You’ve probably heard of tongue ties, but have you heard of a newborn having a lip tie? This occurs when the strip of skin beneath the upper lip is too short or tight. 

It restricts the movement of the lips and occurs in 4 to 11% of babies. While lip ties aren’t talked about much, they’re fairly common. 

This condition can make breastfeeding challenging for both the newborn and the mother. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding breastfeeding lip tie. 

We’re here to clear up misconceptions, help educate you, and provide you with as much breastfeeding support as possible. Keep reading as we discuss and debunk common myths. 

Myth 1: All Lip Ties Require an Intervention 

One of the most common myths about breastfeeding lip tie is that all situations require immediate intervention. While lip ties can contribute to challenges with breastfeeding, they are not all problematic.

There are some infants with lip ties who can breastfeed effectively without any issues. With this information, it’s crucial that you evaluate your situation individually.

Latching problems, discomfort during nursing, or insufficient weight gain might be attributed to causes beyond a lip tie. These issues may be stemming from another problem. This information is crucial as it will help you identify the problem and fix it.

Some babies will adapt and develop effective feeding patterns without the need for medical intervention. Working with a lactation specialist and other healthcare professionals will help you determine the best course of action.

You mustn’t jump to conclusions and assume that every breastfeeding lip tie requires medical intervention. Every mother and infant is different, which makes crafting an individual and customized plan so important.

Myth 2: Lip Ties Always Cause Pain During Breastfeeding 

Breastfeeding a baby with a lip tie does not always mean it will be painful for the mother. This is a myth that is believed by many people.

While others may experience discomfort due to a shallow latch. It’s not an absolute rule.

There are a lot of factors that can contribute to painful breastfeeding. It’s also important to remember that while a lip tie may be causing pain, other issues may also be contributing to the discomfort.

Addressing the lip tie may not eliminate the pain completely if there is another problem. Searching for the source or cause of pain is crucial before assuming that the lip tie is the only problem.

Myth 3: All Lip Ties Require Surgery

There are some instances when a medical procedure called a frenotomy will need to be performed to correct a lip tie. However, it’s not always necessary.

As a parent to a newborn, it can be scary to think your infant needs surgery. You don’t need to panic or jump to conclusions.

A myth that many parents are told is that surgery is the only way to fix a lip tie, and it’s the only way your baby will breastfeed correctly. There are alternative strategies that can be explored before surgery. 

Changing breastfeeding positions, latch adjustments, and supportive therapies may be effective in improving breastfeeding outcomes. Working with a lactation consultant can also be beneficial. They may recommend surgery, but they may not. 

Myth 4: Lip Ties Always Impact Speech 

As a parent, you don’t want your child to have speech difficulties as they grow older. Many people believe if a lip tie is not released when the child is an infant, it will inevitably lead to speech issues.

This could not be further from the truth. Yes, severe lip ties might contribute to speech issues, but most do not lead to long-term problems.

The relationship between lip ties and speech development is very complex and varies from case to case. The best thing you can do is work with a medical professional and monitor your child’s speech development.

If a concern arises, it’s best to seek guidance from a speech-language pathologist right away. Even if your child has a breastfeeding lip tie, it is not guaranteed to cause further issues in the future.

It’s easy to panic and become anxious as a new mother. You may be thinking of the worst possible scenarios, but you can rest a little knowing this statement is a myth.  

Myth 5: Lip Tie Releases Always Lead to Successful Breastfeeding

Another common belief is that releasing a lip tie through medical intervention will immediately resolve all breastfeeding problems. While this procedure can be beneficial for some infants, it’s not a guaranteed solution.

Your maternal anatomy, environmental factors, and tongue tie can still contribute to challenges. This is where a lactation consultant or pediatrician can help you identify the root of your breastfeeding difficulties.

Many mothers believe that after the lip tie is released, they won’t have any issues. It can be extremely discouraging if you’re not aware of this myth. Having all the information before the procedure will allow you to set realistic expectations.

Myth 6: Any Doctor Can Treat Lip Ties

Many medical professionals can perform lip tie release, but there are several you can’t. Pediatric dentists may have experience diagnosing and treating a lip tie. However, you must ask about their qualifications and their experience performing the procedure. 

Oral surgeons can also help with more complex lip ties. While lactation consultants don’t perform the release, they play a crucial role in identifying the issue. Your consultant can help ease your mind and clear up any confusion that you may have. 

The Truth About Breastfeeding Lip Tie

Understanding the realities of breastfeeding lip tie is crucial for making informed decisions. While lip ties can contribute to difficulties, it’s important to approach each case individually. 

Working with a lactation specialist and other qualified medical professionals will ensure you and your baby get the best care possible. The more you know, the easier it will be to decide on your child’s health. 

Here at Kentucky Breastfeeding Center, we want to ensure you have everything you need to take care of your newborn. We are a judgment-free zone and our only goal is to support you during this process.

Schedule a visit with our team today.