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Ankyloglossia / Tongue Tie Care


If you are having any pain related to breastfeeding, your baby’s oral anatomy should be assessed.

Latch should be comfortable!   Breastfeeding should be blissful….Latch needs to be assessed by comfort, not by appearance.   Don’t let anyone tell you, “your latch looks good, so it must be fine”.


Any pain merits an evaluation by an IBCLC who is educated & experienced in tongue tie assessment.

Tie assessment skills are an advanced practice, not what you will find with many providers.


Tongue and lip tie symptoms

Mama's Symptoms:

  • Cracked, blistered, bleeding nipples
  • Plugged ducts
  • Discomfort while nursing
  • Sleep deprivation (because baby is not able to nurse efficiently they may compensate by nursing more often, including at night)
  • Thrush / mastitis
  • Compromised milk supply

Baby's Symptoms:

  • Reflux or colic
  • Difficulty latching
  • Gumming or chewing nipples
  • Gassy
  • Poor weight gain
  • Makes clicking noise while sucking
  • Excessive drooling
  • Choking on milk or popping off the breast to grasp air



A significant number of breastfeeding challenges are linked to the underlying issue of tongue or lip tie!   Please, don’t be put off if the first person you ask about this condition says your baby has no tongue restrictions… very few health care providers are actually trained to do a proper check for ties.   If you’ve been told your baby is a “lazy feeder” or “has a small mouth” or it has a “little tie”, or has a tie your baby will “grow out of,” or one that “will stretch eventually”….these are all comments made by uneducated observers.    Ties don’t stretch.  Being a little tied is like being a little pregnant.


Symptoms indicate a need for an assessment, and possibly an intervention.    Usually gassiness or pain are the first signs noticed.

 Joyful Start is led by Joy Funston RN IBCLC RLC, who is a Gold Level member of IATP – The International Affiliation of Tongue Tie Professionals.   Joy is the only International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in Virginia who holds this membership.   Joy has attended international conferences on Ankyloglossia, and she regularly consults with other leading tie experts.  If your baby requires a referral to a medical provider for a tie release Joy can expedite that appointment.  She regularly refers to the highest rated tie experts within the Virginia / Maryland region.


Joyful Start offers three Ankyloglossia services:

                    Initial Tie Assessments   (full breastfeeding assessment & oral tie assessment)

      Pre Tie Release Classes    (focus on infant comfort & post release wound care)

      Post Tie Release follow up (focus on suck retraining & supply management)