PSA for some education! 🏼 Recessed Chin, medically known as: Retrognathia.
See 1st picture below.
FIRST & FOREMOST: know that recessed chin to a degree is natural and normal in all infants, Retrognathia beyond a 3mm gap is what can cause issues.
Retrognathia can present many breastfeeding issues, but typically ONLY if there is a gap with the lower dental ridge being positioned at rest, posteriorly (behind) the upper dental ridge LARGER than 3mm. (Hope that makes sense;). This can also cause potential breathing issues in baby (therefore should be brought up to the pediatrician if noticed). Gravity pulls the tongue back into the throat naturally. If baby has recessed chin it positions the tongue farther back thus exacerbating this gravitational pull and potentially causing air way obstruction.
Typically, in babies with recessed chin they exhibit stridor sounds (high pitched whistling while breathing in).
Recessed chin can cause narrow latch, nipple compression & trauma, poor milk transfer resulting in low weight gain & low milk supply. Recessed chin can be easily misdiagnosed as tongue tie as a lot of the symptoms can be similar.
Signs & symptoms: -A horizontal crease below the lower lip is pronounced. (see picture below)
-The lower lip AT REST, tucks behind & under the upper lip/dental ridge. (See picture below)
-At the breast, baby’s face muscle, primarily around the lips are especially strained. (resulting in narrow latch)
-Babys tongue extension reflex is poor. (Baby can’t stick their tongue out very far- which can make suction to breast difficult, as well as tongue movements to express milk difficult). GOOD NEWS: MOST baby’s grow out of their recessed chin around 3-4 months. As their head, face and neck grow everything lines up- which solves all breastfeeding issues usually. Thus more traditional nursing positions can be used:). PRIOR to 3-4 months: POSITIONING can help fix lots of the issues caused by recessed chin issues. Specifically the “laid back nursing position” or “tummy to tummy” or “biological nurturing position”. Gravity helps the latch:). Sometimes more complex interventions need to be implemented for the - 3 months ago