Tongue-tie and breastfeeding


Advocate Children's Hospital


Objective: To evaluate the efficiency of maternal breastfeeding and maternal pain pre- and post-lingual frenulum release procedures in infants with ankyloglossia.

Methods: Infants under 4 months of age with tongue-tie who were actively breastfeeding, and their mothers (mother-infant dyads) were recruited. Infants' ankyloglossia severity was evaluated using the Coryllos® ankyloglossia tongue-tie grading scale. Each mother completed a pre-procedure questionnaire where breastfeeding efficiency was evaluated using the LATCH® criteria. Each mother also reported a numeric score of pain with feeding, breastfeeding time, and a perceived feeding efficiency score. After the tongue-tie release procedure, each mother completed a post-procedure questionnaire within a 1-week to 1-month window to assess the change in breastfeeding efficiency using the LATCH® criteria, breastfeeding pain, breastfeeding time, and perceived breastfeeding efficiency.

Results: 41 mother-infant dyads participated in the study. No surgical complications occurred during or post-procedure. All dyads reported improved (40) or equal (1) LATCH® scores: with a mean improved LATCH® score of 3.2 points (p < 4^10-15, 95% CI 2.6, 3.7.). The mean improved maternal perception of feeding was 3.3 points (p < 6^10-10,95% CI 2.6, 4.0.), the mean decreased maternal pain was 4.0 points (p < 1^10-14, 95% CI 3.3, 4.8), and the mean decreased maternal feeding time was 0.80 points (p = 0.002, 95% CI 0.5, 1.1.).

Conclusion: Lingual frenulum release procedures appear to consistently improve breastfeeding efficiency and decrease maternal pain.

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