What is a Tongue Tie?

 A tongue tie (also known as ankyloglossia) is when the membrane under the tongue (the lingual frenulum) is shortened or tight and restricts tongue mobility.

Where the membrane is attached at, or close to the tongue tip, the tongue tip may look blunt or forked, or have a heart shaped appearance. However, where the membrane is attached further back, the tongue may look normal.

Posterior tongue ties can be detected by feel and a more detailed assessment of tongue function.

The photo below shows a more obvious tongue tie.  


Possible problems due to tongue tie


  • Sore, damaged or bruised nipples
  • Misshapen or discoloured nipples after feeding
  • Blocked ducts or mastitis
  • Reduced milk supply
  • Exhaustion from frequent feeding
  • Distress from failure to establish breastfeeding

Mothers and babies may experience one or several of these symptoms.

If you have any of these problems, it is essential to see an experienced lactation consultant.  


  • Restless and unsettled feeds
  • Difficulty achieveing and sustaining a deep attachment
  • Difficulty staying attached to the breast or bottle
  • Sleepy when feeing due to exhaustion
  • Frequent or very long feeds
  • Early weight loss or slow weight gain
  • Difficulty controlling milk  flow
  • Choking easily
  • Clicking noises when feeding / dribbling
  • Colic, wind or flatulence
  • Difficulty with managing solid foods