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December 18-22, 2023: Tongue and Lip Tie Awareness Week

WHEREAS, the function of the infant tongue/lip plays an important role in a successful, pain-free breastfeeding relationship between the infant and parent; and,

WHEREAS, untreated tongue and or lip ties may cause a premature end to breastfeeding; resulting in many difficulties for baby and mother alike, such as: being unable to latch, poor weight gain, blocked ducts and mastitis because of ineffective milk removal. Infants require the ability to be able to move their tongue and lips freely to be able to breastfeed well, and any ties restricting normal movement may lead to breastfeeding difficulties; and,

WHEREAS, when children receive successful tongue and or lip revisions, they may go on to successfully breastfeed with an increase in milk transfer by allowing ample stimulation to encourage milk production. Tongue/lip tie revisions done on breastfed infants may also increase the positive parent and baby bonding experience; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan MDHHS is committed to supporting breastfeeding families, increasing breastfeeding initiation and duration, and eliminating breastfeeding disparities between Black, Indigenous, people of color, and white populations in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, MDHHS’s breastfeeding promotion efforts are guided by the vision of removing barriers, advancing equity, and promoting breastfeeding as essential for infant nutrition, social-emotional health, and chronic disease prevention by ensuring all families have the opportunity to breastfeed for as long as they choose; and,

WHEREAS, while more than 88% of families initiate breastfeeding in Michigan, there are many barriers that account for the fact that the percentage of continued breastfeeding drops greatly between one to three months; and,

WHEREAS, lack of knowledge and information regarding tongue/lip ties by parents leads to a lack of opportunity to seek early intervention and treatment that may allow for continued breastfeeding and prevent other possible long-term effects; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan is committed to highlighting the importance of breastfeeding success and spreading awareness of any potential unknown barriers in order to preserve the breastfeeding relationship; and,

WHEREAS, this week provides an important opportunity to spotlight the prevalence of untreated tongue/lip ties in infants and highlight the importance of early detection, intervention, and revision for breastfeeding relationship success and the infant/parental bond;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim December 18-22, 2023, as Tongue and Lip Tie Awareness Week in Michigan.