That’s not a tongue tie- it’s only a “fad”!

Photography:Alexa Doula Photography

By Sofie Eriksson

There’s nothing more infuriating than waking up to another breastfeeding article which has the potential to hurt a breastfeeding journey.

There is nothing more heart-breaking than realising how far removed we are from what’s biologically correct and how much breastfeeding wisdom has been lost in a culture where formula is pushed right, left and centre.

Instead of increasing support, it seems to be common practice to ridicule the reasons behind the need for support. Somehow, most things that complicate breastfeeding are dismissed as “fads” or trends.

This particular article making its way through breastfeeding support pages and social media, claims that tongue ties are only a “fad”…

This argument is supported with a comparison of statistics for tongue tie referrals between 2005 and 2017. Apparently, in 2005, the referrals were considerably less.

The increase is indeed surprisingly high, however there is no mentioning of breastfeeding statistics or how the rates of mothers attempting to breastfeed alter from 2005-2017.

If I go for a wild night out with 5 friends, drinking tequila like we were still at university, likely one or two of us would suffer the consequences of this excessive drinking.

If I bring 600 friends to drink tequila like it’s 1999, the chances are that a significantly higher number of ladies will be worse for wear the following day.  

See where I’m going with this ridiculous analogy?

The referrals for babies with ties may have increased, but unless we consider the rise in mothers attempting to breastfeed, as well as the increase in breastfeeding awareness and the baby-friendly initiatives and efforts to increase breastfeeding rates, we won’t be able to access accurate numbers.

We also need to take into account how tongue ties would have been assessed in the past and if there would have been a kept, written record of tongue tie separations.

I was amazed to find out that before we had lost so much of our breastfeeding knowledge, midwifes used to rock a long, “pinky” nail.

When a baby was born, the midwife would instantly check the rosy little bundle’s tongue and if a tie was found it would be snipped there and then using said fingernail- swiftly and efficiently done and with little pain for baby.

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