Third-time mum Milli Hill assumed that breastfeeding her new baby would be straight-forward after so much practise. But following weeks of difficulties she discovered that her baby had an undiagnosed tongue-tie.

As many as 1 in 10 babies may suffer from tongue-tie, which occurs when the piece of skin under the tongue (frenulum) is too short and restricts the tongue’s movement. Approximately half of all tongue-ties can lead to serious feeding problems, and it isn’t just breastfeed babies who are affected – tongue-ties can also interfere with bottle feeding as the baby may not be able to form a tight seal around the teat.

In February, the NCT launched a new campaign to raise awareness of tongue-ties in the UK and to call for better treatment and diagnosis of the condition. Undiagnosed tongue-ties can lead to a range of breastfeeding difficulties, such as pain and nipple damage, engorgement, poor weight gain and baby ‘fussing’ at the breast. One indicator of a tongue-tie is that the baby may have trouble staying latched onto the breast, resulting in a clicking nose as suction is broken.

Although there is an apparent lack of knowledge on tongue-ties among medical professionals, the new NCT campaign will hopefully go some way toward helping more babies and mums get the assistance they need.

To view a list of hospital that offer a tongue-tie service visit the UNICEF website, or to find a private tongue-tie practitioner visit the Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners.

To read Milli Hill’s story in full visit: