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Babies do not need a tongue-bonding operation to feed

  Breastfeeding babies

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According to a US study, babies with tongue ligatures rarely need surgery to be able to feed themselves.

Two thirds of the babies were referred for the procedure and did not need it and could feed themselves with other support.

Tongue binding occurs when the skin band that joins the tongue and floor of the mouth is shorter than usual. It can affect feeding, though not always.

UK experts said the procedure could be avoided "with the right support".

"No real data"

Between 4% and 1

1% of babies are born with a mother tongue tie or ankyloglossia.

This may mean that babies can not open their mouths far enough to breastfeed.

A simple procedure called frenulectomy, in which the tongue is cut off, can be offered.

In very young babies, it can even be done under local anesthesia.

The US study estimates that the number of frenulectomies will increase from 1,200 in 1997 to 12,400 in 2012.

NHS Digital figures show that at least 4,320 have been performed in England in 2015-16 – and this is likely to be underestimated because it is such a fast process that it may not always be recorded.

The US study published in JAMA Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery examined 115 babies, who were on average about one month old.

All were referred for the surgical procedure, but 63% were able to successfully breastfeed with the help of specialists, including speech therapists and speech therapists.

Dr. Christopher Hartnick of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Hospital, who led the research, said, "We've seen that the number of operations to loosen tongue ligaments and upper lip bands has increased dramatically, without really meaningful data showing that they are responsible for the Breastfeeding are effective. "

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Jane Moffett, lactation consultant at NCT, said, "Many women have problems nursing their babies in the first few days and weeks.

" In some cases, this may be because of it lie tongue ribbon.

"There is limited evidence of which babies require and do not have a tongue split."

"Benefits also vary significantly in the United Kingdom, with some areas having no NHS coverage and concerns over over-diagnosis in others.

"If you believe that your baby has tongue bites or fears that they are not feeding properly, contact a lactation consultant, midwife, or health visitor.

" Early support can make all the difference. "

Professor Mary Fewtrell of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said," In some, tying the tongue can be the cause of poor breastfeeding and maternal nipple pain, and the procedure can correct the limitation on the tongue's movement and enable more effective breastfeeding for the baby and comfort for the mother.

"However, parents need good support and advice on breastfeeding before considering surgery because, as this study shows, this can sometimes be avoided with the right support."

"While this new study addresses this problem a little bit lighted up We do not have enough data from good quality studies to know what is best for breastfeeding. "

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