July 30th, 2009 by

Breastfeeding and Teeth!

Sitting up and nursing.  Sitting up and nursing.
The time that I have been dreading since taking my baby home from the hospital is here: top teeth. I used to always tell people when they asked how long I would breastfeed for that when he got teeth, we were done. The first time I considered this wouldn’t be the case was after I talked to my lactation consultant. She assured me that not all babies bite, and if they do, there are ways to handle the situation without weaning. Hmmm…. maybe I could get through it. I sure worked hard enough at breastfeeding that I didn’t want to throw it all away because of a few little teeth.

Now, he has two tiny top teeth emerging; one made it out before the other. They are now in a race to the finish! Since they have made themselves known, my son has taken a few nibbles. Nothing major, just a little bite to let me know they are there. The teeth have also changed the way we nurse. He likes to tug a little, and turn his head this way and that. With teeth in the equation, this can no longer be done. Now, tugging and turning can lead to scraping and bruising! He has also recently discovered that he can nurse sitting upright. He is control of the situation when upright. He will pop off and then latch himself back on like it is his new favorite game! I also like this game because he seems so proud of himself. “Yay mommy, I can get food whenever I want!”

2 top teeth (he has 2 on bottom as well) and a mouthful of teeth are very different, I’m sure. For now, I am
Development of baby teeth.  Photo: IPCH.orgDevelopment of baby teeth. Photo: IPCH.org
relieved to know that my son is happy enough in his breastfeeding relationship with me to spare my poor nipples. Perhaps he remembers the severe pain he put me through 8 months ago. Or, maybe he knows that without my breasts he would starve since he has yet to figure out that bottle thingy I hand him every 4 months. All I know is that I am so thrilled to have made it to 8 months, and I plan to fight the good fight! I would like to avoid formula completely. Plus, I love nursing so much I may just set the world record for longest nursing mother. Look out crazy British Lady! I’m gonna breastfeed my son at his wedding!

***Note:  I am not going to do that.

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3 Responses to “Breastfeeding and Teeth!”

  1. avatar Astrid says:

    Oddly enough, this was one thing I was never worried about. I have been nicked plenty of times, enough to sometimes draw blood but it heals VERY quickly. Keep it up!

  2. avatar Carrie says:

    I really don’t want to offend anyone with my opinion but I really feel like I should share my thoughts on this subject. I fully believe in breast feeding and prefer it for the first 6 months because it benefits the baby’s immune system development so much. BUT and this is a BIG but….I worry about children who are no longer infants continuing to breast feed. At this age who are you actually benefiting? Yourself….or your child? I know it is a wonderfully comforting time and brings great satisfaction and a sense of being needed, but after 6 months I start to worry that mothers continue this practice for their own selfish reasons. Your child should have a mixture of cereal by now as well as starting on other foods, and I fear that you are actually retarding their development by continuing this process. Your child is 8 months and you’ve only offered them a bottle twice? I understand that you are proud of him for sitting up and helping himself, but where do you draw the line then? I’ve seen a 3 year old walk up to their mom, unbutton her shirt and help themselves. I’m sorry but I just don’t think this is appropriate. How do you think this will effect your child on a long term basis? Or are you only thinking of your own wants? Again I don’t intend to offend anyone, I just ask you to think about your child’s developmental needs and not just your feelings. Please just consider the other side of the perspective.

  3. The AAP recommends breastfeeding your child until one years old. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until two. Why would the benefits of breastfeeding end at 6 months? Breast milk has some good stuff in it. This is perfectly natural and completely unselfish. My daughter nursed until she was 2 and a half and it was completely motivated by her. She wanted to nurse and I certainly didn’t force her to.

    I think your feelings are based on the fact that you feel uncomfortable with this and not on what is best for baby. If you feel uncomfortable, no problem don’t breastfeed past six months but I find you argument not based on logic and reasoning but your own personal opinions. Just because you feel weird about it doesn’t make it wrong or not beneficial.

    I am going to come back later and post the benefits of holding off on starting solids.

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