfeeding, ensuring that the baby can extract milk adequately. Difficulties in achieving a good latch can lead to nipple pain, discomfort and inadequate milk transfer, affecting the overall breastfeeding experience. Some other impacts on breastfeeding include:

  • Ineffective Sucking: Babies with tongue and lip ties may struggle with creating the necessary suction to extract milk efficiently. This can result in frustration for both the baby and the mother, leading to inadequate milk intake, slow weight gain, and potential nutritional concerns for the infant.
  • Nipple Pain and Damage: The improper latch and sucking caused by tongue and lip ties can lead to nipple pain and damage. Mothers may experience cracked, bruised, or bleeding nipples, making breastfeeding a painful and discouraging experience. Persistent nipple issues may also contribute to a mother’s decision to discontinue breastfeeding prematurely.
  • Low Milk Supply: Ineffective sucking due to tongue and lip ties can impact milk supply. The baby’s inability to stimulate the breast adequately may result in lower milk production, potentially leading to concerns about the baby’s nutritional intake and overall growth.

Breastfeeding challenges caused by tongue and lip ties can create frustration and stress for both the mother and the baby. The baby may become frustrated during feeds due to difficulties in latching and sucking, while the mother may experience emotional distress, feeling unable to provide adequate nourishment for her child.

Tongue or Lip Tie Removal

Frenotomy is a common and relatively simple procedure to address tongue and lip ties. It involves cutting the tight bands of skin (frenulum) to release the restriction, allowing for improved tongue and lip movement. This procedure is typically quick and is often performed in the early weeks of a baby’s life. Dr. Gregory Levitin at NYC Tongue Tie offers infant tongue and lip ties removal that can be performed in about 10 minutes at NYC Tongue Tie in Midtown Manhattan. The procedure is pain-free, and infants can begin feeding immediately after their lip or tongue is removed.

Tongue and lip ties can pose significant challenges to successful breastfeeding, affecting both the baby and the mother. Recognizing the signs and seeking early intervention, such as frenotomy, can contribute to a more positive breastfeeding experience. If your infant has been diagnosed with a lip or tongue tie, a quick and painless frenectomy at NYC Tongue Tie is an excellent solution. Call our office in Manhattan to schedule a frenectomy consultation or treatment with Dr. Levitin.

Posted on behalf of NYC Tongue Tie

200 W. 57th St., Suite 1410,
New York, NY 10019

Phone: Call (212) 257-3546


Monday & Tuesday 8:30 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday & Thursday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Friday 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

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NYC Tongue Tie

200 W. 57th St., Suite 1410,
New York, NY 10019