During the evaluation, some areas assessed will be the infant’s suck pattern, coordination of suck-swallow-breath pattern, and latch to breast or bottle.
Therapy is based on each infant’s individual needs. Treatments may include improving the suck-swallow-breath pattern, improving uncoordinated suck, improving latch to breast or bottle, and transitioning to oral feeding from tube feeding. Suck training and therapy following a frenectomy are also offered for breastfed babies.
Tongue tie and posterior tongue tie can severely impede breastfeeding. This can cause inability to transfer milk efficiently while breastfeeding, leading to lack of weight gain.
Symptoms of tongue tie and posterior tongue tie can include: crabbiness after feeds, wanting to nurse continually and never seeming be full, lack of weight gain, and feeding times of over 20-30 minutes.
Tongue tie and posterior tongue tie can cause symptoms for the mother as well: pain during and after nursing (can be very severe), thrush and/or mastitis (may be reoccurring), compressed nipples after nursing (nipple looks like a tube of lipstick), and torn up nipples.
If you suspect your baby may have a tongue tie or posterior tongue tie, please schedule an evaluation.
Does your baby have trouble drinking from a bottle? Does your breasted baby refuse to accept a bottle in your absence? Many typically developing babies have difficulty with bottle feeding.
If your baby demonstrates any of the following while bottle feeding, please contact the speech-language pathologist to schedule a bottle feeding assessment:
- loses liquid out of the mouth (babies who have proper latch and tongue pattern do not typically lose much liquid while drinking)
- baby takes a few sucks and then pushes the bottle out of the mouth
- baby takes a few sucks and then leans head back to de-latch from the bottle
- baby frequently coughs during the feeding
- you can hear the baby swallowing—it sounds like gulping or hard swallows
- the baby’s bottom lip or tongue comes away from the bottle during feeding
- the baby’s upper lip is turned under at the top of the bottle instead of flared out
- you are having trouble finding a bottle that the baby will consistently accept
Since most babies are able to finish the content of a bottle despite the above symptoms, many parents do not realize their baby is having difficulty. However, any of these symptoms can make the feeding time stressful for the baby and parent. The above symptoms also may increase gassiness and fussiness, and increase the risk of aspiration. Intervention typically only takes a few sessions and involves simple changes in the feeding process.