Breastfeeding Bites!

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You thought you had the hang of nursing, you’ve been comfortably nursing for 9 months, then WhaM!  Baby bites!

You’re not alone.  Not all babies bite, but all of mine have.  Some were more persistent biters.  But I got all 3 to stop, and I was able to continue nursing to around 18 months for each.

With my first it was a big surprise.  With my second… it was a big surprise.  And with the third, guess what?  It was still a big surprise.

Once your baby has bitten, it feels like every time the baby wants some milk, you’re about to stick your nipple into an alligator’s mouth… or a bear trap… or a stapler… you pick the metaphor.

If this is happening, first you should congratulate yourself, very few babies are exclusively breastfed until they get their first teeth!  Between 35-40% of babies are still breastfed at 6 months according to the CDC.

The two most effective strategies I have used are startling and negative reinforcement.

The first strategy does not take a genius to figure out, as soon as the baby bites, scream!  Let it all out mama!  The baby will let go, and probably cry.  Comfort your baby, because they’re scared, but you’ve got they’re attention.

Some babies are more persistent biters, my third baby went through a longer biting phase and what worked with the other two, a couple big screams, didn’t phase her.  If anything, she thought it was funny.  After speaking with my network of longer term nursing mothers, I decided to discontinue any nursing session where biting occured.  When she bit, I would say “No” firmly, remove her and her teeth, and put her down on the ground, or to bed if it was bedtime.  I would then get up and walk away.  I would not let her nurse again for a couple of hours.  For the more persistent biter, I have found they are the babies that frequently nurse for comfort and are not necessarily for hungry.  If they are biting, they are most likely not hungry, but looking for comfort, which can be given with a hug, kisses, tickles or reading a book together.

This is a really tough stage, that can result in blood and tears.  Don’t despair.  If one nipple is damaged, apply breastmilk and allow your nipple to air dry.  Optionally, you could pump 2-3 x a day for 1 to 2 days to allow for more healing.

This too shall pass.  Your baby will learn in a day or two that biting is not tolerated, and you’ll be back to your happy nursing.

Feel free to email me if you have any more specific questions about biting or nursing at DrKatherine@MommyCoach.ca.

Day 3 of 100, no processed foods

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Day 3 went spectacularly well.  My normally picky kid, ate all his lunch, and his sister’s… and a few extra handfuls of greens that I had put out for a side salad for myself…

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was I hallucinating??

20150107_091035 …It’s possible … this little bundle of cuteness woke me up every hour last night… but with those cheeks… she’s forgiven!

Some highlights of what we ate: re-heated baked oatmeal, with steel cut oats and raisins, with a side of fantastic local strawberries.  Lunch was pitas with hummus, shredded greens sprinkled on top.  Dinner was a quick veggie stir fry with shrimp and brown rice.

Are we feeling any different yet?  Yes, I think so.  The kids helped clean all the bathrooms without any big meltdowns… and they seemed quite mellow this morning.  Could replacing their sugar-coated convenience cereal with more natural foods be the reason??  We have  97 more days to find out.

Yuummm! Day 2, no sugar or processed food

Caleb is proof that healthy food can be DEE-Licious!

20150106_142212 (anyone notice how the Christmas decorations start halfway up the tree?)

A quick sample of the amazing delicious food we ate today: Oatmeal with a maple syrup smiley face and loads of blueberries, banana bread with blueberries,

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and the big TA-Dah!!! Mac and cheese (used whole wheat flour and pasta, and doubled the recipe; and froze half) with bacon sprinkled over the top.

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So we all seem to be adjusting to all the treats going in the trash… although I can’t promise I wouldn’t eat a piece of Keg steakhouse cheesecake… even if it fell in the dog food bowl.  I am sure it will get easier in a few days… right?

Day 1 of 100 days with no sugar or processed foods

Our first day of no sugar or processed food is coming to a close, and it went well!  I really think we’re going to be able to make it 100 days.

What we ate today:

Breakfast was these whole wheat pancakes  reheated from yesterday (with a slight variation, honey instead of sugar).  They were served with warmed frozen organic raspberries and strawberries and chunks of pear.  These are always a huge hit, so we made a triple batch yesterday, and they kids fought over the last one.

Lunch was whole wheat bread with hummus with a side of rainbow carrots and green peppers.  This was a flop, and the kids ate only a few bites… but I’ll chalk that up to having soooo many pancakes for breakfast.

For dinner, I made chicken, bacon, bean, cheese and veggie quesadillas.  I threw these together with things I had around the kitchen.  On the side, I served some avocado.  The kids had a few bites, but weren’t wild about them.

The snacks they got today were popcorn with salt and plain yogurt with leftover raspberry and strawberry sauce from breakfast with a touch of honey.

So far, I have found planning and prepping in advance are making the biggest difference to feeding the crew.

The prep I did: Yesterday, when I had a few minutes, I threw a pack of organic bacon into the oven at 350 (all spread out) for about 20 minutes.  I used some bacon for quesadillas, I’ll use a little tomorrow for macaroni and cheese, and the rest is frozen to use as a topping for pizza this weekend.  First thing this morning, I threw 3 chicken breasts in the slow cooker with a little salt and pepper, and shredded it around 4pm.  Half of that went into quesadillas, half will be a pizza topping, along with some veggies I chopped.

The planning: during the month of december, between all the craziness of the holidays, I put together a 7 day meal rotation that suits my time constraints (three itty bitty kids), our preferences, budget and fits the rules of the 100 day challenge.  The meal plan is posted in my kitchen, and although I love to cook on the fly… these days, if I don’t prep and plan… we don’t have dinner!  So I’m hoping the convenience of sticking to the meal rotation will overcome my desire to be spontaneous.

deep thoughts from a lazy saturday

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The boys had a morning out, so us girls decided we should have a pajama morning.  This mainly consisted of me trying to keep Elise from poking Belle in the eyes. The incredible quiet gave me a few minutes to reflect on the past 5 years.

Five years ago, almost to the day, I thought I was going to die.  Brian and I went to see my doctor to get the medical ok to have children.  This appointment did not go at all as planned.  My heart was not functioning properly.  I needed to have very extensive surgery, stop working, and get my affairs in order.  …not exactly the fun day imagining our future children we had in mind.

The year that followed was the hardest year of my life.  But, I got better and that hard time, laser-focused my priorities.  I wanted to get healthy so I could serve my family better.

October is lung health month, so I encourage you moms (and dads) to make your health a priority too.  Is there anything you can do around your home this month to increase your family’s lung health?  Are you still burning candles indoors, using incense, or plug in “scents”?  Give it up for a month.  Could you vacuum a little more, or add a HEPA filter to your vacuum?  For those with asbestos in the home, read this for what you should and shouldn’t do.  Asbestos can cause a type of cancer called mesothelioma, if not handled properly.  If you are smoking, make this the month to quit!  Did you know that If you were to stretch out the breathing surface of your lungs, it would be the size of a tennis court.  That is a heck of an area to expose to the yuckies in the air.  Also, women and children take more breaths per hour than men do.  That’s even more reason we moms need to make sure our air is clean.

This week, the kids and I are going to go for a walk in the forest and talk about how the trees clean our air.  We will also blow up balloons to learn about how lungs work.  We’ll then use the balloons for indoor “volley-soccer”…because that’s what you do when your oldest is 3 years old.