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Thread: Biting While Breastfeeding (Long, Sorry!)

  1. #1

    Default Biting While Breastfeeding (Long, Sorry!)

    Moving this thread over from breastfeeding infants:

    My fraternal twin boys are just over 11 months old and are 98% breastfed (after a premature start, two weeks in NICU with 50% formula, feeding tubes and then bottles, and a monumental battle to get them to be nearly exclusively breastfed which I achieved!). Of course, they are now eating beginning solids as well.

    Unfortunately, one son has four teeth in and one more on the way, and his top two front teeth are substantial. He has bit me several times over the past few months without really hurting me. However, about two weeks ago he bit me so hard on my left nipple that I was left in excruciating pain for the next several days. Each time I breastfed it was horribly painful, especially during latch and letdown, and the pain lasted afterwards for at least an hour or more. Eventually the pain subsided and everything was fine for the next few weeks.

    It happened again a couple of days ago, again on my left nipple. I know it is not intentional and it happened as he was becoming sleepy and I think his mouth just sort of clamped down hard on me. This time it is even worse than the last; I am in pain even if my arm brushes by my breast, or even with my shirt touching it. I am now having my other twin only on the left side because he only has the beginning of two top and two bottom teeth and has never bit me hard (yet) but each time he latches on and starts to nurse I am nearly weeping from the excruciating pain. The pain continues on afterwards and sometimes there are sharp, shooting pains going up into the breast.

    I would say the symptoms sound like what I've read of the pain of thrush, but it is only the one breast and it has happened both times after being horribly bitten down upon.

    I am not sure what to do! I had not planned to stop nursing yet. Both of my daughters (now 12 and 11 years old) were EBF for 13 months and 15-1/2 months respectively, (they were very late teethers which helped immensely) and we had a chance to wean gently and lovingly, coming down to nap and night-time nursings before stopping altogether.

    I do not want to wean abruptly, nor do I know how to if needed. I do NOT own a pump (I returned the hospital pump when the boys were about 12 weeks old and never pumped again - I can't stand pumping and don't have the best output - especially to keep up with nearly year-old twins). The boys still nurse several times a day, and each is up at least one to two times a night to nurse as well. (Yes, after nearly a year, I am exhausted!)

    I am not sure what to do. I screamed out loudly in pain each time, my son clearly understood that something he did upset me, but he certainly was not intentionally biting me, and they were not play bites. I am now almost holding my breath in nervous anticipation as I nurse, in fear of another horrible chomp. I am heartbroken if this means the end of bf.

    Anyone out there have any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Re: Biting While Breastfeeding (Long, Sorry!)

    If the biting is occurring when he is almost asleep, could you unlatch him before he is at that point? If it isn't intentional, I think it is more difficult to stop but there has to be a solution! I know when DS got his 2 top teeth I had to help him adjust his latch so his teeth didn't hurt me. Here is a hug for you! Hang in there, hope someone else has a great solution.

    my name is Sarah mother to
    Alana 12/31/98
    Conner 5/30/09

    Breastfeeding 3 years and counting!

    Potty trained at 2 but kind of miss those cute CD's!

    "Of all the rights of women, the greastest is to be a mother." Lin Yutang

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Biting While Breastfeeding (Long, Sorry!)

    Fortunately I haven't had any painful issues with biting and teething so I commend you for continuing b/c it sounds just as painful as mastistis when I had it. I have researched and found some information that I hope will be helpful to you on kellymom.com. Please keep us updated and many hugs from us all ! BTW please never apologize for sharing as we are all here to support each other!!!
    Mom to Malachi Xavier 9-07/25/1999, Nursed Exclusively,
    Nicolas Daniel 2yrs old-07/28/2007, Nursed Exclusively & Still Nursing Periodically But Sure To Come To An End Soon~Tear
    Married to Dear Husband 15yrs but together 25yrs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Good ole ATX y'all!

    Default Re: Biting While Breastfeeding (Long, Sorry!)

    Ouch momma! My DS used to do this all the time when he would fall asleep at the breast. The important thing is NOT to pull your breast out of their mouth as natural as that response is. The best way to dislodge your breast from a bite is to put your finger into their mouth and gently pry their jaws apart enough to safely pull out.

    Sounds like the last bite was really a bad one. If it doesn't stop hurting in a few more days then I would contact your doc to have a look at it just to be sure.

    The thing that I did while my son went through the sleeping biting phase was to really watch him while he was nursing at nap and bed time. I couldn't read or watch TV or anything while nursing. When I saw him start to really fall asleep I'd unlatch then before he could bite. It's the only thing that I could think of and after a few weeks he stopped doing it.

    I hope that you get some pain relief. Take some Acetominiphen or Ibuprofen to help with the pain. Also a cool wash cloth on your nipple might be soothing.

    Let us know how things are going.
    Jen - mom to 3
    DD who I FF
    I survived 10 painful mastitis infections and managed to nurse DS1 till he was 3 years and 7 months
    and now DS2 4 years now working on gentle weaning and

    "Pride is one of the seven deadly sins; but it can not be the pride of a mother in her children, for that is a compound of two cardinal virtues - faith and hope." Charles Dickens

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