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April 2014


‘I couldn’t breast feed my baby’: One in five babies are born tongue-tied but many, like this woman’s son, go undiagnosed for years



  • The string-like skin under the tongue, is too short, restricting movement
  • It can prevent ability to breastfeed and even can lead to speech problems
  • Both sons of Justine Sullivan, 42, from London, suffer from rare condition

As soon as Justine Sullivan’s son Conor was born, he had trouble breastfeeding.

Midwives at the hospital gave him formula milk, much to his mother’s exasperation. ‘Conor’s first feed was from a bottle,’ says Justine, 42, a TV producer from London.

‘I was desperate to breastfeed, but they advised I should top up with formula because it was unlikely he was getting enough from me. It was frustrating, but I took their advice.’

‘I’d seen my GP at least four times and Conor was given treatment for colic and reflux, which causes stomach cramps and vomiting in babies — neither of which he had,’ says Justine.

‘After six weeks, I went to a breastfeeding counsellor and the first thing she did was put her finger in Conor’s mouth. She told me he was tongue-tied and this was the reason he was having trouble. I couldn’t believe no one had checked before.’


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