Breastfeeding a Teething Baby
Over my 45+ years of being with women giving birth to and breastfeeding their babies, many have expressed anxiety about the thought of what it will be like to breastfeed when the baby starts teething.
This is a common concern for breastfeeding mothers.
Here's what I share, based on my experience and observations working with these wonderful women.
Babies may start the process of teething between around 3 – 6 months. Common signs of when a baby is starting to teethe is dribbling, chewing their hands, mouthing with lots and lots of saliva.
Often the first teeth to appear are the two little teeth in the bottom gum called the incisors! 😬
Because little babies are very smart, you may notice a change in how they breastfeed as they protect the underside of their tongue.
The breastfeeding baby may slightly draw the tongue back, exposing your nipple to these sharp teeth. 😫
This is often only temporary as the teeth move in the gums and make their way through.
Swapping breasts and gently encouraging your baby to be snug at your breast may help.
If biting does occur (which is quite common), I suggest that you talk with your baby in a deeper voice than usual, using the same gentle words to let your baby know that it hurts.
Finally, as difficult as it may seem, try to avoid pulling back quickly as this could make the pain even worse. 🤦♀️
Dr Robyn 💜
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From all of us at The Thompson Method team, happy birthing & happy breastfeeding 🖤