Pither.com / Simon
Development, systems administration, parenting and business

Tongue tie

On Wednesday 3rd January, the morning after Edward was born, a paediatrician visited to give him an initial check up. One of the things she spotted was that he had quite severe tongue tie. This condition can affect a baby's ability to feed (especially breast feed) and later possibly affect speech. Further more, it almost always affects males and hence is most often inherited from fathers - so it's all my fault! :-(

Thankfully it's quite fixable.

The problem is that the membrane connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth extends too far towards the front of the tongue, in Edward's case, all of the way to the tip of his tongue. This limits movement (especially forwards, out of the mouth) of his tongue. The fix is "simply" to cut the membrane!

It seems that not many people/places perform this minor operation though. The hospital was good in this respect though and contacted one such person in the area and arranged for them to contact us. For a change they did this quite efficiently and the specialist got back to us while we were all still at the hospital.

We called back the specialist (who was based in Brighton) on the Monday after Edward came back from hospital and they booked us into a clinic they were holding the next day in Haywards Heath.

So Edward's first trip out of the house was a little sooner than we had expected.

It took us quite a while (perhaps an hour!) to get everything ready that we needed to take Edward out, but once that was done, the outing was really quite straight forward. Edward is generally a quiet baby and this seems to be especially so when travelling in the car.

At one week old, Edward had his first little operation. Although it was so simple it can hardly be called that. He was first checked visually and confirmed as having a 100% tongue tie. He was then taken to a second room, wrapped up so he could not struggle too much and the tie was cut with a small pair of scissors. The entire experience took no more than ten minutes and the actual operation less than one minute. He didn't seem to mind at all, only crying a little bit when he was released from the wrap afterwards.

Since then he seems to be playing with his new found tongue a little, making some strange faces. We're not entirely sure that he's quite got the hang of it yet. Certainly breast feeding doesn't seem to have got any easier yet. Perhaps that will take a few days.

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