How to prevent baby from biting my nipple?
After a few months of breastfeeding, you feel like you and your baby have found your groove. You’re both getting used to it, the discomfort is reduced and you are assured that you have enough milk supply.
But suddenly you feel something painful. The baby is already teething and it seems that it is becoming a habit for him to bite your nipples while you are breastfeeding.
Other than it hurts, is there any harm when mum’s nipples are bitten?
Baby Biting Nipple While Breastfeeding: Is It Normal?
When a baby is teething, he tends to bite and chew because his gums are tender. When the gums are tender and sensitive, the baby may be uncomfortable. That’s why teethers were invented to relieve them. Other mums use teething gel but it is important to consult your paediatrician before using it.
Not all babies who are teething bite their mum’s nipples. According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, when a baby bites or latches correctly during breastfeeding, he or she does not bite the nipples.
How can we determine if the baby bites correctly? The baby’s tongue should be on top of the lower gums and teeth.
This usually happens when you are just starting to breastfeed and when you are about to finish feeding.
Reasons Why Babies Bite While Breastfeeding
Is it normal for a baby to bite nipples during breastfeeding?
So your breastfed baby is biting your nipple while nursing. But what could be the reason behind this painful habit that your bub has learned?
If it’s any consolation, mum, your baby is not doing it to make you feel bad. On the contrary, it can mean that he wants more comfort from you. Here are some of the possible explanations behind the baby’s biting:
Your child is teething.
Teething can develop at any time and cause a baby’s gums to become uncomfortable and swollen. If you detect your baby biting the nipple while feeding during this time, they are most likely more concerned with pain relief than with breastfeeding.
Stop nursing for a moment and address the issue. Giving your baby a teething toy or a breast milk popsicle might help calm their gums in addition to your breast.
Your child is bored.
A baby will frequently bite when nursing because he is distracted by what is going on around him. This frequently occurs near the end of a breastfeeding session when he is bored and no longer hungry. To avoid too much stimulus and distraction, try to nurse in a quiet environment, swaying or lying down together.
Your child craves your attention.
Older babies are more likely to demand a lot of attention and may bite if they don’t feel they’re getting enough. While nursing, try to maintain eye contact and engage with your kid. To actively nurse, the baby’s tongue must be placed over the lower teeth and gums in order to suck milk from the breast.
At the end of a breastfeeding session, playful newborns often drag their tongues backwards, signifying that they have completed suckling. A potential bite can be avoided by keeping a close eye on the infant during nursing and removing him as soon as he has finished actively nursing.
Your infant demands more milk.
When the milk supply is low, the baby may bite and pull back, attempting to get more milk from the breast.
After menstruation, nursing while pregnant, hormonal birth control techniques, various drugs and supplements, and even stress can all have a detrimental impact on milk production. Remember that if your baby is gaining weight normally, he or she is getting enough milk.
How to Stop Baby From Biting My Nipple?
Image Source: iStock
Nipple biting while breastfeeding can make it difficult for some mums to go on with their breastfeeding journey. So, how do you stop your child from doing this, and how do you relieve the pain in this very sensitive area? Here are some things you can try.
Sometimes a simple change of positioning and latching can help to prevent when mum’s nipples are bitten. Try chest-to-chest position, or breastfeeding with baby’s chin attached to mommy’s chest.
Stopping breastfeeding when bitten
Many nursing mothers and breastfeeding experts recommend that if your baby bites, take them off the breast, end the nursing session, and say something calmly like “No biting mummy.”
Nursing can resume in a few minutes if the baby appears interested, and you can praise your little one for a good latch-on and gentle release. By stopping the feeding every time your baby bites, your baby will quickly learn that biting interferes with their desire to nurse.
They can’t even speak yet, but babies are sensitive to their mothers’ moods. So when mummy gets hurt and stops breastfeeding, it can help so they will learn not to bite mummy’s nipples anymore. But sometimes baby also laughs when we react, so they repeat what they are doing as if they are playing with you.
To prevent irritation of the nipple area, try washing it with water and a bit of salt.
Due to the change in the saliva of the teething baby, the nipples can become sore and irritated. To prevent further irritation and infection, you can try …
As remedies for sore nipples, the nipples bitten by the baby can be ventilated. Also, make it a habit to change wet nursing clothes or bra immediately to avoid discomfort.
If your baby appears to be teething, you may wish to calm their gums with a damp towel or a teething toy. You want to teach them not to chew on your breasts.
The teething baby usually has sharp teeth. Over the course of months, it will grow and the discomfort will also decrease. If the baby who is teething does not want to latch on to her mother’s breast, there may also be something else inside her mouth. Or maybe he also feels sick so he doesn’t want to latch on.
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Remedy for Sore and Cracked Nipples From Biting
Unfortunately, biting can cause nipple injury in some situations, which can be quite unpleasant. In addition to decreasing your baby’s biting, you should treat any nipple damage.
Among the alternatives are:
Saltwater rinses are a natural technique to gently cure your skin and can be quite calming for your nipples.
There are many different nipple creams
on the market, but they might be useful if you have an abrasion or cut on your nipple. Nipple creams promote “wet wound healing,” which can aid in the repair of your nipple skin.
Analgesics (pain relievers)
If your baby’s bite remains uncomfortable, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine that is safe to use while breastfeeding. For more information, visit your lactation consultant or doctor.
Using ice or a cold pack might help relieve pain and soothe your nipples.
Begin nursing on the uninjured side
Breastfeed on the non-damaged side for a few days while your skin heals. When a baby begins to eat, he or she sucks the most furiously.
Express your milk till you are healed
In rare situations, your nipple may be so injured that nursing merely worsens the situation for a few days. Give that breast a few days of comfort by nursing from that side less regularly or avoiding it entirely. In such circumstances, you should express
your milk from that side to maintain your supply and avoid engorgement.
Biting is normally a passing phase that babies swiftly outgrow. If the pain becomes an issue, consult with your healthcare professional about pain management options. Feel free to consult your doctor if you are worried about the baby being bitten or if you already have a strange feeling in your chest that can no longer be tolerated or relieved by simple home remedies.
Translated with permission from theAsianparent Philippines.
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