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All About Baby Tongue Tie | Dr. Shaina Holman & Victoria Facelli

All About Baby Tongue Tie

In this enlightening episode of the Fempower Health Podcast, host Georgie Kovacs sits down with Victoria Facelli, an internationally board-certified lactation consultant and author of "Feed the Baby," and Dr. Shaina Holman, a dentist with a PhD in infant psychophysiology. Together, we discuss the intricate topic of tongue ties in babies. 

This conversation comes in the wake of recent New York Times articles that have brought tongue ties and their treatment into the spotlight, raising concerns and debate among new parents and healthcare professionals alike. 

Our guests bring their extensive expertise and unique perspectives to offer a nuanced understanding of tongue ties, addressing common misconceptions, the importance of multidisciplinary care, and the ethical considerations in treatment. Whether you're struggling with breastfeeding, considering tongue tie release for your baby, or simply seeking reliable information, this episode is packed with valuable insights and advice. 

Key Discussion Points on Tongue Tie in Babies
  • What are tongue ties and how do they affect infant feeding (breastfeeding and bottle-feeding)?

  • Are there long-term effects of tongue ties (speech, sleep apnea, dental health)?

  • Symptoms of tongue ties in babies 

  • The surge in tongue tie diagnoses and treatments, including concerns about overdiagnosis and the role of healthcare professionals in promoting unnecessary procedures.

  • Differences between scissors and laser tongue tie procedures, including benefits, risks, and factors influencing the choice of tongue tie treatment.

  • The significance of a team approach involving lactation consultants, dentists, bodyworkers, and other specialists in achieving the best outcomes for babies with tongue ties.

  • Navigating insurance coverage, Medicaid, and payment options for families seeking treatment for tongue tied babies.

  • Information for parents on how to advocate for their babies, the importance of seeking knowledgeable and ethical providers, and resources for families with limited financial means.

"It's very common that when [babies] can't use their tongues very well, their upper lip muscles get really active... But that's not always because the structure itself is tight. It's often because the tongue is tight." 
— Dr. Shaina Holman

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Guest Bios

Dr. Shaina Holman, D.D.S., PH.D., graduated from East Chapel Hill High School where she also met her husband. Her passion for science, teaching, and art was on clear display early in her life. During high school she was able to do research at Duke University, resulting in her first publication in a peer-reviewed journal! Since then, she’s been fortunate to publish over a dozen peer-reviewed research articles.

Dr. Holman went on to graduate with distinction from Duke University with a degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy. Her passion for dentistry began during college while doing a project for her Ethnobiology class in Costa Rica. She saw how dentistry combined her love for people and her love of science, research, art, and community impact.  

Lactation Consultant, but not the kind who hates formula. Victoria Facelli, IBCLC is a graduate of the Global Breastfeeding Institute's lactation program as well as a graduate of the infant feeding school of hard knocks. After not being able to breastfeed her own baby she set out to change the way we talk about feeding babies.  Victoria wrote Feed The Baby: An Inclusive Guide to Nursing, Bottle Feeding and Everything In Between to give families more tools. We are done with best. What families really need are the tools to change their mind to meet their own moment in parenting and infant feeding.


The information shared by Fempower Health is not medical advice but for informational purposes to enable you to have more effective conversations with your doctor.  Always talk to your doctor before making health-related decisions. Additionally, the views expressed by the Fempower Health podcast guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.


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