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More and more babies get their tongues cut off when breastfeeding



"My baby is not growing up." "She's not taking the bottle." "Breastfeeding is painful, am I doing something wrong?"

These are some of the questions and comments that mothers ask in breastfeeding support groups, Online forums and in the waiting rooms of pediatrician practices. Often, the first advice given to mothers is to test for "tongue bonding" or ankyloglossia – tying a child's tongue to the floor of the mouth through a small piece of tissue called a frenulum, which makes proper tying and tying difficult.

The condition can be remedied with a simple surgical procedure in which the tissue is cut or cut off. But is it necessary for most babies?

Researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Pediatric Airway, Voice and Swallowing Center in Boston responded to this question after seeing an influx of parents asking, in second and third opinions, if their babies needed the procedure which lasts for about a minute and is usually performed without anesthesia.

"We've seen that the number of tongue and top band loosening operations has increased dramatically across the country without the need for meaningful data to show that they are effective for breastfeeding," said lead author Dr. Christopher Hartnick, Director of the Department of Pediatric ENT at Mass. Eye and Ear, in a statement.

They therefore started a study of 1

15 babies who were referred to a pediatric nasal ear for neck and / or upper lip bonding operations. Upper lip bonding occurs when a small piece of tissue joins the upper lip to the gum.

For 63% of infants, the procedure was not required, according to results published on Thursday in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. Breastfeeding was learned after a thorough feeding study by teams of doctors, including a speech pathologist.

The study did not indicate if the children were misdiagnosed or if they were receiving alternative non-surgical treatments to relieve their tongue problems.

"We do not have a crystal ball that can tell us which babies could benefit the most from tongue attachment or upper lip release," said Hartnick. "However, this preliminary study provides concrete evidence that this pathway to a multidisciplinary feeding assessment helps babies not get this procedure."

The findings raise the question of whether many babies do not require Tongue Banding, why many of these surgeries are performed ?

Does a tongue binding procedure help?

According to a 2017 Cochrane resurgence, 4-11 percent of newborns have tongue attachments. Tongue-binding operations or frenectomies are performed in babies with a tight frenulum.

However, previous studies have shown that tongue bonding does not always make breastfeeding difficult and dissolution does not always improve breastfeeding. In fact, it is possible that the improvement seen by the parents is sometimes due to wishful thinking – in other words, the placebo effect.


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