Happy Fun Fact Friday!
Today let’s talk about teething and breastfeeding.It is so difficult as a parent to see our child in pain. Besides the gas and bowel pain that can occur as baby learns to regulate his/her digestive system, teething is our first major and sustained introduction to infant pain. When a baby cries because of a soon-to-emerge tooth, it can make parents feel helpless because there is no remedy that can completely cure the ache. Any adult who has dealt with the pain of shifting wisdom teeth can somewhat understand what a teething infant is experiencing. It could be argued that the experience is even more difficult for babies because they can’t effectively express their feelings and don’t understand what is happening.Yet the experience of watching our children suffer isn’t the only difficult aspect of teething. It can also be a scary time for breastfeeding mothers, who may wonder how new teeth will affect the breastfeeding relationship. Will nursing hurt? Will baby bite? Is it worth continuing? The short answer to these questions is that it is possible that baby may test out his or her new tooth on occasion while breastfeeding. However, nursing sessions should not regularly be painful, and babies can be trained not to bite. These articles by Healthy Children and the La Leche League provide some excellent information on breastfeeding during and after teething:-
“Breastfeeding After Your Baby Gets Teeth” (https://www.healthychildren.org/…/When-Your-Baby-Gets…)- “Help! My baby bit me!” (https://www.laleche.org.uk/help-baby-bit)-
“Thursday’s Tip: Breastfeeding your teething baby” (https://www.lllc.ca/thursdays-tip-breastfeeding-your…)
Breastfeeding is always a highly personal choice, but your journey doesn’t have to end just because your baby grew a new set of chompers! While gentle training and adjustments may be needed at first, babies’ mouths are nevertheless designed to nurse in a way that is comfortable for both infant and mother well beyond the emergence of the first tooth. Breastfeeding can continue to be an intimate and enjoyable relationship for both you and baby!