How to Cope With Biting During Breastfeeding
If you’ve been bitten while breastfeeding before, you’ll know all too well how frightening it can be and if you haven’t experienced this yet… well, we’re sure you can imagine!
Some babies never bite but most will try biting while breastfeeding at some stage. However, if it happens to you it does not mean you have to wean. Biting often occurs when a baby is teething, frustrated, or wanting your attention and is generally a temporary behaviour. With some attention on your part, it will pass soon enough.
If you’re currently experiencing biting, it’s important to know that it’s actually physically impossible for your pēpi to be latched on for breastfeeding and bite at the same time; in order to breastfeed, the tongue must cover the bottom teeth/gum. So, if your baby is biting they aren’t actually latched on during that moment.
Here are some ideas that may help you:
- If your pēpi is biting at the end of a breastfeeding session, it could be because they’re no longer hungry or are getting bored. To prevent biting from happening in this instance, as soon as they have finished feeding, take them off the breast.
- Biting often coincides with teething. If you think this is the case with your pēpi, you might like to offer them something else to bite like a cold flannel or teething ring instead of your nipple!
- If your baby is biting at the beginning of a breastfeeding session, they might be getting frustrated by a slower let-down than usual. Try doing some breast compressions, shaking your breasts, or a little bit of hand expressing before a feed to help release the milk.
- The best way to prevent biting from happening is to give your baby your undivided attention. This might be a reason why they’re biting to begin with, and if you’re watching, it’s easier to notice their cues and take them off the breast before the bite happens.