Sunday, July 20, 2008

Biting While Breastfeeding - Advice that Didn't Work

Babies bite while breastfeeding. It just happens. So most mom's want to know, "How can I stop that horrible pain?" Of course, the only way is to stop feeding or get the baby to stop biting.

Here are three less-than-helpful pieces of advice given to a blogger at Babies Online.

  • Be sure not to giggle because your baby will think it’s a game. (WHAT? I was holding back a SCREAM.)
  • Hug your baby close so she has to let go to breathe. (You are a stronger woman than I am if you can bear the pain that long.)
  • Gently poke your finger in his mouth and prop his mouth open. (Go in BEHIND the teeth.)
Actually, the finger technique got my daughter to stop biting. But, she also stopped breastfeeding. Hmm...not exactly a win-win situation. My daughter got tired of me popping her off and simply refused to breastfeed for about a week. Then one morning she was really hungry and everything went well. Was it a permanent fix? I don’t know. I had to wean her because I needed to take medication that wasn’t recommended for use during breastfeeding.

One thing Babies Online didn't mention was to make sure your baby is latched on well. According to Breastfeeding Basics,
A baby who is latched on and nursing properly cannot bite the breast. If the nipple is positioned far back in his mouth, and his lips and gums are positioned about an inch behind the nipple on the areola, then his tongue will cover his gums, between his lower teeth and your breast. If he is actively nursing, he can't bite and if he is biting, he can't be actively nursing at the same time.
All that to say, I hope you don't have a biter. If you have any tips that really worked, let me know.

Oh, in case you are wondering, that is NOT a picture of my sweet baby.