Five Fingers, Five Toes & a Tongue Tie

This generation of parents have some different concerns when preparing for their children’s births than generations of yesteryear.  Among the list of decisions to be made are formula or breast milk, organic or not, pampers or diapers and one of the biggest debates, to circumcise or not.  We’ve all grown up hearing the expression, “tongue tied,” to describe someone who can’t quite get their words out right.  Tongue tie, or Ankyloglossia, however, is a serious condition.

Tongue tie is a common condition where the tongue is actually connected to the mouth’s floor, making it difficult to suck, chew and speak.  Many people grow up and are able to cope with their tie, while others are not.  The decision to be made by parents is whether or not their baby’s tongue tie will be cut.  Many parents count fingers and toes as soon as their baby is born, but don’t forget to check the tongue as well.  Read up on tongue tie to help you make an informed decision should your child be born with a tie.


2 responses to “Five Fingers, Five Toes & a Tongue Tie

  1. Thanks for posting about such an important and often under-diagnosed and misunderstood issue! As a lactation consultant in private practice, I see a lot of tongue ties. Many families have usually seen another provider (MD, Midwife, hospital based LC, etc) before they come to see me, meaning that baby has been checked out but no one caught the tongue tie wreaking so much havoc on this dyad’s breastfeeding relationship. Part of the reason for this is the providers are looking for tongue ties like the one pictured above, clear and visible. When in fact, many tongue ties are not visible but have to be palpated and assessed for and are sometimes called “posterior tongue ties”. Also, many providers still do not believe tongue tie poses a problem to feeding, dental or speech issues. I beg to differ . I am a very holistically minded LC and never advocate for doing any unnecessary intervention/procedure. In the case of ankyloglossia, the treatment is a quick, relatively easy procedure (baby can nurse right before and after!) and the benefits are immense. If breastfeeding issues persist I always urge parents to seek support from a lactation consultant really familiar with tongue tie. My personal website has more tongue tie resources for anyone that is interested.

    • Peace Melissa! Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your insight. Your website is a wonderful resource, an raises lots of awareness. Thanks for also pointing out the fact that ties aren’t always prominent or obvious like in the photo.

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