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this is why I'm constantly looking down my shirt and wincing

Harvey has some sharp teeth these days. In the past two weeks he's delivered some mighty bites to the nips that feed him. He's mostly over his biting-for-fun phase that I complained about a few months ago, but now the problem isn't the pain of the bite but the lasting damage it inflicts. It's a whole new animal when there are top and bottom teeth that come together in staple-remover fashion.

Now when he bites me, which I'll admit isn't often, there appears a neat puncture wound in my nipple; a tiny crater for a tiny little space man. On any other part of my body this wouldn't be a big deal. On your arm a pin-sized prick will go away after a few days, and you won't notice it. But on a nipple that's consistently submerged in baby saliva, the wound lingers. It pusses and scabs, only to have the scab ripped off three hours later. Then it pusses again.

Festering is a word that comes to mind.

I've had some challenges with breast feeding over the past nine months, what with persistent clogs and two bouts of mastitis. But these tiny festering pin-prick sized craters, these are the worst. It's absolutely amazing how much they hurt. Constantly. Sitting here typing I'm aware of the pain neurons firing. And you can't even imagine how it feels to nurse him. I draw in my breath. I grit my teeth. I clench and unclench my fists. Sometimes I pray and curse alternatively. "Oh-God-Oh-God-Oh-God, STOP making this hurt so GODDAMN FUCKING MUCH!"

I share these unsavory images not to gross you out (although, mission accomplished!) but rather to get encouragement around my unshakable conviction to nurse Harvey until he's 12 months old. There's the pain. There's the pain-in-the-ass of pumping. But on the other side there's the anxiety-industrial-complex, pushing all sorts of normal foods farther and farther out of the reach of my 9-month old. Hold off on cows milk, and cheese, and eggs, and peanut butter. If I stop milking then what will he eat? The boy can't live on rice-cakes alone!

No matter how much he loves them...


You can do it Leah!!! You can reach your goal of a year, and then maybe even more. Hey, look at me, over three years since Tristan was born and I'm still nursing 3-4x a day. I'm on the end of "will it ever stop?" vs. "will I ever make it?". I hope you can get to that day too.

What have you tried to get him to stop biting? With my first it was an accident. I screamed so loud and jumped that I scared him half to death and he never bit again. That is not a recommmended action though since most babies love to see if they can make mommy scream and jumping with your nipple caught in someone elses teeth is never a good idea. With Tristan it was a little harder, but when he would bite I would just end the nursing session and sit him down on the floor and tell him "no biting". This was the end of the world to him and he would scream and cry to nurse so he quickly learned not to bite the nipple that feeds him.

Good luck with the nipple healing. Do you have any lanolin?

Wow T, you're super hard-core!

When Harvey bites on purpose I pull the boob away and tell him nursing is over. But these past few weeks it doesn't seem like he's biting on purpose. He'll catch my skin when he's pulling away, or he'll change his mouth position when he's falling asleep and it's just enough to bore a tiny hole that gets infected.

I haven't used lanolin much because I thought was afraid of an interaction with the oozing pussy sores. You're more scientist than me... do you think it would help?

You can do it (but definitely get this under control)!! I've noticed that mine will scratch a bit when he's getting new teeth (we're at almost 13 months now), it's not so much biting, he's not trying to do it and it's not very hard. I second the lanolin, it has been very effective and very soothing. Another thing you can do, and this is a bit strange, but if you can, go topless at home an let the injured breast get some air. Ok, that's awkward, but it also helps. If it continues, you could call LLL, they should have some good advice and be happy to help. Or give your midwife a call.


People use the lanolin on cracked, bleeding nipples so I don't see why you couldn't use it on bitten pussy nipples. You can always google it and see what you find out.

Okay, I'm going to try lanolin and sleeping topless. I'll let you know how it turns out.

I think Dan should be thanking Aurora for convincing Leah to sleep topless with greasy nipples. ;)

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