What to Expect with Tie Release
Think your baby may have lip, tongue, or cheek ties? You've come to the right place!
When we work with babies with tongue, lip, and buccal ties, we make sure that both mom and baby are prepared for the road ahead. We don't simply see you and refer out for a release. We make sure your baby is prepared and that you know exactly what to expect for your baby and your feeding relationship. We take a lot of time to answer any questions you may have (our visits often run 60-90 minutes). We want you to feel confident with your plan of care before you even step foot into the release provider's office.
Following your visit with us, you will receive a detailed care plan to address your baby's oral-functional issues. You will also have access to a secure messaging portal where you can ask questions along the way.
You always get to ask the questions you want. We have an extensive list of providers who can help your baby. We aren't tied to one particular release provider or bodyworker. This is important to us - we want you as the family to know you will get unbiased support and referrals for the team that can best support you and your baby.
We work with you and your baby before and after release. We often see families who were sent for a release without preparation and without follow-up care. They come to us because the release didn't fix the issue they were experiencing. A release is just a piece of the puzzle and can provide baby with the opportunity to move, but babies often need exercises and continued to support to make sure the can truly feed well following a release. We can help.
Continue to do any additional therapies such as body work along with sucking exercises 3-4 times per day before a release appointment. This will help your baby to prepare for their new range of motion following a release.
1. Schedule an appointment with your chosen provider.
Scheduling can be easy and can often be done online or by phone. Once you have scheduled with your provider, let us know, and we will fax over notes from your visit with us. These notes and photos can help the provider gather a larger picture of the current feeding situation for you and your baby.
At your appointment, your provider will evaluate your baby for tethered oral tissues.
A lot of the time, parents anticipate the diagnosis of ties. But what next?
Some providers will release the ties the same day of your evaluation. This can work really well for parents who have had feeding support before the release and whose babies are already practicing for a new range of motion.
Other providers may schedule a release at a later date. This can be beneficial for babies who need additional body work, suck training and preparation, or time before a release.
2. Tie release (day of):
Following the release, your baby can breastfeed almost immediately. Some parents do notice a difference in latch from the first nursing session, but many babies do need more time and practice for feeding to improve.
Talk with your provider about pain management for your baby. The first few days following a release, your baby may be sore or uncomfortable. Pain management can be as simple as practicing normal comfort measures such as skin-to-skin, and your provider may also give you age appropriate dosing for over the counter pain meds such as tylenol or ibuprofen or you can use the homeopathic protocol you received at your visit.
You can read more about what to expect on the day of a release here:
3. After release:
Continue to do the aftercare (sometimes called lifts, elevations, or stretches) 6 times per 24 hours. If you feel confused, don't worry. you within 48-72 hours after the release to make sure everything is going well.
Frenotomy Aftercare Video
In this video, the provider begins with describing the lifts or stretches that you can do to promote the wound to heal with more range of motion.
As the video continues, she will describe massaging the wound site under the tongue. I have seen stretches/lifts alone work well for aftercare, though some parents do massage the wound site. My caution with any lift or massage is that we want to be effective without being aggressive (I have seen a few cases of aggressive massage of the wound site where baby has aversion to going back to breast)
4. Evaluate feeding and motion following the release.
Your baby now has the potential to move more freely than ever before, but this can also take extra practice and time to get those movements right for optimal breastfeeding. As an IBCLC, I generally see babies on day 2-3 post release to evaluate feeding and add additional exercises depending upon your baby’s needs and developments.