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Tongue Tied No Longer!

2011 May 6

tongue tied, frenetomy, pediatric ENT, breast feeding

Since we left the hospital, I’ve heard from several lactation consultants, a nurse, and a child chiropractor that Ethan looks a little ‘tongue tied.’ I thought these comments were over-reactions, but did some research anyway.

La Leche League’s website states:

“Tongue-tie or ankyloglossia (from the Greek for “crooked tongue”) is the condition where the lingual frenulum, the band of tissue that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth, restricts tongue movement. In tongue-tied infants, the frenulum is usually attached close to the tongue tip, leaving little or no “free tongue,” but it can also be placed further back and be unusually short or tight. For generations, this condition was diagnosed and treated at birth to prevent breastfeeding and speech difficulties, but with the decline of breastfeeding in the 1940s and 1950s, treatment fell out of favor. With the resurgence of breastfeeding, tongue-tie was again identified as a potential problem, and researchers have subsequently begun identifying diagnostic and treatment criteria that are appropriate for supporting breastfeeding mothers.”

tongue tied, frenetomy, pediatric ENT, breast feeding

Tongue tied infants can have problems latching during breast feeding, can develop sleep apnea, and are at high risk of having speech problems.

Pretty interesting, huh?
I thought so!

It was very easy for even me to tell that Ethan’s lingual frenulum (I feel so smart!) was restricting his tongue movement.

So I took the advice from a few people and called Dr. Grawey at Progress West Medical Center. That’s right—I drove to O’Fallon, MO! It was worth the long drive because in two seconds Dr. Grawey confirmed Ethan’s tongue tie and in one more second it was fixed! I nursed him immediately after the procedure and he was fine.

I’m not going to lie, there was screaming involved on Ethan’s part. But it was mostly due to the nurse holding him down while the doc did her work. I only saw one drop of blood and no stitches were needed. Ethan calmed down after eating and was 100% fine the rest of the day…no fussiness or anything.

Dr. Grawey explained there was little if no risk of infection, and since this was such a ‘text book’ case, we don’t even have to do any stretches to keep the tissue from growing back. Simple!

Here are some great links about tongue tie:

After just a few hours Ethan was already sticking his tongue out farther than I’ve ever seen, and I have noticed our latch has improved during nursing. He is also spitting up a little less, which could be a coincidence, or could be because he’s taking in less air due to the improved latch.

I’m very glad we had this issue taken care of now instead of later when he’s older and is aware of what’s going on.

Dr. Grawey
If you have more questions about our experience with Dr. Grawey, please email me! I highly recommended her…she made me feel very comfortable and is really wonderful with babies. She is a huge proponent of breast feeding and natural birth too!

5 Responses
  1. Sandy Schon permalink
    May 6, 2011

    So glad you became aware of this problem and were able to take care of it quickly and easily. Good advice for anyone with a new baby or a child who is having speech difficulties.

  2. May 6, 2011

    That’s great news! I had no idea something that condition existed… a really good-to-know for future reference!

  3. Joe Schon permalink
    May 6, 2011

    Looking forward to seeing the Big Guy next week.

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