Dr. Kimberly Santiago - Laser Tongue and Lip-Tie Specialist
Mother nature intended for mom and baby to be able to breastfeed. Babies are born with the intuition and reflexes to root, latch, suck and swallow. It can take a few days after birth to get into the rhythm and routine. Baby reflexively can latch, but it may not be an adequate latch if there is not good mobility of the tongue. Breastfeeding should be comfortable, not painful whatsoever. Breastfeeding is certainly a different sensation that can feel a little awkward at first, but should not cause physical pain to mom, cause injury to the nipple, infection, etc. When symptoms and struggles are present with both baby and mom, it is time for you to seek the help of an expert.
If you are reading this, you have likely sought the advice of a lactation consultant and/or your pediatrician to help with your challenges. If mama and baby are still struggling, the next step is to see if there is an anatomical problem preventing baby from being able to latch, suck properly, and swallow. This anatomical problem may be in the form of a little too much tissue tethering the tongue down (a tongue-tie), a tight attachment of the lip (a lip-tie), tight musculature in baby’s neck/cheeks/mouth, or challenges with the coordination of all of the reflex/muscle movements.
Dr. Santiago is a skilled diagnostician and clinician with the diagnosis and treatment of tongue- and lip-ties. At your visit, she examines baby’s oral anatomy, evaluates both the tongue and lip’s functionality, and discusses both mom and baby’s symptoms. If there is no anatomical limitation, she will refer you to another specialist - Craniosacral Therapy or Occupational Therapy. If there is an anatomical problem, she will recommend treatment and possibly adjunctive therapy with either an Occupational Therapist or a Craniosacral Therapist.