Baby Acorn Clinic

Tongue Tie Assessment & Division

Swindon, Wiltshire

About Me

Clinic Info


About Me

Cathy Gale

Cathy Gale


I am a Registered Midwife, Lactation Consultant and an Independent Tongue Tie Practitioner. I have worked as an NHS Midwife for many years, including as a community midwife, and as a breastfeeding specialist midwife. I trained in tongue tie assessment and division at Frome Tongue Tie NHS Clinic. I qualified as an IBCLC in 2004 with 5 yearly revalidation by study or exam.

I have always loved being a midwife and supporting families while they get to know their new baby. I believe that every baby (regardless of feeding method) should be able to feed easily and in a relaxed way.

When I'm not working I love growing vegetables, singing in my choir and spending time with my family (especially my children and young grandchildren).

Kind Words

“Cathy was great. She took plenty of time to discuss the problems we were having and explain her diagnosis of tongue tie in detail, as well as the procedure. Afterwards we saw an immediate improvement in baby's feeding, without which we probably would no longer be breastfeeding. Thank you.”

“Without your help I had when my baby was very small, I wouldn’t still be breastfeeding her now! I thank you from the bottom of my heart, I really do! Thank you for your time, it's been very helpful to me”

“Thank you for your help when our baby was struggling with feeding. You were so kind and knowledgeable, it was very reassuring to have your support”


Clinic Info


Baby Acorn Clinic offers appointments in Swindon within an environment that adopts recommended COVID-19 safety precautions (home visits are currently suspended due to the pandemic). The Clinic is at Nexus Business Centre, 6 Darby Close, Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, Swindon SN2 2PN.

As a lactation consultant, during the appointment, I can explore with you whether there are any other factors which are affecting the feeding or whether your baby has a tongue tie. If it is appropriate, I can perform the Frenulotomy at the same visit if you wish. I will support you with the feed afterwards.

Before your appointment, we ask you to complete a pre-appointment information form. This is to reduce the face-to-face time for all of us at the clinic.

Please contact us to arrange a phone or video chat beforehand, if anything isnt clear.

At the clinic a full tongue-tie assessment will be carried out using the Hazelbaker score of your baby's appearance and function. If required, and after discussion and consent, the tongue tie is divided and the baby comes straight back to you for a feed.

For details of the clinic visit please read the Tongue Tie Parent Information Leaflet.

The visit generally lasts 30 - 45 mins, but can be longer if required

The room is cleaned, then aired for 30 minutes between families.

Follow up: Tongue tie division package includes a follow up phone call/text or email in the next day or two to check how you and your baby are getting on and a follow up contact at 2 weeks. Between those times for 2 weeks please feel free to contact me for information or advice as part of the package. Most families do not need this but please call me between 0800-1800 Mon-Sat if required.

Following the process you will be offered a short questionnaire. "Completing this may help improve care for other mums with similar feeding experiences". Your feedback matters.

Don't forget you can also visit the wonderful free NHS breastfeeding support groups for ongoing support over at Breastmates and Mum2Mum where available.



What is a Tongue Tie?

This is when the frenulum (the strip of skin connecting the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is short, inelastic or thickened.

The frenulum can be joined from the tip of the tongue to anywhere along the underside of the tongue. It can make the tongue look 'flattened' or 'heart' shaped and can restrict the movement of the tongue.

Infant Symptoms

  • Poor latch/difficulty in staying attached
  • Gumming the nipple
  • Ineffective milk transfer
  • 'Fussy' feeding
  • Slipping off the breast
  • Continuous feeding cycle
  • Poor or slow weight gain
  • 'Clicking' noises when feeding (at breast or bottle)
  • Long feeds up to an hour or more or very short feeds under 5 mins

Maternal symptoms

  • 'Chomping' the nipple
  • Ineffective milk transfer
  • 'Fussy' feeding
  • Poor or slow weight gain/sometimes excessive weight gain
  • 'Clicking' noises when feeding
  • Long feeds
  • Mastitis /engorgement

The above are some examples of symptoms a tongue-tie can present with, but they are not exclusive. Equally the symptoms described above may also have other causes. Some babies who appear to have a tongue-tie, have no problem feeding or growing.

Why is it a Problem?

For some babies this is not a problem and it needs to be assessed on an individual baby as to whether it is affecting the feeding.

Can anything be done about it?

There is a quick and simple procedure that can be performed called frenulotomy / tongue tie division/ tongue tie release, which helps in the majority of cases.

If a tongue tie division is offered at your baby’s appointment, here is some useful information for you to consider beforehand.

You are required to read the Tongue Tie Parent Information Leaflet before your baby’s appointment, it covers the tongue tie procedure and any possible risks

Will I be offered any follow up care?

We offer a follow up phone call/text or email the next day to check how you and your baby are getting on and a follow up contact at 2 weeks.

Between those times for 2 weeks please feel free to contact me for information or advice as part of the package. Most families do not need this but please call me between 0800-1800 Mon-Sat if required

What types of tongue tie do you divide?

All grades of tongue tie can be divided, if appropriate, including the less obvious ones (which are somtimes called "posterior" tongue tie).

Do you divide tongue tie on bottle fed babies?

YES. Sometimes bottle fed babies can find feeding difficult with a tongue tie, although they don’t need to use the tongue quite as much as breastfed baby. We have seen many babies feeding much better on a bottle straight away after tongue tie division. Typical signs a bottle fed baby is struggling with restricted tongue movements are:

  • Leaking milk for either side of the teat during a feed
  • Long, slow feeds
  • Coughing and spluttering a lot with a faster flow teat
  • Windy “reflux” type issues. These babies will typically be very windy, as the seal around the bottle teat is not good
  • Slow weight gain

There is no formal evidence yet that bottle fed babies feed better after frenulotomy but this is because no one has collected the data. The majority of tongue tie practitioners around the UK divide tongue tie on bottle fed babies and audit their practice, and will tell us that babies usually improve after frenulotomy.

Does tongue tie affect speech?

This is much debated, and research can support either a yes or no answer. No one wants to divide a baby’s tongue tie ”just in case” there may be speech problems later. NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidance allows us to divide tongue ties for feeding difficulties only. If your child does need tongue tie division at a later stage for speech problems with an ENT surgeon, it can still be done on an older child but involves a quick general anaesthetic and possibly an overnight hospital stay.

Wasn’t my baby checked for tongue tie during the new born examination?

Some parents assume this will always be checked for at birth; NIPE (Newborn initial physical examination) but this will depend on your maternity provider policies. Some providers feel that checking all babies, if they are not having feeding difficulties, will lead to unnecessary concern. Examining the tongue appearance and function in detail is not part of the standards NIPE training at present. You are required to read the Tongue Tie Parent Information Leaflet before your baby’s appointment, it covers the tongue tie procedure and any possible risks.

If you think your baby has a tongue-tie, please contact us to book a private assessment with us, or ask your midwife, health visitor, breastfeeding advisor or GP to assess and refer to you your local NHS provider.

Feel free to phone, text, WhatsApp or email for a chat first, or simply book directly via this website using the "Book Online (via Cliniko)" button, at a time to suit you and your family.

Baby Acorn Ltd accepts payment via bank transfer (BACS) or cash. Details given at your appointment.

You are required to read the Tongue Tie Parent Information Leaflet before your baby’s appointment, it covers the tongue tie procedure and any possible risks

Our refund policy

After services have been provided and as the balance of payment is requested at the time of the consultation, refunds are not permitted.

Cancellation of bookings

Please ensure you give more than 24 hours notice of cancellation to allow other parents to take up your appointment slot.

Cancellation by Baby Acorn Limited

Baby Acorn Ltd reserves the right to cancel any appointments, in case of emergency circumstances. In the unlikely event that this should occur, an alternative appointment will always be made as soon as possible and at your convenience.

In order to fulfil our services to you Baby Acorn Ltd will need to collect some information about you. We take your privacy and our obligations under data protection legislation very seriously. We are also obligated under law as a healthcare provider to maintain certain records for significant periods of time as regulated by the professional bodies in the footer below.

How we use your information

  • We collect and hold data about you and your baby for the purposes of providing safe and effective healthcare
  • We will use non-identifiable patient data for audit purposes and may need to share these with partner organisations e.g. Association of Tongue tie Practitioners and the CQC
  • We will only share your information with outside agencies in very rare circumstances, for example if we are concerned about your safety or your baby’s safety. Our separate safeguarding policy is available on request
  • If you do not want your information to be used for any purpose beyond providing your care please let us know so we can amend your record appropriately