Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Breastfeeding mamas, we hear you! We understand the struggles you face being a new mom, especially when trying to juggle your other responsibilities. While it’s only natural to stress and worry even more now that you’re a parent, stressing over breastfeeding shouldn’t be one of those worries.
- Are you a recently new mom struggling to breastfeed your baby?
- Maybe this isn’t your first rodeo, yet you can’t seem to get baby to latch properly. What gives?
Well, before you throw in the towel and start supplementing your baby’s feedings with formula, we are here for you. Dr. Hartrick, a family dentist in the greater Detroit area, wants to explore a couple of reasons why you might be struggling with your breastfeeding efforts. And, surprisingly, there’s a simple fix for it. So, if you are looking for breastfeeding tips in Detroit, or learn ways to help your baby latch while breastfeeding in Royal Oak, you’ve come to the right place!
Why the baby isn’t latching
Simply put, baby’s born with either a tongue-tie or lip-tie may not be able to latch properly. Therefore, the nursing mother may experience sore or tender nipples, cluster feedings, a baby that seems colicky, fails to thrive, or that is losing weight. The problem is that this restrictive tissue doesn’t allow the baby to place his or her tongue or lips in the correct position for a proper latch. If the baby isn’t latching properly, this means that their weight may drop, they may wake frequently through the night and want to feed more often than what is actually needed, and they may experience reflux, be gassy, or unsatisfied from being underfed.
Often times, in these scenarios, mom is distraught, tired, hurting, and ready to give up on breastfeeding. In fact, many doctors may even encourage the mother to quit breastfeeding and move forward with supplementing with formula just to ease the mother’s concerns and stress. Which, by the way, there isn’t a wrong or right way to nutritionally satisfy your baby’s needs – either by formula or breast milk, but if you are eager to continue on with your breastfeeding journey, yet have run into some unexpected challenges, Dr. Hartrick can help.
Many doctors may not even perform this vital screening on a newborn. But, Dr. Hartrick is acutely aware of the life-long health issues that stem from untreated tongue-ties or lip-ties, which is why she encourages all of her patients that are mothers to bring their baby’s in for a quick and painless screening.
Dr. Hartrick can take one look at the underside of your baby’s upper lip and tongue to detect a restricted frenum, that’s the thin string of tissue that tethers the lip to the gums and the tongue to the floor of the mouth. If detected, Dr. Hartrick can simply release the tie by a simple procedure called a frenectomy. The procedure is done using a specially designed dental laser, and often times infants don’t even need any anesthetic (the discomfort from the injection is far worse and longer-lasting than any mild discomfort felt during the laser treatment). While further techniques and assistance may be needed to train your baby on latching properly, at least he or she will be able to actually do it right now that their restricted frenum has been released!
It’s important not to just ignore a tongue- or lip-tie, because it can affect how a child develops and even can cause a narrow airway that results in sleep apnea, a serious sleep-breathing disorder that poses many health risks. It’s far better to treat the issue while your child is young, instead of waiting until later in life when poor oral habits have already been adapted.
If you would like to learn more about this procedure, or to see if your baby has a tongue-tie or lip-tie, schedule a consultation with Dr. Hartrick by calling (248) 549-0950. We welcome patients of all ages from Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.