Babies who have Tongue-tie – Assessment & Treatment Options in Cambridge
Tongue-tie is caused by a tight frenulum (connective tissue under the tongue) which restricts the mobility and function of the tongue and may affect the baby’s ability to breast/bottle feed effectively. It’s also called Restrictive Lingual Frenulum.
All practitioners should inform you about the benefits and small risks of tongue-tie release, enabling you to make an informed decision about the treatment options.
For NHS treatment, parents see the baby’s GP, Health Visitor (HV), or midwife first. They can refer to the providers below. The Infant Feeding team at the Rosie Hospital can refer babies, if the Community Midwife contacts them.
Babies can also be referred by an
Infant Feeding Advisor, who is part of the Health Visiting service. To contact her, call the HV Duty Desk:
0300 029 5050
You can see her at an NHS group, or ask for a one-to-one appointment.
NHS in Cambs & Peterborough will fund tongue-tie assessments and treatments for babies up to 16 weeks, if causing problems for baby or mother. NHS assessment and treatment is free.
Oral Surgeon Mr Simpson and his team are trained to release all types of tongue-tie.
Mr. Simpson, Dept. of Oral Surgery, Bedford Hospital, Kempston Rd., Bedford MK42 9DJ
For babies up to 18 weeks.
An appointment will be given to see a paediatric surgeon in an available outpatient clinic slot. There is no set clinic specifically for this procedure so appointment times may vary.
They will see babies up to 12 weeks. They do not usually divide posterior tongue-ties.
Norfolk & Norwich Hospital (NNU)
NNU takes referrals from GPs, HVs, Infant Feeding Advisors and midwives, including Community Midwives, using the NNU referral form.
Private treatment – Lactation Consultants
This website lists International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) with specialist training in breastfeeding support and tongue-tie release, who are also registered health professionals:
Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners: www.tongue-tie.org.uk
Click on the page ‘Find a tongue-tie divider.’ Check this website frequently for latest news.
A private practitioner will be able to see you at home or in a clinic setting to assess and release the tongue-tie if appropriate and with your informed consent. The procedure costs approx £175. Discuss aftercare with her when booking: some practitioners include repeat visits (if needed) or phone calls in their package; some cost these separately.
About the procedure
Both NHS and private health care providers will assess your baby/feeding and advise if they think that tongue-tie division would help with feeding. If it is needed, it can be done there and then, if you agree. The procedure takes about 40 seconds. It is done without
anaesthetic for young babies, because the procedure is considered less invasive than anaesthetic and because it is important that the baby is able to feed immediately to stem any bleeding.
Continuing support needed
Improvement may be noticeable immediately or it may take two to four weeks for feeding to improve. Support with techniques that help improve tongue function is sometimes suggested after the release of the tie. This is available from the free breastfeeding drop-ins clinics in the Cambridge area, or discuss with your private practitioner.
Hand expression/pumping and breast compressions can support your supply and milk transfer to your baby while tongue function improves:
You may need to express milk for your baby before he/she can feed well, perhaps after the tongue-tie is divided as well as before.
Please see the Rosie Hospital information pages: http://www.cuh.org.uk/pregnancy-labour-and-birth/after-birth/postnatal-care/feeding-your-baby/community-support for a list of electric pump agents in this area. Hand expression works well for many mothers too.
Breast compressions can help milk transfer and supply. Compress your breast while your baby is sucking to deliver more creamy milk and release when he pauses. See: www.breastfeedinginc.ca for a helpful video.
Websites for parents and health professionals
General Breastfeeding & Parenting Info
- www.lcgb.org (Lactation Consultants Great Britain)
- www.biologicalnurturing.com (your baby can help – find out how)
- www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk (breastfeeding support and information)
- www.laleche.org.uk (breastfeeding support and information)
- http://abm.me.uk/ (Association of Breastfeeding Mothers – breastfeeding support and information)
- http://www.nct.org.uk/ (parenting support and information)
- www.breastfeedinginc.ca (pumping, supplemental feeding, breast compression)
- www.babyfriendly.org.uk (current research)
- www.basisonline.org.uk (evidence-based research – infant sleep information source)
- www.mobimotherhood.org (supply issues)
Tongue Tie Info
- www.cwgenna.com (images of tongue-tie, parent-friendly website)
- http://newborns.stanford.edu/Breastfeeding/MaxProduction.html (increasing pumping effectiveness)
- www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15953322?dopt=Abstract (randomised controlled trial research)
- (mothers’ experiences)