Emma Howard discusses how to breastfeed when babies start teething.
Read the full transcript »
Emma Howard: Hello! I am Emma Howard, and we are talking about breastfeeding here, on the Baby Channel, and with me Heather Welford from the NCT or a breastfeeding counselor and we have got four-and-a-half month old Ruby next to you with her mom Tara. Thanks for coming in. Now you are happily breastfeeding, after bit of a shaky start, but you have got a bit of a problem now, haven't you? She is getting teeth. Tara Wilkinson: I have yes, she has got. Her two bottom teeth have come through and she has now decided that it's quite fun to bite on to my nipple which is obviously -- Emma Howard: And that is very painful, isn't it? Tara Wilkinson: Excruciating and I have been told that I shouldn't make sudden noises, because she might find that -- and think it's funny and keep on doing it. But I just want to know, what strategies I can use to -- Emma Howard: Are there strategies when the baby is beginning to bite? Heather Welford: Yes, those little teeth are really sharp aren't they? If you felt them with your fingers, you would notice that. Tara Wilkinson: Yes, yes. Heather Welford: She won't do it for long. This is sometimes a temporary stage, the sensation for Ruby is different. She is just experimenting with the feeling of gnawing down. It's natural. If you find that it is painful, and most women don't. You are unlucky, but you are a bit unusual. It's not that common for it, to happen. But if it happens -- The next time it happens, gently take her off, break the suction by putting your finger in and just say, no, no biting. Tara Wilkinson: Just in a calm voice. Emma Howard: And at four-and-a-half month, is she able to make sense of you looking into her face and saying no? Heather Welford: Yes, but not instantly. But if you do it every time she does it and repeatedly, she'll understand that in order to continue with the feed, she'll have to stop biting. She may just stop anyway without you doing that, we'll never be able to prove that it was your removing her and speaking to her would do it, because this is a stage that will pass. Tara Wilkinson: Right. Heather Welford: She is getting two lovely teeth at four-and-a-half months, which is unusual. Emma Howard: So she has got them quite early. So you are unlucky in that respect, because we have to remind people that babies get their teeth at different stages, don't they? My son didn't have a tooth in his head till he was seven or eight months old. Heather Welford: Some babies can be a year old. But babies don't need to use their teeth for feeding. Most women who would continue feeding babies with teeth and it never bothers them, and they don't even notice it. Tara Wilkinson: So even when she gets more teeth, the top ones -- Heather Welford: It shouldn't hurt, you might then get a few little nips out. Emma Howard: But that's not quite a worrying prospect? Tara Wilkinson: Yes, because it does hurt when she has done a couple of times. Emma Howard: And it could be quite a sharp sort of chuck, can't it? Tara Wilkinson: Yeah, and tucks on it as. Emma Howard: You would have to keep your finger to break that suction. Heather Welford: Just watch for her doing that and the thing about not yelping is sensible advice, because you can give the baby a fright and then, she associated feeding with something that wasn't very pleasant and that it can sometimes mean that you have to sort of lower her back to the breast again. So just a clam response, if you can manage to think of that in time that will help. Emma Howard: And talking of calm. We have seen Ruby, she is at a stage where she is such a confident feeder, she is quite sort of fidgety feeder as well, isn't she at times? Can we see you feed Ruby and we will if she'll do it in a settled way or she -- she is tired to feeding, haven't you Ruby? We have got lots of you today. Still she wants to feed. She just seems to quite excited, because her little legs are going, aren't they? Heather Welford: She knows what's coming. Emma Howard: And positioni