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Tongue Tie – Medically known as Ankyloglossia

What is a tongue tie?

Tongue tie is where the strip of skin, frenulum, between the underside of the tongue and the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual anchoring it down and restricting movement.

If your baby has a tongue tie it will hopefully be picked up by your health professional at birth during their routine check.  However, lots aren’t and sometimes it is only noticed some weeks later, and a few weeks for a newborn is obviously a significant amount of time.

Does it cause any problems for baby?

Sometimes a tongue tie doesn’t cause any problems and if this is the case, then no treatment is needed at all.

However, it can interfere with feeding your baby.  Especially breastfeeding as commonly babies can’t open their mouths wide enough to latch on securely to withdraw milk from your breast.  To have a successful and comfortable feed, babies need to be able to take some breast tissue into their mouths and not just the nipple.

If they aren’t latched correctly you may hear a clicking or sucking noise as their mouths slip off.  This might also mean they take in more air when feeding so adding to a gassy tummy too.

Although it’s common for babies to feed often, sometimes every hour, if this is constant and combined with an unsettled and unsatisfied baby consistently after every feed, it is worth checking their tongue for a tie.

How can I check if my baby has a tongue tie?

Always see your health professional as soon as you have any worries about tongue tie.  It is quick to diagnose and worth getting it looked at because it can really impact whether you and your baby are successful at breastfeeding due to the difficulties it can cause.

You can also have a look at your baby’s mouth yourself, some tongue ties are much more obvious than others.  An obvious thing to look for is the actual string of tissue, like a little thread from tongue to floor of mouth. 

It is also worth putting your clean fingers in their mouth and sliding from one side to another, underneath their tongue.  Sometimes you can’t always see an obvious frenulum but you may be able to feel the tightness there.  The best position for your baby to be in to do this check is lying down with their head on your lap, facing upwards, feet pointing away from you.

What can be done if my baby has a tongue tie?

A trained medical professional can snip the frenulum freeing up any tension it is causing and allowing the mouth to gain full range of movement.  A frenotomy is a quick procedure with a very good success rate.  You may need to spend some time afterwards relearning your latch again as it may feel very different to both you and your baby.

 

Are you worried you don’t have enough breastmilk?

Many mums worry at some point that they don’t have enough breastmilk for their baby. You can’t measure the amount of milk your baby is receiving so it can leave you feeling insecure and wondering.

There are a few myths surrounding this subject, so let us look at these first. The following are NOT indicators that you are producing too little milk;

  1. The feeling of ‘let down’ is gone.  Not everyone feels a strong let down sensation; it doesn’t mean the milk isn’t there.  Some mothers say let down can feel like pins & needles, others say it’s painful, or some experience nothing at all.
  2. If / when you pump milk you get very little.  Babies are much more efficient than a pump so don’t rely on measuring the pumped milk as a guide to how much you produce.
  3. Your breasts feel soft/ softer than they did.  Your breasts will adjust the supply to your baby’s needs, the feel of your breasts does not determine the amount of milk.
  4. Leaky boobs have stopped leaking.  This can happen, as above, once your breasts have adjusted to the demand of your baby’s needs.
  5. Your baby suddenly wants feeding more frequently or seems hungry after feeding.  This can be common especially during a growth spurt, they want more milk because they are growing, fast.
  6. Their dirty nappies are less frequent.  This can sometimes happen to breastfed babies, it can mean that there is just no waste.  The breastmilk is uniquely made for the growth stage they are at so they may just be using every ounce of it up for their growing. 

What are the indicators you may have low breastmilk?

If your baby is not producing wet nappies and not gaining weight then it would be advisable to discuss this with your GP or Health Visitor.

How can you increase your breastmilk naturally?

Diet

The best way to improve your milk flow is to ensure you have a nutrient dense diet including lots of healthy fats, drink lots of water and rest as much as you can. These traditional herbs and foods are thought to stimulate lactation and are used in cultures throughout the world:

  • Fennel seeds or fenugreek seeds soaked in boiling water to make a tea. You can also add these herbs to cooking sauces like curry.
  • Snack on nuts and seeds for protein and healthy fats.
  • Sesame seeds / tahini.
  • Add warming foods like soups and stews to your diet. Well cooked meat or pulses with root vegetables will nourish you and help milk production.
  • Porridge oats with added seeds and coconut oil.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables – spinach, kale, cavolonero.
  • Drinking lots of water through the day

Offer your breast often to your baby

Breastfeeding works by a supply and demand method.  The more your baby suckles at your breast the more milk your breasts will produce.  If you are worried about lack of milk then offer your breasts more often to give your body the signal to keep producing more milk for your baby.

Pump

Using a breastpump can be helpful to increase your milk.  The stimulation will trigger more milk to be produced and ejected. This can be done directly after you breastfeed or a regular intervals inbetween.  Speak to a lactation consultant to see what works best for your situation.

Skin to skin

Hormones have a huge part to play in breastfeeding. Holding your naked baby against your bare skin is relaxing for both of you and it can help stimulate helpful hormones.  Prolactin helps your body produce milk and as you relax and enjoy holding your baby close the hormone oxytocin will help milk be released.

Relax

Stress isn’t good for anyone and when those niggles of doubt set in that you aren’t producing enough milk it can make you feel stressed.  Cortisol, our stress hormone, doesn’t affect the amount of milk produced but it can impact the initial let down.  So, if you find breastfeeding stressful and the let down isn’t triggered your baby may then fuss at the breast which in turn may make you feel more stressed. This negative feedback loop is common can impact on successful breastfeeding.

Oxytocin is responsible for inducing feelings of calm and supports bonding, amongst other things.  The hormone is released when the nipples are stimulated by baby suckling, this induces the let down reflex and milk is ejected. 

Check your latch

If you’re worrying about low supply do get your feeding position checked by a lactation expert. Your baby may be having problems with the latch and struggling to get milk out of the breast. Even the smallest adjustment can help. Lactation consultants can also check for tongue tie which may interfere with your baby’s latch.

So try whatever you can to feel relaxed. Snuggle in a comfortable position and hold your baby close. You are both learning how to breastfeed together so be kind to yourself, try to relax and breathe.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY COOL AND SAFE IN THE SUN

Our A-Z guide to staying cool

When it’s hot your little one can be very grumpy, not understanding why it’s so warm. You can also be worry that your baby will overheat. Read our top tips for keeping everyone cool.   

A – APPLES or any fruit actually.  You can make it fun for older babies and children by making fruit salad or ­­fruit kebab stick.  Young babies might enjoy sucking on cooled orange segments.

B – BATH. Give babies and children a cool bath before bed to bring that body temperature down.  Keeping activities slow and calming like reading, puzzles etc. No running/jumping games that my children always want to play.

C – CURTAINS. Keep them closed on the sunny side to help stop the heat building up.

D – DRINK lots of water.  Aim for 2 litres for adults.  Formula fed babies can be given small amounts of cooled boiled water.   Offer breastfed babies extra feeds, the milk will naturally change consistency to be more thirst quenching, clever hey.

E – EAT cooling foods. In Chinese and Ayervedic medicine foods are seen to have cooling or warming properties. These foods help our bodies cool down from the inside so include cucumber, lemons, apple, melons, papaya, pineapple, butternut squash, radish juice, and courgette.

F – FLANNEL.  Especially lovely for pregnant women, soak a cloth in cold water then apply to your pulse points to keep you cool, back of your neck and on your wrists.  Keep re-wetting it in cold water.

G – GET YOUSELF a spray bottle, fill it with water and carry it with you, perfect for instant cool and refresh for all the family if out and about.

H – HATCH.  If you have a loft hatch leave it open, as hot air rises it might help the hot air escape from your home.

I – ICE. Place a bottle of water in the freezer, at bedtime put the frozen bottle in front of a fan, it helps cool the air, a bowl of ice works too. Ice really is a versatile and perfect accompaniment for hot weather, add to drinks, suck on cubes (although be careful a chocking with younger ones) or add to a cold foot bath.

J – SEE Y.

K – KEEP APPLYING the SUN CREAM.  Use a suncream that doesn’t have lots of chemicals on their tender skin, you can find a number of brands like Green People. Babies under 6 months shouldn’t be exposed to direct sunlight.

L – LOLLIES.  Make your own.  You can puree your own fruit and veg combinations for a delicious cool healthy treat.  Water lollies are good for instant cool down for little ones.

M – MUSLINS have a multitude of uses.  Dampen one with cool water and put over your baby’s body whilst out and about.  Also great when cuddling or feeding baby to have a damp muslin between you both to keep the body temperatures down.

N – NATURAL FIBRES.  Keep to cotton and other natural material as they let the skin breathe. Keep away from nylon, polyester and other man made sweat inducing fabrics. This is for clothes, bedding, blankets and buggy seat liners.

O – see Y

P – PADDLING POOL.  Fun for all the family.  Never leave babies and children unattended.  If you don’t want to submerge yourself in a pool just sit with your feet in, it will help cool your whole body, wonderful if you are pregnant.

Q – Quercetin. Foods rich in quercetin help to fight off hay fever symptoms, something that can affect your enjoyment of being outdoors. Eat apples, red grapes, red onions, dark cherries, tomatoes and broccoli.

R – REST.  Don’t over exert yourself when it’s hot.   Your body will have to work hard to keep yourself cool so if you can do nothing. Do nothing. (Except looking after the kids, and some may argue that is a lot of exertion)

S – SHEEPSKIN.  This might sound counter intuitive but laying your baby on sheepskin can help keep them cool.   Google it, it’s true.

T – THERMOMETER.  It is recommended that babies and children will be most comfortable sleeping between 16C (61F) and 20C (68F).  Obviously the temperature can’t always be adjusted when it’s super hot but it’s useful to know the recommend temps.  Change rooms if you have to, for example my son is in my bed tonight as he has a 30c+ loft room, husband is on the sofa!  Remember you may need to adjust your baby’s clothing, perhaps they are in a nappy when put to bed but may need another layer later as the sun goes down.

U – UMBRELLA.  Always use a parasol/ sun umbrella or loose muslin (always with airflow) when your baby is in a buggy to keep them out of the sun.  It is not advised to peg blankets over the buggy as it can increase the temperature inside the buggy to dangerous levels.

V – VEHICLE.  Never ever leave a baby or child in a car unattended in the hot weather. There have been a number of heartbreaking fatal stories in the news.  Yes it can be a time consuming and tricky task getting one or more hot and tantruming children out of the car to nip to a shop, but the consequences are just too awful.

W – WHEN TO WORRY.  If you are concerned your baby or child is dehydrated then please take them or phone doctor immediately.   Some of the signs of dehydration from NHS are;

  • Drowsy
  • Breathe fast
  • Have few or no tears when they cry
  • Have a soft spot on their head that sinks inwards (sunken fontanelle)
  • Have a dry mouth
  • Have dark yellow pee or have no/ few  wet nappies.
  • Have cold and blotchy-looking hands and feet

X – EXCUSE YOURSELF from invitations if you have to that involves long journeys, especially in the car.  It is not a place a baby or child wants to be on a hot day.  It isn’t rude or lazy, your friends and family will understand.

Y – We have put J, O and Y together because let’s face it us Brits take a while to get used to a heatwave but it is also a lot of fun.  Have some JOY too with the sun, it doesn’t come out often!

Z –  Zzzzzz  If you aren’t sleeping well at night then try and nap as much as possible during the day to keep energy levels up.

Think Zinc! – Baby Nutrition & Weaning

Baby Nutrition & Weaning: Zinc

We need zinc as part of our diet, but we it’s not the most common mineral we hear about. It is essential for your baby’s cognitive development as it supports building neural pathways in the brain, literally how brain cells talk to each other! It’s really important for any growing process, and you can see how much your baby has changed and grown in the last few months!

This essential mineral also enhances our sense of taste and smell, which can be useful if your baby doesn’t have much appetite. Zinc supports absorption of vitamin A too which we need for healthy eyes and immune health.

You can find zinc in sardines, egg yolks, beans and pulses, meat, sunflower seeds.

Award Nomination

We’ve been nominated for the Best Local Activity in the What’s On 4 Little Ones Awards Please help vote for us, it only takes a second!

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Just click on the star to be taken to the right page to cast your vote. We are in the Best Local Activity for the Under 5s category so please select this, find our name and then make your vote.

We’re up against lots of competition as this category is all local (i.e. non-franchised) businesses, but it would mean so much if we had your vote. Thanks to all our lovely class attendees for making this possible!

Want a discount?

Head down to KudaCan (just off Gloucester Rd) to get a 10% discount card you can use against our Baby Massage class there in July. You can pick one up if you pop in this week, before they all go!

Baby Massage can help with bonding during the early months of parenthood. When you massage your baby you’ll be releasing oxytocin (the ‘love hormone’) which benefit both baby and parent.

Years ago parents were told not to pick up their babies because they would ‘spoil them’, but now we know gentle nurturing touch signifies, love, protection, shelter and warmth. Touch is the first of the senses to develop and it’s known to be the baby’s first ‘language’.

Come and find out more about what Baby Massage can offer you and your little one in a friendly class. We include lots of time for discussion and getting to know the other parents at the class.

You can always call or email us if you need any advice before booking – info@the-gentle-touch.com

Mother's Day offer Bristol - Baby Massage and massage for mum

Mother’s Day Gift offer

We have a fantastic new Mother’s Day gift offer, the perfect for a new parent. Help a post natal mother relax and unwind for an hour with our amazing therapist Emily. Then attend our four week baby massage class and learn techniques to support baby’s digestion, improve symptoms of colic and deepen your bond with your baby.

You could give someone a relaxing and rejuvenating holistic massage, as well as a place on our four week baby massage course for only £56 (Would normally cost £76). This is a thoughtful gift that will be remembered for years to come.

 

Mother's Day offer Bristol - Baby Massage and massage for mum

Baby Massage Course And A Massage For Mum

Email us now for more details – info@the-gentle-touch.com