Sunday, April 02, 2006

Some sad news (but certainly not SAD sad)

It's with a heavy heart that I must announce Aidan's weaning. We've successfully breastfed since his birth -- over 10 months -- and that's quite an accomplishment for such a painful, frustrating beginning (for me anyway). But now he's got teeth and just about EVERY time he nurses, he bites. I thought I could train him to stop by yelping out, showing him it hurts mommy, but it doesn't help. I've even squalled like a baby at him when he does it and that makes HIM squall, and I thought that since that upset him, he'd stop. Nope. This morning he bit me again -- both boobs. I mean every time. And I'm scared to put my boob into his mouth now! There's nothing else I can do and it makes me sad.

So that means formula for the next few months til he turns a year old. The manual breast pump I have isn't strong enough to take enough milk out to sufficiently feed Aidan. I'll still nurse him to sleep at night because he doesn't bite me then and MAYBE nurse him in the morning.

Do you know what this means too? Once he's completely off my boob, I can go on a diet!! I can get my figure back that I so desperately miss. My hormones will align again properly and shed this fat that has been covering me since my first trimester well over a year ago. I really REALLY miss my old clothes and I have TWO pair of pants that I wear -- one maternity jeans and another sport pant that I wear around the house EVERY day. I'm sick of them. I am SO looking forward to having my body to myself again, but at the same time, I will miss the bonding breastfeeding relationship Aidan and I had together.


Melinda said...

It sounds like you've already made up your mind, so you may not want this advice... but here's a FAQ from La Leche League on biting. There are lots of good suggestions here.

I'd like to make a suggestion as well, from personal experience. I went through the whole biting thing briefly with Adri at about 14 months and the thing that worked the best for us was a bit counterintuitive. I squished her face into my boob when she bit me. It caused my tissues to block the airway through her nose, and if she couldn't breathe she couldn't stay latched on, so she was forced to let go. At that point we would just try again, or sometimes end the session. It took about a day of persistently doing this, and it was hard for me to remember to do because the thing I wanted to do most was yelp and pull away... but it worked, amazingly well.

I just hate to see you wean so soon if the rest of your nursing relationship is going well and you don't really have any viable options other than formula. If it is meant to be it is meant to be... but I hope you will explore other options first. Big hugs to you!

Amy said...

Hi Melinda!
Nice to hear from you. :) You will be nursing again soon, I understand. A heartfelt congratulaions to you.

I don't know if I could do it -- squish the baby's face into my boob. It happens so fast and Aidan KNOWS what he's doing. He looks right at me and immediately after biting, his little head whips around to the opposite side. This all happens in a split second. He sometimes looks right at me and scrapes his teeth on me, testing me to see what I will do. Little bugger.

I have to think that 10 months of exclusive breastfeeding has given him extremely good health and all the other benefits it brings. I'm not stopping cold turkey, but I am ready to cut down.

Andrew Mock said...

I have many friends who simply give the baby a short hard flick on the mouth, it has worked with every one of them.

amygeekgrl said...

That has to be frustrating and painful for you.
You know what a huge bfing advocate I am so of course I'd like to see you continue until he's at least 12 months old (or longer), but I also know it's a personal decision and the bfing relationship has to be good for both mommy and baby for it to continue.
I hope you'll explore other ways to get him to stop biting - it really is a phase that will pass, but if not, perhaps you can do like you said and still nurse him a couple times a day (in addition to formula).
Oh, and here's a good article about "What if I want to wean my baby?" and the benefits of bfing at different ages -

Good luck w/ whatever your heart tells you to do. :) I know you aren't making this decision lightly.

Jyotsna said...


Very sorry to see you are so frustrated. All three of my kids bite me in various degrees, and even through Priya and Lakshmi don't nurse anymore, they occassionally nip me on the arm or boob (through clothing) when they are frustrated.

Aiden must be teething, or feeling frustrated. All babies go through this. Also, they want to be independent, and at the same time they don't. Lakshmi most often bit me when she was falling off to sleep at the breast, and was literally falling backwards (me falling asleep too!). Then she was clamp down, pain shooting through me and look right at me in shock! I thought several times that I would wean her, but we did make it through it. When she bit me, I pulled her forward to my boob, just like Melinda is talking about, and she would unlatch. If that didn't work, sometimes I would just nurse her, but keep my pointer finger by my nipple if I thought it would happen, and beat her to it by unlatching her with my finger. She would get mad, cry very hard and try to nurse again, but I would wait until I felt my point was across. I never hit her or popped her face. Sometimes if she was more persistant, I would set her on the floor for a moment. When she would cry, I would pick her up and say, "No biting" very sternly.

It was the hardest thing I had to do concerning breastfeeding.

You know mamas milk is best, and actually after one year, you will begin to get your body back little by little, as he starts to eat solid foods and drink from a cup.

The best thing about nursing into the toddler and preschool years is that it is much better than a bandaid when there is a skinned knee or other boo boo. Nothing like nursing to make a little one feel all secure.

You know the right thing to do. If you want support in continuing to breast feed, let me know.

Good plan to keep nursing at night.