Mina Starsiak Hawk's newborn daughter is on the road to recovery. On Monday, the Good Bones star revealed that daughter Charlotte "Charlie" Drew underwent a medical procedure to relieve a lip and tongue tie. Starsiak Hawk welcomed little Charlotte via C-section back in September with husband Steve Hawk, the baby girl joining big brother Jack Richard, 2.
The HGTV star revealed her little one's medical condition on her Instagram Story, sharing an adorable video of her 2-month-old. In the update, Starsiak Hawk informed fans that Charlotte "had her lip and tongue tie lasered." Although she said it would "be a rough few days" as her daughter recovered from the procedure, Charlotte was “all smiles for the moment.”
Lip and tongue ties, known as "Tethered Oral Tissue" or "Ankyloglossia" for tongue ties, are caused when the membrane that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth – the lingual frenulum – "is thick, short, or otherwise malformed," according to Colorado Tongue Tie. Although the lingual frenulum typically thins and recedes before birth, this does not always occur, something that can lead to restricted tongue mobility. The condition, which is more common in boys than in girls, often runs in families.
The condition can lead to breastfeeding challenges due to restricted tongue movements, which can make it difficult for a baby to latch properly. La Leche League International notes that common signs of feeding difficulties are due to a tongue tie include your baby unable to latch on deeply or at all, difficulty staying on the breast (this is commonly accompanied with a "clicking" sound as the baby loses suction), you baby splutters or chokes when coping with fast flowing milk, they breastfeed constantly, or have poor weight gain or need supplementation to maintain adequate weight gain. Other signs include the development of jaundice that needs treating or colic.
Breastfeeding mothers, meanwhile, may experience pain when feeding their child that could be accompanied by damaged nipples. Mothers may also experience blocked ducts and mastitis due to their baby being unable to effectively feed, low milk production, tiredness, and a premature end to breastfeeding.
While Starsiak Hawk said that she was encouraged to get her daughter checked after reading “productive comments” from fans, lip and tongue ties can be identified by an examination of the lip and tongue. The tongue may appear misshapen, short, or heart-shaped, and the membrane under their tongue may feel firm. If you believe your infant may have a lip or tongue tie, it is advised that you get professional help, as the HGTV star did, so that proper treatment can be taken.