We are pleased to announce that our Tongue Tie Assessment Clinic is running again following the service being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The specialist clinic takes place weekly at the Children’s Outpatient Department at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford. Previously, the service supported babies up to 28 days old but we are pleased to now be able to offer and support babies up to 42 days old who have a suspected tongue tie.

Tongue tie (ankyloglossia) is diagnosed when babies have an unusually short or tight frenulum (fold of tissue) under the tongue. When a baby has a tongue tie mothers may have difficulties with pain, nipple damage, mastitis and other breastfeeding related issues. Babies may have difficulty staying attached to the breast, may lose weight or may be very unsettled when trying to feed.

If a mother is having any of the above difficulties a full assessment will be undertaken by one of our trained feeding team where the appearance and function of the tongue is evaluated. Observing how the baby feeds, ensuring the baby is positioned and attached well to the breast, will also be done, offering mum support and reassurance. If a tongue tie is diagnosed not all babies will need treatment to divide the frenulum, advice and support will be offered to support the baby to feed effectively.

The specialist clinic is run by Emma Morris and Debbie Sharpe who are midwives with a wealth of experience, they are also lactation consultants and frenulotomy practitioners. The team accepts referrals from health professionals only and aim to see babies within seven days of referral, but this is often dependent on demand. All babies will be triaged and seen as soon as possible. During this time, families can access ongoing support from their community midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding support group.

For anyone who is having difficulties with breastfeeding can access specialist support that is offered by Emma, Debbie or Sandra, lactation consultants within SaTH. Their contact details can be found on the reverse of the SaTH postnatal booklet given out at discharge from hospital or after you have delivered your baby at home.