Tongue-tie and breastfeeding: Identifying problems in the diagnostic and treatment journey

Wakelin, Rachel, Howe, Amanda, Fleetcroft, Robert and Stockl, Andrea (2017) Tongue-tie and breastfeeding: Identifying problems in the diagnostic and treatment journey. British Journal of Midwifery, 25 (9). pp. 579-584. ISSN 0969-4900

[thumbnail of Accepted manuscript]
PDF (Accepted manuscript) - Accepted Version
Download (606kB) | Preview


Background: Tongue-tie is a common condition that often adversely affects breastfeeding. There is research that suggests that frenulotomy can improve breastfeeding but there is also evidence of lack of professional knowledge on tongue-tie. Methods: This was a qualitative interview study with GPs, midwives, health visitors and nine mothers to explore facilitators and barriers to receiving a diagnosis of and treatment for tongue-tie. Findings: Mothers told a common story of having to push for support, experiencing diagnostic and treatment delays and suffering ongoing distress, which threatened their ability to establish breastfeeding. Mothers also described feeling vulnerable in the neonatal period, and witnessing a variation in professional knowledge about tongue-tie. Conclusions: Variable professional knowledge, conflicting advice, and a delayed diagnosis can lead to a difficult patient pathway. Assessment for tongue-tie should be considered when approaching infants with feeding difficulties. Frenulotomy should also be considered and services made available where findings suggest the cause is structural and breastfeeding support has not helped.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tongue-tie,ankyloglossia,breastfeeding,frenulotomy
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Migration Research Network
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Groups > Health Services and Primary Care
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2017 15:01
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 03:15
DOI: 10.12968/bjom.2017.25.9.579


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item