Babies may fall asleep while breastfeeding. It’s natural to feel tired when their stomachs are full, after all! However, if a baby is struggling to gain weight or showing other signs of breastfeeding challenges, in conjunction with a frequent “baby falls asleep at breast” scenario, underlying structural components may be at fault. If a mother is faced with difficulties breastfeeding, seeking out a reputable lactation consultant is an appropriate first step. Lactation consultants are trained to offer incredible support and identify potential issues to best guide mom and baby in their unique breastfeeding relationship.
If the presence of a tongue tie or lip tie is possibly making breastfeeding more physically strenuous for the baby and causing him/her to fall asleep out of sheer exhaustion while nursing, many lactation consultants are able to identify this restrictive tissue.
How “Baby Falling Asleep On Breast” May Indicate a Tongue Tie
A tongue tie is a restriction of the movement of the tongue caused by a short lingual frenum, the whitish cord underneath the tongue. This condition is also called ankyloglossia.
A baby with a tongue tie will have difficulty latching, and it will often be a struggle to keep his/her mouth open wide enough to create a flush seam between lips and breast tissue. The constant effort required for a baby to keep “resetting” his/her lips to create proper suction can be physically exhausting. In fact, I have found this to be one of the common indicators of breastfeeding issues caused specifically by a tongue tie.
A tongue tie can be released through a very safe and straightforward procedure by a trained practitioner. A lingual frenectomy releases the restrictive lingual frenulum and allows for a much broader range of motion of the baby’s tongue.
I specialize in performing lingual frenectomies using a laser. I’ve outline the benefits of this method as compared to scissors in another post. Schedule a consultation with me and I’d be more than happy to evaluate your baby’s mouth to identify if a tongue tie could be the cause of breastfeeding issues, and to explain how the procedure and healing process work.
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