The WWL Way
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New Service for Tongue Tied Babies

Newsdate: 29 May 2014

When a baby is diagnosed as being tongue tied, the membrane (frenulum) under the tongue sometimes extends further than usual up towards the tip of the tongue and can be tight. Obviously, this can limit the upward and forward mobility of the tongue.  This can cause painful breastfeeding as well as babies having difficulty in feeding and can result in inadequate milk transfer from mother to baby.

Therefore, many mothers whose babies have a tongue tie identified, usually need more help with breastfeeding, especially with positioning and attachment.

On the maternity ward at Wigan Infirmary, assistance is available daily from the Infant Feeding Team.  This is a team led by an Infant Feeding Co-ordinator and  three midwives who help and support mother with breastfeeding whilst on  the maternity ward and then at home and in the community. All Midwives and the Maternity Staff on the ward have received breastfeeding training and offer both practical advice and support to mothers. Help, advice and guidance is also provided by the Breastfeeding Peer support network. 

There is also support available to parents once tongue tie is identified and further information can be obtained from local breastfeeding website

Kathryn Ashton Infant Feeding Coordinator at WWL says: “Until recently babies were referred for tongue tie assessment and division to Stockport/Oldham and Preston with an average wait of three to four weeks”.

Kathryn continues: “However, the good news is that this service is now available locally and babies will be assessed and treated at Wigan. The Infant Feeding Team Midwives at Wigan Infirmary have been trained  under the guidance of Mervyn Griffiths, a Consultant Paediatrician at Southampton, in identification and treatment of tongue tie. He has led detailed training and research in this area nationally.   A dedicated Midwife led tongue tie clinic, with the collaboration of Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon Dr Steve Izzat, has now commenced. This is fantastic news for mothers and babies within the borough as this will greatly decrease waiting and travelling times.”