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Lip and Tongue Tie Case Study

I had never heard of lip tie and/or tongue tie before I gave birth to my first baby.  It was only by chance that I learned about this. 

I was at a pre-natal event when I overhead a conversation between two women whose babies both had lip ties.  

It turned out that neither of them had any knowledge about the condition and had learned that the condition is congenital and hereditary.  So I asked them if I could listen in on their conversation.  

The first one said she had been having trouble in hospital with establishing breastfeeding.  She had a wonderful midwife who knew about tongue and lip tie and established that her baby had in fact a lip tie.  She encouraged her to seek help from a paediatrician and the Nursing Mother’s Association.  In short, her baby’s lip tie was ‘fixed’ with the quick release technique of laser therapy. 

The second one was not so fortunate.  She had trouble feeding from the start and had so wanted to establish breastfeeding with her newborn and continue for up to 12 months.  She was in tears in the hospital and the midwifery staff were no help.  One of the midwives shouted at her that she wasn’t trying hard enough!  Getting her baby to latch was proving to be almost impossible and she almost gave up.  But she had a friend come to see her newborn and she proved to be a mountain of help!  She had a similar experience and had found out her baby was born with a lip and tongue tie, had laser therapy performed and she and her baby never looked back.  She also found out that her husband had lip and tongue tie.  He was not so lucky and had some speech problems as a child.  In those days it was not widely known about lip and tongue tie. 

I tucked all this newfound information away for a time and then when my baby was born I remembered those women’s experiences and knew almost straight away that my baby had a lip tie.  The midwifery staff were fabulous when they picked up on our breastfeeding issues.  My baby was referred to a paediatrician and a very quick and painless laser procedure was performed to release the tie.  I started feeding straight after the procedure and happily bonded with breastfeeding being a most rewarding experience for both of us. 

I also discovered that various family members also had lip and/or tongue ties or other tell—tale symptoms that were unfortunately never picked up as babies or treated.

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