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Tunbridge Wells Hospital opens doors to new baby tongue-tie clinic

By Annabel Rusbridge-Thomas

A hospital has opened the doors of a new specialist baby tongue-tie clinic.

A tongue-tie is an extra piece of skin that goes from underneath the tongue to the floor of the mouth restricting movement and can affect a new born baby's ability to breastfeed.

It can be easily rectified with a very simple procedure of snipping the tie, and Tunbridge Wells Hospital has now opened a clinic equipped to offer this option to parents.

Jane Gerard-Pearse, lactation consultant, mum Emma Dunlop with baby Michael, born Monday June 2 2014, and Jean Meadows in the Tunbridge Wells clinic

In the past, babies with the problem would have to be referred for the procedure by a health visitor or GP, but now the new clinic in place means the procedure can be carried out within a week of the baby being born.

Babies can feed immediately after the procedure and the tiny wound heals extremely quickly and easily.

Emma Dunlop, 26, was one of the first to be welcomed into the clinic and could not be happier with the results after her son Michael underwent the procedure.

She said: "Michael's tongue-tie was really predominant so I knew he had to have it done but I was really nervous.

"All the staff at the hospital were so reassuring and brilliant, they talked me through everything and eventually Michael had the procedure.

"It was over in seconds, I couldn't believe how quick it was. Straight after they gave Michael to me and let him feed, there was such a significant difference already."

Michael is now four weeks old and Emma has said his condition and temperament have significantly improved.

"The procedure is very quick and very simple and as soon as it is done, the baby can feed immediately" - Jean Meadows

She added: "I would definitely recommend it to other mums who may have concerns, it is so straight forward. I have even had follow up calls from the hospital to make sure we are okay, I am delighted."

Tongue-tie affects around 10% of the population but not all cases need treatment as some will not necessarily affect feeding.

Infant feeding specialist, from Tunbridge Wells Hospital, Jean Meadows, said: “We aim to carry out this procedure within a week of the baby being born because it means the mother is more likely to continue trying to breast feed.

"The procedure is very quick and very simple and as soon as it is done, the baby can feed immediately.

“We hope the introduction of this clinic will be of great benefit to the new mums we see, whose babies have tongue tie, and we hope it will help encourage many of them to breast feed their babies if they are able to.”

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