Baby bites during breastfeeding

Lactation Specialist Wendy Haldeman, IBCLC, shares advice for breastfeeding mothers on what to do when your baby is biting while breastfeeding
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Baby bites during breastfeeding

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Biting babies can be understandably quite a challenge because it can hurt. Some mothers assume that this means that the baby is ready to stop breastfeeding, and I would argue that that's not necessarily true. If a baby's actively teething without meaning to, sometimes they will chimp down on your nipple because they're in pain and they feel like it's going to help their teething pain, not realizing of course that it's hurting their mom. So what we would generally recommend is that first of all, try and ease the baby's teething pain through whatever method you choose, homeopathic or whatever you want to try and do with that. And then use behavior modification. Babies are really smart. So if you bring your baby to breast and they start to bite, the baby should be taken off the breast and told, "No biting. That hurts mommy." And leave them off the breast for 5 - 10 minutes, which for a baby is interminable. But they really do get it; they're smart, they want to breastfeed, and they quickly learn, "If I bite mom, I don't get to breastfeed."

Lactation Specialist Wendy Haldeman, IBCLC, shares advice for breastfeeding mothers on what to do when your baby is biting while breastfeeding

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Wendy Haldeman, RN, MN, IBCLC

Lactation Specialist

Wendy Haldeman, MN, RN, IBCLC is a co-founder of the Pump Station and Nurtury. She received both her nursing and lactation education at UCLA, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a certified Happiest Baby on the Block instructor. She lectures frequently on human lactation at medical and nursing schools and has been identified by publications, such as Fit Pregnancy, as an expert in her field. Wendy facilitates the New Mother Support groups, and teaches the prenatal Breastfeeding and Baby Care Classes at The Pump Station. She and her husband Tim are proud of their two grown daughters and their 15 month old granddaughter.

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