Thursday, July 16, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: Help! She has teeth!!!

Freya got her first two teeth last month. I thought it was adorable to see those little two pearly whites rise up out of her otherwise toothless smile. I was also happy that all the screaming and crying in pain was over for now. I just didn't anticipate how these tiny little teeth would impact my breastfeeding.
Morrigan was so easy cutting teeth and as a bottle fed baby I didn't have to worry about biting during feedings. I do remember being fearful of her hugs after she bit my thigh while hugging me. So getting bit on the nipple while feeding Freya didn't just scare it can frustrate Freya. I made the mistake of thinking she was crying because she was tired and wanted to fall asleep while nursing. I was in a hurry trying to clean house before guests were due to arrive. Freya has distinct cries for each of her needs and if I actually slowed down enough to pay attention to what she was trying to tell me I would of realized she just wanted to be down and playing. Instead, I laid her down on my bed with me and popped the boob in her mouth while she was tearfully fussing. That was when I saw her face change. If you are a parent, you know what I'm talking about. Your child goes from cute little cherub to growing horns with flames in their eyes in 5 seconds. I knew she was going to bite me before she even did it but it all happened too fast, I couldn't stop her. She bit, I screamed, she cried because I screamed and I cried from the pain.
The truth was it hurt but I didn't cry, but it triggered tears in your eyes like when you close toes in a door or get elbowed in the nose. There was blood, which I think surprised me. I didn't think she bit me that hard but apparently she broke skin. Those baby teeth are razor sharp, they have to be to cut through the gums.
Lucky for me, my lactation consultant and I had just talked about how to respond to getting bit. She instructed me to make sure I screamed (Like I had a choice on that one.) Then I had to end the nursing session. She had to know that biting equals no boob, you can't bite the hand that feeds you or the boob that feeds you for that matter. She didn't have to tell me not to pull, I don't think I could have when she bit me. Or that I should tell her NO! firmly, it came out automatically. Even young babies, like my 6 month old, can tell mommy is not happy with what she just did.
It's been a month since then and she has tired to bite me two more times. She didn't bit hard but I felt her teeth. I noticed that she has to not only change her hold on my nipple to bite me but she tightens her jaw just before. I have been working on teaching Freya "NO!", its getting there but I wouldn't say we have had that much success. I could say anything in that tone and she will look at me. I could yell "Spinach!" and she would give me the same look. But she goes right back to doing what I was telling her not to do. Tone is all babies can understand but at least we parents have that.
Even though it's a challenge dealing with a teething baby while breastfeeding it's not the end of breastfeeding. Freya is no where ready to be weaned.  I'm hoping at least 6 more month but I prefer another year. Breastfeeding has not only made my life easy but it has been so great to cuddle up with my baby while she eats and falls asleep in my arms. It's truly an amazing experience.
Though I don't think my relationship with my first born would be any different if I had breastfed her,  it's the certain moments that are about a bonding moment.  I never liked those articles that said breastfeeding gives you a better bond with your baby. Its not a better bond over all,  but it is true that YOU feel closer to your baby while feeding her when you are breast feeding. They cuddle into you, hold on to you so tight its like they would never let you go. Those moments fills your heart with so many feelings. Its a moment you just can't duplicate.

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