Picture it: you are a wild animal, deep in the forest. You live your days in peace, existing in harmony with the world around you. The snow-capped mountains, the babbling brooks and the lush vegetation complete your picturesque life.
(Cue ominous music)
One day, an unknown creature enters your wilderness. This creature is cold, jagged and deadly. It has invaded your world and you don’t see it until it’s too late.
The pain is immediate and unbelievable. It feels as though a red hot serpent has wrapped itself around your ankle. You look down and see the angry jaws of a steel trap clenched around your leg.
Tears spring to your eyes and a scream escapes from your lips, as you think, “Why me? Why is this happening to me?”
Replace the wild animal with my nipple and replace the steel trap with Sam’s new razor sharp teeth.
Welcome to the wonderful world of breastfeeding a baby with teeth!
Sam got his first two teeth at 5.5 months and he’s been determined to use them ever since. And don’t think that because his teeth are just popping through his gums, they can’t do serious damage. Case in point, here is a photo of Mark’s finger after Sam chewed on it for a few seconds. (http://twitpic.com/423ork). The kid can draw blood!
So you can understand the difficult decision I find myself facing: continue breastfeeding to give my child the best nutritional start to life that I possibly can (at the expense of my nipples) or throw a couple of jars of baby food his way and tell him he’s on his own!
I know I could pump and bottle feed him the breast milk, thereby giving him all the nutrition of breast milk while saving my breasts, but I’ve got to be honest with you… that takes a lot of effort, and I’m a little lazy. Washing bottles, sterilizing bottles, washing pump parts, sterilizing pump parts; who has time for all that? And if I’m being totally honest… I like breastfeeding. I love the bonding time with my babies.
So that brings me back to my original issue: Sam biting me while I breastfeed him.
We’re trying a couple different tactics to solve the issue. Now Sam and Lucy (she’ll be popping teeth out soon, too!) are wearing (http://twitpic.com/40rfv1) Amber Teething Necklaces (www.theteensyteether.com). The amber is supposed to naturally reduce the acidity levels in the body, which will help with teething issues like redness in the cheeks, swollen gums, diaper rash, eczema and fevers. And maybe, if I’m lucky, that will help stop the biting.
We’ve also adopted a “One and Done” policy: one bite and you’re done, the feeding session is over. (This is not Sam’s favourite policy.)
And we make sure the babies have lots of toys to chew, slobber and drool on so that they don’t have to resort to using my chest as a chew toy.
Other than that, I’m not sure what we can do.
In the end, as long as my baby is getting the nourishment he needs and I’m getting the bonding time I crave, I guess I’m just going to have to grin and bear it (while I bare it).
And I’ll just hope Sam’s first word isn’t the one he hears when his razor sharp teeth clamp down on me while he’s breastfeeding. 😉