Tongue tie clinic

What we do

We provide a midwife-led service for babies with feeding problems associated with a restrictive frenulum otherwise known as tongue tie or ankyloglossia. 

At Chelsea and Westminster Hospital this service falls under Paediatric Surgery Outpatients and referrals are accepted for babies up to 4-6 months.

At West Middlesex Hospital this service falls under Maternity and referrals are accepted for babies up to 6 weeks.

What is tongue tie? 

Research suggests that approximately 1 in 10 babies may be born with some prominent membrane (frenulum) under the tongue. Only about half of those babies display significantly reduced tongue function, making breast or bottle feeding difficult.

Tongue tie (ankyloglossia) is where the frenulum is shorter than usual which can restrict the tongue’s movement necessary to feed.  The tongue is effectively tied to the floor of the mouth. The condition may be mild, or the restriction can be more pronounced.  It is not possible to assess the severity of the tongue tie based on the appearance of the frenulum alone.  A diagnosis of tongue tie can only be made upon assessing how the tongue functions when feeding.

It can be treated by a quick procedure called tongue tie division. 

What to do if you are having feeding difficulties?

If you and/or your baby are having feeding problems which you think may be associated with tongue tie please ask for help from a skilled infant feeding supporter—your midwife, health visitor, infant feeding specialist or private lactation consultant.

Most breastfeeding problems are not caused by tongue tie and can be overcome with good breastfeeding support. Please note we will only see babies with feeding difficulties.

How do I get an appointment? 

Referrals to our Tongue tie clinic are only accepted from a skilled infant feeding supporter, who should complete a Tongue Tie Clinic Referral Form, including your phone number and email.

You will be offered an appointment by text SMS or email. We aim to offer you an appointment within two weeks of receiving the referral form. 

Appointments are in very high demand—please reply immediately to an appointment offer and let us know if you no longer need it.

Depending on the reasons your baby was referred, your first appointment may be:

  • by telephone
  • face-to-face breastfeeding assessment clinic (no immediate diagnosis or treatment of the restrictive frenulum)
  • face-to-face assessment by a qualified tongue tie practitioner who may recommend surgical division (cutting or ‘snipping’) of your baby’s restrictive frenulum, at the same appointment - if you consent to the procedure 

What to expect at your tongue tie clinic appointment? 

Read this leaflet to find out more about the appointment.

Ask for ongoing support if you need it from your infant feeding supporter, while you are waiting for your appointment. 

Post release information

If your baby has a surgical division of their frenulum, or tongue tie, (also known as frenulotomy) this leaflet provides information about after-care:


Chelsea Site
Infant feeding team
T: 020 3315 3017

West Middlesex Site
Infant feeding team
T: 020 8321 5006

Useful information


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