August 20, 2008,
J.B. asks from Columbia Falls, MT on August 18, 2008
Painful Nursing Baby with Teeth
My 11 month old got her top teeth in the last month. Since then she has bitten me a couple of times on the same breast. It has become so sore in the last few weeks, it almost brings tears to nurse on that side. Also almost draws blood. I hadn't planned to wean her yet. Suggestions on how to heal the (what feels like internal bruising) and resume in a less painful way?
R.K. answers from Salt Lake City on August 19, 2008
Honey, you can try the nipple shields at BabiesRUs or Target while you're healing. Put your breastmilk on the broken skin, allow it to air dry. Also, you may use Lansinoh. Cold packs are nice, too. Someone said something about pumping, this isn't a bad idea, for a few times in a row rather than placing her on THAT breast you may like to pump and keep her on the OTHER breast.
AVOID CABBAGE unless you desire for your milk supply to dry up.
In general, babies only bite when they're done nursing (the session not for life)or if their gums hurt--they are not trying to be naughty. You will have success if you follow the advice of the several women prior who've told you to FIRMLY tell your wee one "NO!", hold your gaze for a good 10 seconds, put her down until your sure she's clear, then offer the other side.
Remember that whatever you consume your child will get, if you're eating good wholesome food it will be added to your milk, if you're also using supplements (I HIGHLY suggest doing that) it will be added to your milk, your milk has fats and amino acids specific to the two of you, and if you're body senses illness in your child your body will boost antibodies--though your child has her own immune system to rely upon, but any help is good...so ignore people who tell you there is no value to your breastmilk; it is absolutely UNTRUE!!
If you decide to end your breastfeeding relationship with your baby, you HAVE given her a great start at life and in America you've given her a substancially larger advantage than the average mother (which is approx. 3 months). At this point in her life her body is beginning to be able to process food to actually retreive nutrition from it...this ability solidifies after the first year.
Be assured your baby will NOT always bite you!
2 moms found this helpful
A.S. answers from Salt Lake City on August 19, 2008
just a quick note--- breastmilk is the best thing for kids nutritionally. it is NOT less nutritious after year 1. sorry you were given some misinformation. also, red cabbage leaves are for pain and green are for engorgement, which is probably why they helped the one lady with weaning. using the red cabbage leaves will help with the pain. also, when my son got teeth (only a few months ago), i had to kinda "re-learn" nursing so that it would be better. You may want to contact your local LLL leader-- it was nice for me to get some advice and help on different nursing-- bc as i'm sure you've noticed, nursing a newborn is A LOT different than nursing an 11mo old. good luck!
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D.K. answers from Denver on August 19, 2008
The being firm with NO BITE is a miracle worker.
She at the year mark is at an age if you wanted to stop nursing she will be getting her nutrition from an outside source. If she continues I would consider weaning if it is to the point of that much pain.
I think that can be a sign they are ready to stop anyway. Start giving her a sippy with breast milk instead for another month or so then you can graduate to milk and a lot more solids. Yes, breast milk is great but to be honest at her age she will be fine without it!!! Both of my kids weaned early and are VERY HEALTHY AND SMART!
If you do not want to stop the breast milk try giving her it to her in another form like a sippy or strawed cup. A child should be eating real food by the year mark and getting what they need from that. If they are good eaters she will get what she needs out of solids after a year.
A.R. answers from Salt Lake City on August 19, 2008
My last baby bit me and it got infected and turned into mastitis. If it feels like internal bruising, I would talk to a Doctor. Mastitis is HORRIBLE! Get checked to make sure it hasn't turned into that and then, if she bites, stop nursing that time. After a while she will realize if she bites she wont get fed, and babies know when to eat, she won't let herself starve. Good luck
L.D. answers from Denver on August 19, 2008
It could be time to stop nursing. This is going to sound ridiculous but I had a similar issue and my grandmother told me to put cabbage leaves in my bra. It also helped enormously when I was weaning both my kids. I know it sounds stupid and I wouldn't do it outside of the house but it felt so much better. Keep the cabbage in the fridge, the colder the better. Weird but it worked for me.
C.A. answers from Denver on August 19, 2008
I went through this same thing as well when my daughter was 9 months old and cutting the top teeth. It hurt and she did draw blood. We both cried and I was so worried that this was going to be the end of our nursing. My nipples were very sore, especially the one side that she seemed to chomp on the most. I tried telling her sternly, NO, but that really didn't work consistently. What really seemed to work was hugging her tight into my breast (basically cramming her face into it) so she had to release me to breathe. At the same time I calmly told her "No, no biting" and ended the nursing session at least for a little bit. It worked without allowing the teeth to scrape my tender skin and she wasn't totally freaked out about it at the same time. It only took a few times as well. in the meantime, I was very careful and watchful. Everytime it looked like she was going to bite (no tongue in place to create suction), I pulled her to me and said no.
Don't worry, you will be able to continue nursing AND relax while doing it in a very short while (even though it doesn't seem like it now).
Oh, as for healing, I constantly applied the nipple cream for the few short days it took to heal - and gritted my teeth through the pain otherwise :-)
And an additional note, my daughter still tests me. every once in awhile she may give me a little nibble. Usually it means she isn't hungry and we just end it there and don't push things. Just nurse at a later time. So after she learns not to bite, still pay attention!
K.D. answers from Salt Lake City on August 18, 2008
My baby got teeth at 3 months and I nursed her until she was 13-months (by then, she had a mouthful of teeth). She bit me a few times, even drawing blood a few times, and the only thing that worked was involuntary screaming on my part, a harsh "NO!" and then ending the feeding. She would cry, but she stopped biting. I would even end the nursing session if she even started to "chew" a little bit.
I've heard cabbage leaves are good for healing, but I'm not sure if it will work for internal bruising. And I think you'll just have to nurse through the pain. Sorry I couldn't be of more help in that area.
D.T. answers from Denver on August 19, 2008
Both of mine started getting teeth before 6 months and pretty much the same thing happened with both. They bit I screamed and nearly dropped them and the second time, I reacted strongly and said NO! and they didn't do it again. My daughter, a precocious child, would look up at me while nursing to see if I was looking, and would very carefully and delibrately, bite gently, I would give an exaggerated jump and say no and she would smile and go back to nursing. She was just checking to see it I was paying attention or if it was still not OK. Little ones can be smarter and more aware than you think, so let the baby know it's not ok - in an appropriate way, they'll "get it".
Crushed mullen leaf may help you heal, apply like a poltice. It reduces swelling and bruising - just wash well before you nurse.