Usually, after frenectomy there’s still work to be done to help your baby breastfeed effectively, and get that great latch you’ve been waiting for, Your baby’s facial and jaw muscles may be tight from their restriction, and they’re going to want to keep doing what they know. As lactation consultants who specialise in oral restrictions, we are here to assure you that with the right support, and the right techniques you’re on the road to a Successful Breastfeeding Journey. Here are our expert tips to promote proper healing, and your baby’s new sucking techniques.
Note: These simple exercises are only meant to be done during daytime hours, not through the night. All you need is a clean finger with a short fingernail and some gauze. Choose the finger closest to the width of your nipple if possible.
Prevent the tissue from reattaching while healing.
A few time a day wrap some gauze around your clean finger and use a “windshield wiper” swiping motion to very gently rub the healing tissue under the tongue and/or lip 10 times. You can also gently stretch the lip away from the gum.
Help your baby learn they can extend their tongue
With every diaper change, hold your thumb on your baby’s chin, They should start to stick out their tongue, hopefully past their bottom lip, Stick yours out too, Your baby may mimic you and stick their out even further.
Help your baby learn how to move their tongue side to side.
When every diaper changes, starting at the bottom centre, trace your baby’s gums to the back on the left side, then back to the center, Do this 3x, then repeat on the right side, the top left and top center, Watch for the tip of your baby’s tongue to follow your finger.
3x daily, insert your finger in baby’s mouth as far back as baby will allow without gagging. Allow baby to suck on your finger while your gently apply downward pressure to weight down the back hump of the tongue, Your should feel the sides of your baby’s tongue curling around your finger, Adjust your baby’s lips to flange around your finger. Gently tug your baby’s chin down to get them used to widening their jaw. Resist baby’s suction by playing “tug of war” with your finger, If they stuck it in deeper, you pull back gently. Do this exercise for 1-3 minutes.
Stuck Traning option 2
3x daily, hold your baby tummy down across your arm and allow them to suck on your finger, hopefully accepting it as far back as the soft palate, usually between the first and second knuckle, If not, it’ll happen with more practice. Never force it. Suck training while facing tummy down will allow gravity to pull your baby’s jaw wider, Do the exercise for 1-2 minutes.