Lip ties are the most common cause of breastfeeding issues. If this problem is not fixed, it can lead to other problems such as cracked or sore nipples and even mastitis. These conditions become worse over time, especially if you have a baby who is also constantly gassy and fussy. So what exactly is a lip tie and how do you fix it? A lip tie occurs when the upper and lower lips of your child’s mouth are connected, usually with a thin band of skin. It’s usually impossible for parents to see the presence of lip ties unless they have some experience observing these things. The best way to check if your baby has a lip tie is by observing his latch, which means watching carefully how he takes your milk in. In case you think that your little one might have this condition, here are 9 tips on how to fix a lip tie:
1. Check your baby’s latch
When you breastfeed your child, make sure that you are watching for any problems carefully. The best way to notice a lip tie is when your baby is breastfeeding. What to look for is when the child is having trouble attaching to the breast and that he can’t open his mouth wide enough to latch on properly. If your baby’s mouth is wide open, but he can’t latch on properly, then there’s a chance that he has a lip tie. Babies who have this condition may have a very hard time breastfeeding, leading to other issues like mastitis, cracked nipples, and low milk supply.
2. Ask for a lip tie revision during your next prenatal appointment
If you notice that your child has a lip tie, the best thing that you can do is to ask for a revision during your next prenatal appointment. Lip tie revisions are very common in babies who are born with a lip tie. They are usually corrected around the time the baby is 2 or 3 weeks old. This procedure can either be done by the midwife or pediatrician with just a simple snip of the skin connecting the upper and lower lips. If you catch the problem during your prenatal appointment, it’s highly recommended that you ask for the procedure to be done as soon as possible. This will help your baby breastfeed properly and reduce the risk of developing other breastfeeding issues like mastitis, cracked nipples, and low milk supply.
3. Implement a healthy diet and lifestyle
Breastfeeding is a two-way street. In order to make the most out of your breastfeeding journey, you need to care for your baby too. Babies who have a lip tie are more prone to developing allergies and skin issues, making it really important for parents to take care of their infant’s skin. You can lower your child’s risk of allergies and skin issues by washing his bottom with a special soap, using a barrier cream, and making sure that his nails are cut short. When it comes to your diet, there are a few things that you need to cut out for your baby’s sake. This includes sugar, caffeine, salt, and dairy products. If possible, you should also try to breastfeed your child more often, as this has been proven to be beneficial for both you and your baby.
4. Check if your baby has tongue-tie too
As mentioned above, a lip tie can often be accompanied by a tongue tie. Parents often don’t know they have a tongue tie until they experience breastfeeding problems with their child. One of the most common indications that your baby has tongue-tie is when he struggles while latching on. If you notice that your infant is having a very hard time latching on, it might be because of tongue tie. If you notice any of these signs, you should definitely check for a tongue tie. Another way to check for a tongue tie is to check if your baby can move his tongue freely. You can do this by gently moving your finger from your child’s chin up to his tongue. If he can move his tongue easily, then he doesn’t have a tongue tie. But if you feel that he can’t move his tongue freely, then there’s a chance that he has a tongue tie.
5. Try using a nipple shield
Nipple shields have been proven to be very helpful for babies with a lip tie. They can make breastfeeding easier for both the baby and the parent, as they allow the child to latch on properly. Using a nipple shield also reduces the risk of cracked nipples and nipple pain. Although nipple shields may sound like a strange solution, they can be very helpful when it comes to breastfeeding issues. If you are using a nipple shield and you are not sure how to clean it, you can read our article here.
6. Try a different breastfeeding position
If you’re still having trouble breastfeeding your child even after trying all of the above, you can try a different breastfeeding position. Certain breastfeeding positions are easier for babies who have a lip tie. The most common breastfeeding positions for babies with a lip tie are the football position and the cross-cradle position. If your baby is experiencing breastfeeding issues and you’ve tried all of the above, you might want to consider trying a different breastfeeding position.
7. See a lactation consultant
If all of the above fails, you might need to see a lactation consultant. A lactation consultant is a special type of breastfeeding expert who can help you out with breastfeeding issues that aren’t resolved by other means. Lactation consultants are trained to handle all kinds of breastfeeding issues, especially those caused by lip ties. They can usually help you out with breastfeeding pain issues such as sore nipples. They can also help you and your baby get the breastfeeding latch right.
8. Try an acupressure trick to help heal the area
Another thing that you can do is to try an acupressure trick to help heal the area. Acupressure is the practice of applying pressure to certain points on the body in order to relieve pain and anxiety. There is one specific acupressure trick called the “press-and-hold” method that can help with lip tie issues. You just need to apply pressure to the lower part of your child’s tongue using your thumb and forefinger for a couple of minutes. This will help your child’s tongue and lip tie heal properly. If you’ve tried all of the above and you’re still having breastfeeding issues, you might want to consider seeing a lactation consultant. They can help you out with breastfeeding issues that aren’t resolved by other means.