Are you breastfeeding and your baby lately every time you offer the breast ends up biting it and eating little? You have no idea why it does it? Do you want to know how to avoid it? Next we tell you why some babies bite when sucking and what you can do to fix it.
Breastfeeding is a challenge for mothers. During the entire time that breastfeeding lasts (remember that the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months and, if possible, extend it up to two years), babies go through stages that you could consider 'abnormal', although many of they are within the expected for the age.
We talk about the congestion of the breasts due to a rise in milk (mastitis), the moment of painful cracks, or the fearsome growth spurts, do they sound familiar, right? And when you thought that breastfeeding was already established and the problems had disappeared forever, they come ...chest bites!
They are very painful episodes, which cause tears in the mother and, in some cases, even bleeding. Many women may think that something they are doing wrong or that the baby is rebellious, but nothing like that: it is a stage that usually occurs between 8 to 9 months of age, regardless of whether or not the child has teeth and is associated with several causes:
- Sometimes they do it because their little teeth are sprouting and the only way to calm those teething discomforts is to bite everything in its path, and your breasts do not escape it since it is constantly being breastfed.
- Other times they do it unconsciously. When falling asleep, the muscles of the mouth relax and close it involuntarily.
- And finally, it may be because wants to attract attention and when you bite, see the reaction you take with a fit of laughter and it does it like a game. It is something very fun and entertaining, although we already know that it is not for you.
And, something very curious, which they explain in the report 'Breastfeeding your baby', carried out by Toronto Public Health, 'it is possible that it will only bite you at the end of the feeding. If so, watch for suction changes towards the end, as he will swallow less. And, to finish the shot, bring it closer. This will open his mouth and you can easily get him off his chest. '
Now, if it has bitten you and you don't know what to do to prevent it from happening again, we recommend the following !:
1. Talk to him or her and explain that it hurts mom. Despite their young age, they understand more than many adults believe.
2. If it bites you, let him know that he should not do it again and that if he does, you will remove his breast. In case he does it again, simply save your breast at that time and when he asks you again, explain that he must 'take care' of Mom's breast because otherwise 'Mom and her teat get sick too and then there will be no more'.
3. Say NO, with authority and seriousness, but at the same time in a 'subtle' way.
4. In the event that he falls asleep, remove him from the chest, placing your index finger between the corner of the mouth and the chest. Don't pull on your chest, because it will put more pressure on your teeth or gums and hurt you.
On the other hand, you must take into account what you should not do. Avoid laughing or making a gesture that seems like a game, because he will repeat it and do not yell either. Although it may seem difficult not to do so, many moms who scream when the baby bites their breast have ended up scaring the baby, which makes it not want to breastfeed again, thus compromising breastfeeding.
You should know that bites must be handled with great caution, since any unexpected reaction (anger or screaming) can take you by surprise, probably causing rejection of you or the chest and developing fear for the event that happened. If this occurs during the first year of life, breastfeeding could be put at risk.
It is important that you take into account that breast milk is the main food in the first year of the infant's life. It is not only a food but a gesture of love through which it connects with your life and with the feelings of the little one, providing security, peace, love and affection that you will not find anywhere else.
You can read more articles similar to Babies who bite by suckling at the mother's breast. Why do they do it?, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.