Since you left the hospital with your newborn, you haven’t had an easy time of nursing. You seem to produce a decent amount of milk, but your infant doesn’t seem to latch on properly. It can be frustrating for both of you—and it can even leave you with sore nipples—but what can you do?
You can meet with a lactation consultant!
This trained professional can help new mothers and infants in many ways, especially if your baby ends up having a tongue tie. Keep reading to learn about the benefits of working with a lactation consultant in this specific scenario.
Benefit #1: A Lactation Consultant Can Double Check Your Technique
If you’re a first-time mother, nursing may be a new skill. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always intuitive or instinctive. Meeting with a lactation consultant can help you make sure you’re doing everything you can to be successful. If you continue to struggle even after meeting with them, you can safely assume that something else is going on.
Benefit #2: Your Lactation Consultant May Be the First to Identify a Tongue Tie
From the beginning of the process, many new parents don’t think to take their newborns or infants, who have no teeth, to a pediatric dentist for a tongue tie evaluation. All they know is that their baby is having trouble nursing, and they desperately want to make it better. Often, it is while meeting with a lactation consultant that they learn about this issue and that they need to meet with a tongue-tie specialist.
In other words, without the insight and advice from a lactation consultant, parents may continue to struggle, decide to quit breastfeeding, and allow a tongue tie to go undiagnosed and untreated. Later in life, a tongue tie can be detrimental to a child’s development, potentially leading to trouble eating solid foods, speech impediments, sleep apnea, and more.
Benefit #3: Some Babies Need Follow-Up Therapy After a Frenectomy
Although a tongue tie can make a huge difference in a baby’s oral function, they may not be able to nurse instantly after having it removed in a procedure called a frenectomy. In fact, it may take anywhere between a few feedings to a couple of weeks. A lactation consultant can help both you and your baby learn the proper techniques necessary for successful nursing after the physical roadblock, the tongue tie, has been resolved.
Keep in mind that even if your baby eventually does catch on to breastfeeding, they may require other therapies down the road, including occupational therapy and speech therapy, to adapt to their freed tongue. Your lactation consultant can help you connect with local resources for your child, helping them take full advantage of their oral function.
Even though a lactation consultant cannot actually treat a tongue tie, they serve an essential role in helping babies and nursing mothers resolve this and other breastfeeding problems. It is definitely worth working with one to ensure that you and your infant have a positive nursing experience.
About the Practice
Chicago Tongue Tie Center is fortunate to work with many local lactation consultants in the Chicago area. Dr. Justin and Dr. Bindi are board-certified pediatric dentists who have been trained to use a soft tissue laser to perform frenectomies as gently and comfortably as possible. If you would like to meet with us to see if your baby has a tongue tie, you can reach out to our office by calling 312-248-2455 or visiting our Contact Us page.