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Breastfeed Med. 2014 Nov;9(9):430-7. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2014.0072. Epub 2014 Oct 7.

Tongue-tie and breastfeeding in newborns-mothers' perspective.

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1 Department of Neonatology, Bnai Zion Medical Center , Haifa, Israel .



This study explored clinical implications of tongue-tie (TT) on breastfeeding from the mothers' perspective and evaluated the assistance provided.


This was a single-center observational study using a structured survey. All newborns with TT born in 2005-2010 were identified; two controls without TT were assigned for each. Mothers were interviewed using a uniform structured questionnaire regarding breastfeeding experience, challenges, lactation consultation, and frenotomy, if performed.


One hundred eighty-three TT mothers and 314 controls were interviewed. Although the overall rates of breastfeeding problems in the first month were similar (59% vs. 52%, respectively), TT mothers reported significantly more problems with latching, prolonged breastfeeding, and infant's exhaustion during feedings, but not pain or sore nipples. Breastfeeding rates at 6 months were similar. TT mothers more frequently used pumped breastmilk to supplement breastfeeding. Significantly more TT mothers sought consultation after discharge, and a significantly greater proportion of them felt that lactation consultation helped. Eighty-seven percent of the mothers were aware of their children's TT, yet only 50% associated it with breastfeeding problems. Of the TT infants at 2 years of age or older, 11.9% were reported to have speech problems. The possibility of frenotomy was mentioned to 69% of mothers, and it was performed in 35% of cases. Procedure satisfaction was generally poor, except for when done to solve breastfeeding problems.


TT infants had significantly more breastfeeding problems in the first month, but similar rates and durations of breastfeeding. Early diagnosis and lactation consultation may assist mother-infant dyads substantially. Mothers whose infants underwent frenotomies for breastfeeding more frequently found the procedure alleviated breastfeeding problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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