Teething and Biting
A teething child can be intimidating when a mother is breastfeeding or learning about breastfeeding. Some moms believe it isn't possible to breastfeed once a baby gets a tooth. The truth is teething and breastfeeding do not have to cause any problems for mom or baby. If a baby is sucking they cannot bite. They must first stop sucking, pull back their tongue then bite. Usually a mom can feel a change in their baby's mouth position before they feel the bite. Commonly, a baby will only bite at the end of a feeding when they are starting to get distracted and not thinking about the feeding. When this happens take baby away from the breast. If you need to, use your pinky finger inserted into the corner of the baby's mouth to break suction. Often if a baby knows they startled mom and then the feeding stopped they won't bite again. If they do bite again try taking baby away from breast for several minutes. Don't allow baby to hang out at the breast with the opportunity to bite after feeding is complete. Pay more attention to your baby nursing when they have a good latch. This will encourage them to always latch correctly. If your baby seems very upset because of teething pain before nursing, try a cool washcloth to massage their gums, then feed. Your baby isn't trying to be mean only sooth their discomfort the only way they know how.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding, contact your healthcare provider, local WIC office, or me.
~ Katrina Gleason
WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
Breastfeeding support group meets in the Serenity Room from 10am to 12pm on the second Friday of each month. All moms-to-be and breastfeeding moms and infants are invited. If you want more information, you can contact Katrina or watch the Shullsburg Area Parents Group Facebook page.
March 13 & 27 @10am
April 10 & 24 @10am