If you can survive the initial latch, you can survive any bite.
Here are 4 reasons you might be afraid to nurse your baby with teeth, but shouldn’t be.
1. Gums are worse than teeth
The worst bite I ever experienced was when our newborn was toothless. Granted this was the first bite, so it may have been super painful because it was my first experience.
It’s technically not a bite, it was more of a clamp - when the baby suddenly closes their jaws with your nipple in between.
I’ve heard it being referred to as “aggressive nursing” - a baby who roughly and excitedly latches on with all their might, probably to get a good latch.
2. Bites Don’t Damage The Skin
I’ve never been bitten bad enough that blood shows. Meaning, even when the bite was super painful - it never broke the skin.
Trust me, it feels like my nipple had been ripped off — but when I looked down, my breasts look like nothing ever happened.
I’m amazed at how tough our nipples are. They are naturally durable and built to last.
Please know, in the early days of breastfeeding I bled from the friction (rubbing back-n-forth) from the roof of her mouth, but I haven't suffered open wounds from bites.
3. They Tend To Bite After Nursing
In my 10 years of nursing, never have I been bitten by a feeding child.
They were born to nurse and nursing does not involve teeth.
They have to hold their mouth in a certain position and use certain muscles to extract the milk from the breast. This process of suckling involves the tongue, the jaw, the chin, the lips, the cheeks and a plethora of other facial muscles — not the teeth.
So my children didn’t bite while they are nursing. They did bite to play and get a reaction out of me or they may bite after they have fallen asleep.
I will admit when they do bite it does hurt, but there are ways to avoid those situations, like withholding breast if your child thinks play biting is a game. And making sure baby doesn’t fall asleep on the breast.
Would you agree? I’m curious, have you ever been bitten while breastfeeding? What was the situation?
Until next time.
Love The Journey,