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Untangling the Big Picture of Tongue-Tie Assessment

by Leslie R. Kowalski, PhD, IBCLC
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP, 1 Dietetic CEU
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: Yes

IBCLCs assess chest/breast and bottle feeding skills, and infant’s oral and body structures and motions that contribute to, or inhibit, the process of feeding as well as post-feeding comfort. When infants present with feeding dysfunction, the root of the issue is often tight frenulum (ties), or asymmetric/tense muscles/fascia, or both. IBCLCs help families navigate the differential assessment of feeding dysfunction, and at the same time support the family’s feeding and milk supply choices. This presentation will examine the bigger picture of assessment when ties are suspected. Because a narrow focus on only the oral cavity can negate other contributing factors, initial and follow-up assessments need to include not just what is going on in the infant’s mouth, but also take into account the infant’s body as a whole, family dynamics, feeding goals, and the creation of a manageable plan for the family. IBCLCs aid with oral/body exercises, referrals for oral evaluations and/or bodywork, help with pre/post frenotomy oral skills, and more - helping to adjust the care plan as infant feeding skills and parent goals grow and change. Developing the skill of big picture assessment is crucial in order to determine the best course of clinical care, meet the families needs, and allow for the best possible outcome.

Learning Objectives:

1. Explain the process for assessing infant oral structure and motion and its impact on feeding.

2. List the components of a complete assessment that extend beyond the oral cavity.

3. Describe the ongoing assessments that are needed through the course of care to allow for adjustments in the care plan.

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