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Teething and breastfeeding behaviour.

(10 Posts)
belindarose Tue 30-Oct-12 11:14:05

Lactation Consultant and other BFCs I've seen have said that teething doesn't affect feeding. I BFed DD for 20 months so managed fine with all her teeth.

But my tiny, poor gaining, 'failing to thrive' 17 week old has had his FIFTH tooth come through today. It seems logical to me that he may well have been in pain/ discomfort in his mouth since birth, so feeding may not be a very pleasurable experience for him. He's certainly never really been one for 'comfort sucking' and often doesn't want to feed or doesn't feed for long.

I can see 3 more about to erupt too. Poor little mite.

tiktok Tue 30-Oct-12 11:28:12

belindarose, how's it going with the 'go with baby's flow' plan (see previous threads)?

I don't think there is much liklihood that teething affects bf - though individuals may have individual experiences, and a fussy feeding period that coincides with obvious teething often leads people to conclude they're related. Bf is known as an analgesic - quite a bit of evidence for this - so a baby in discomfort might get relief from a feed, go figure smile Certainly, the act breastfeeding would not hurt the mouth, I wouldn't have thought.

It may be you are trying to explain and understand your baby's behaviours - whereas at the moment, 'going with the flow' would be better understood as just feeding him responsively and accepting that this might lead to apparently less feeding .... rather than struggling and fighting him to feed more. Over-thinking and trying to work out reasons can be quite anxiety-making.

What do you think?

belindarose Tue 30-Oct-12 11:32:56

Yes, I'm going with the flow. He's feeding about the same as before but with less fuss from either of us.

I am just trying to find a reason. I don't think he gets much comfort from the breast.

tiktok Tue 30-Oct-12 11:58:58

Things may change. Once the 'less fuss' becomes the norm, he may start to show a more 'comforted' response....but some babies never quite get this, or at least not consistently. Are there any times you feel he does sort of settle in and enjoy it? Night time, maybe?

belindarose Tue 30-Oct-12 13:24:23

Yes, early morning and evening feeds are nice. I guess they're mostly the ones without toddler being around.

tiktok Tue 30-Oct-12 13:34:12

If it was teething, then that wouldn't happen, then...yes?

belindarose Wed 31-Oct-12 07:13:21

I know, you're right. Clutching at straws again. Dreading GP telling me to start weaning. 17 weeks today.

I had to leave him for 20 minutes yesterday while I had some dental treatment. Last time he was asleep, but this time he screamed and cried. The receptionists looked after him but couldn't calm him. He stopped crying immediately I took him back and settled in the waiting room with a really long and easy breastfeed.

So some of it - a lot of it - is okay.

tiktok Wed 31-Oct-12 08:16:02

Aw, belindarose, he loves you and needs you and is finding comfort in bf smile

I think it will help if you stop analysing his behaviour - you're doing it a lot of the time, trying to find a reason for it so you can fix it.

It absolutely doesn't help, from what I can see smile

tiktok Wed 31-Oct-12 08:24:21

If the GP says 'start weaning' you have some questions you can ask (write them down if you think you might forget smile )

* early weaning tends to replace milk with solids that may be less calorie-dense....how would solids at this help my baby gain weight? You can check this by looking at the SACN (govt advisory committee) report www.sacn.gov.uk/pdfs/smcn_03_08.pdf and look at points 10 and 16, which reference poorer iron absorption with early solids, and the way bf infants tend to replace milk with early solids

* I plan to wean closer to 6 mths - what would be the disadavtage of doing so, do you think?

* I hear your advice - what if I just gave very small amounts of purees for the time being? (the rationale for this is that in small quantities these are unlikely to interfere with your bf and unlikely to cause probs in your baby)

belindarose Wed 31-Oct-12 08:29:43

Thank you tiktok. Going forearmed will help.

I know DS is happy and healthy. I just need to get past this stupid weight thing (mentally).

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