Monday, April 7, 2014

Breastfeeding and Teething - Fear Not!

Been bitten by your darling baby yet? Teething is a common concern of breastfeeding moms and some women avoid nursing altogether for fear of being bitten.  Fear not, teething or biting do not need to end your nursing relationship.
Teething can be a very painful process for babies even before you see any teeth. It’s normal for your baby to want to bite down or rub her swollen gums on something to get relief, and your breast may seem like a good place. Your baby might start to nurse, but then pull off and cry or fuss because sucking is causing gum discomfort. On the other hand, some babies nurse almost constantly because it’s soothing to them. While your natural inclination is to pull the baby away and yelp or say "No!", that reaction may cause your baby to go on a brief nursing strike for fear of that same response.
Try rubbing a cold teething ring on the baby's gums before nursing or during breaks, or put crushed ice in a closed, clean sock for the baby to gnaw on. When you sense your baby is closing in for a bite, pull her close to your body so she will have to release to open her mouth more and uncover her nose. If that does not work, attempt to gently un-latch her and tell her firmly, but calmly, not to bite because it hurts mummy. Latch her on again but un-latch if it happens a second time. Repeat these steps every time your baby tries to bite you, and eventually she’ll get the message that biting triggers a stop in nursing.


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