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Help a Mama Out: Dealing with the Biting Breastfeeder


Oh, that sweet infant gummy smile!  So serene.... so innocent.... so adorable.  But all toothless mouths must come to an end and teething starts another fun developmental stage for your little one.  Teething can also stir up some anxiety in the breastfeeding mama, which we are hoping to aleviate today.

Will my baby bite me?  

Do I have to stop breastfeeding?  

Most moms have felt a clamp down on their nipples from their teething babes once or twice, but it doesn’t mean that your breastfeeding relationship has to come to an end.  No need for those new teeth to be a deal-breaker!

We turned to the wise breastfeeding mamas on Facebook to offer some tips for dealing with a biting breastfeeder.  As always, your advice was amazing.  Here is what you had to say.


Top Tips for a Dealing with a Biting Breastfeeder

Stacy: Remember that your baby isn't malicious and isn't trying to hurt you. If baby bites at the beginning of a nursing session, try giving him/her something cold/hard to chew on beforehand. If it's at the end, pay close attention and break their latch as soon as they finish eating but before they are tempted to play with the new sensation of using their teeth.

Amber: Remember, it’s just a phase!

Michelle: I found that using a nursing necklace was really helpful.  Instead of pulling back on my nipple when he distracted, he would play with the nursing necklace while breastfeeding and focus on feeding.  I found that he mostly bit down when he was distracted.

Liz: Ugh. Cry? I do the "don't bite. That hurts." And set P on the ground for a few minutes. Then nurse again.

Katie Jo: What ultimately worked for me was to pay close attention and learn to recognize when he was finished eating. Then I would have to quickly unlatch him with my finger before he started to play/explore what he could do with his teeth. If I didn't catch that moment quickly enough, he would bite down the instant he sensed I was about to unlatch him, and my nipple turned into a rubber band chew toy for him. Sometimes he would bite my finger instead. I tried pressing him into my breast and telling him ouch in an upset voice, but he just laughed every time.

Julie: I bought my daughter an amber necklace to help relieve some of the teething pain she was feeling.  Less teething pain = less biting while breastfeeding.  I also wore one around my neck as well.



Jen: I tell P, "ouch, that hurts mommy." She stops biting/nursing and looks at me with concern. I let her know it hurts and to be gentle. Sometimes it takes a few reminders, other times she will stop.

Stephanie: If your child will take a cold teether, try offering that before or after a nursing session.

Tamara: Be patient, they may be in pain from teething and doing their best to find relief.

Jennifer: Keep your finger close by their mouth so if they go to bite, you can stick your finger in the side quickly to get them to unlatch!

Erin: I loved the Camilia teething liquid to help with teething pain.  I would use this a couple of times during the day when my baby was really teething badly and I thought it really cut down on the biting while breastfeeding.



Kat: My kids didn't start that nonsense until they were 10 and 8 months old respectively. So every time they bit, I would quickly unlatch them and set them down. I would say "no biting Mama" and ignore them for a minute or 2. My daughter figured it out after a couple of days, and my son took a week. I tried a couple of times to do that thing where you push their nose into your boob to make them open their mouth but it's so counterintuitive! The first instinct is "get it off me!"

Kim: My 9.5 month daughter got her first teeth at 4 months 1 week. She usually bit me when she was done eating or not hungry. I would tell her no biting and take her off my boob. I would make sure when she was done eating to immediately unlatch her or that's when the biting would begin. I could tell when she was about to bite. Now she is biting my shoulder.

Don't miss our article about why babies bite while breastfeeding and a few more tips and tricks to stop it from happening: Breastfeeding a Teething (or Toothy) Baby

Also, check out our Boob Group podcast episodes where we discuss biting babies and toddlers:

Breastfeeding A to Z: Sore Nipples and Biting

Breastfeeding Toddlers: Frequency, Biting, and Staying Motivated


What tips do YOU have for dealing with a biting breastfeeder?



Was it Something I Ate? Food Sensitivities in the Breastfed Baby: Part 3

By Lindsey Hurd, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC and Owner, Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition, LLC


Last month we probed a little deeper into understanding how mom’s gut influences baby, what causes an unhappy digestive system, and what we can do about it.  From leaky gut syndrome to food sensitivities in baby, maternal dietary modifications have become the first line of defense, despite the inevitable difficulties one may face when narrowing the focus of problem foods. A mom’s diet during pregnancy and during lactation is often a hot topic among anyone close enough to ask questions about her experience… even someone in the checkout line at Target! From your Aunt Sally to your Grandpa Joe, everyone seems to have an opinion about what a mom should and shouldn’t eat.

Often times we hear myths such as spicy foods, cruciferous veggies, beans, garlic, etc. cause excessive gas and GI upset in babies therefore moms should always avoid these foods. What about allergy risks? Shouldn’t moms avoid high allergen foods to reduce the risk of their baby suffering from allergies?  Most importantly for our discussion here, once an allergy or sensitivity in baby has been detected, many foods are considered to be a cause for concern and are encouraged to be eliminated all at once. This is often with no direction into the how, why, or to what capacity… so what’s a mama to do with all of this information? As a Registered Dietitian specialized in lactation related food sensitivities, below are tips and tricks I share with each client I see, via skype or in person, on how to make an elimination diet work for you. 


First Things First…

How do we know when our baby is showing signs of an allergy, sensitivity, or is just ‘being a baby’? Throughout the first few years of life, we go through many phases of maturation, growth spurts, improved function of the internal organs, and cognitive development that lead to variability in bodily functions. As our little ones grow, much like a child or teenager, these phases can be fast or slow, contributing to symptoms signifying the ease or difficulty in coping with such change. When infants have variations in their digestive habits, something many parents have held under strict observance, it can lead to a lot of anxiety and concern about the normalcy of what they see. Each infant’s stool pattern and appearance have individual variations of normal, similar to that of older children and adults. This could be a series of blog posts on its own! For the sake of our discussion on allergies and gut health, the top two signs that tell us something isn’t quite right are the presence of blood and/or mucus in their diapers.  

Digestive symptoms such as these often appear around the 2-month age mark when immunity shifts from maternal based to becoming more dependent on baby. At the onset of symptoms, the presence of blood can become slightly tricky. If accompanied by other symptoms of discomfort, it can be associated with an infection, much like a stomach bug for children or adults. However, once screened negative for infection, the continuous presence of blood, dark brown in appearance, begins to direct us toward mom’s diet as a potential causative factor. Mucus often times is paired with green stools and can signify irritation in the baby’s digestive system. If found independent from blood, this sign of irritation can be associated with food sensitivities. If mucus is found in combination with blood-tinged stools, it can be an additional indicator of an allergy present in baby. As with all abnormal symptoms, it is best to check in with your baby’s doctor to rule out other causative factors, especially those medical in nature. 




To eat or not to eat…. That is the question. 

Corn, tomatoes, cow’s milk, OH MY! Often times the prescription for an elimination diet comes with lack of clarity in what to avoid, how to avoid it, and what to eat instead. Moms are so responsive to their baby’s needs that most are quick to do whatever they can to help their baby find a little relief. This, however, can come at the expense of their own sanity and nutritional status. Determining which foods to eliminate requires in depth knowledge in the mother’s specific dietary habits, baby’s specific symptoms, and an understanding in how the two intersect. Most often, moms come to my practice having already eliminated a handful of foods, randomly selected from a list of ‘top allergens’ or a friend’s personal experience with no regard to their intake. Unfortunately, often times this elimination is only partially complete as ‘hidden’ foods are consumed with no knowledge of the allergen’s presence. Listed below are the top 4 steps toward completing an appropriate elimination diet and getting you and your baby on your way to tip top shape! 


1. Recruit your support team. Find evidence based blogs, peer-to-peer support, a personal chef, cooking classes, and most importantly a registered dietitian experienced in lactation related food sensitivities to help you as you progress throughout this process. Having your toolbox full of resources will definitely be the best investment of time and energy in getting you back in control of your diet. Organizing your course and plan of attack, prior to removing potential allergenic foods, will help with efficiency and the level of control during this unpredictable process! 

2. Create a food log & symptoms log. Personalization and preservation are the two top goals for me as a professional working with moms on elimination diets. For 3-4 days, I recommend keeping a log of every food and beverage you consume, the time of consumption, and the time and type (breast or bottle) of feeding for your little one. Additionally, it is best to log the time and type of symptoms you see. Although this can be a huge undertaking, it is the gold standard in narrowing down potential causative factors in mom’s diet. 

3. Take it one food at the time. Finding purpose in each action we take can release our reactionary response of jumping in with both feet. When offering little thought into the aftermath of this technique, we find that as the allergy symptoms begin to fade, we are left with confusion and uncertainty of the true offender! This can make the road toward reintroduction very tricky and sometimes unsuccessful. To preserve your sanity and protect your preferred food selection, it is best to choose one food to eliminate at a time. It is frequently stated that 2-3 weeks are required to see a complete recovery from an eliminated food. While this statement is valid in some cases, for many, improvement appears within 24-48 hours after food elimination begins. Visualizing this change on a short-term basis allows for continued elimination until baby is well and the preservation of mom’s diet is honored… especially when meal preparation and planning are difficult enough! 

4. Reintroduce when the time is right. Unless otherwise directed by your pediatrician, do not fear the process of reintroduction! Permanently eliminating the food from your diet does not allow your baby the opportunity to build up adequate immunity toward this food prior to consuming it directly via solid foods. Before considering this step, allow time for your baby’s body to heal and demonstrate its ability to be symptom free for 2-3 weeks. This is most important prior to initiating this final step. Once successful, begin with the least offensive food and reintroduce in small amounts, eating a portion once per day, or once every other day. Give this step 3-5 days and if all is well, continue down the list until your diet is back to normal. It is important to keep great inventory of your intake and your baby’s symptoms via your food log to keep a good hold on what’s going on just in case symptoms resume. If your baby begins to show signs of intolerance, back off slightly until he/she is symptom free again, holding steady at the highest stage possible. Give your baby’s immune system a couple days to settle into this allergen load. Once ready, begin again, slowly introducing as tolerated. 



The key to success during an elimination diet is personalization, education, patience, and breastmilk! Despite having a potential allergen or sensitivity within mom’s milk, the immune boosting cells, digestive enzymes, and anti-inflammatory properties, to name a few, far surpass the effects of the sensitivity... especially when considering the potential harm from alternate sources of infant nutrition. For most, the benefit of breastmilk is crucial in the continued development of baby’s immune system and in prevention of further concern down the road. Although this process varies for each mom/baby dyad, the steps toward successful elimination hold true for each case. 


Want to find out more? Visit to schedule a Skype consult with Lindsey and begin your journey toward better health and a happier baby today! Want to stay connected between posts? Find Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition on Facebook at for current articles, events, fun discussions and more!


The Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway 2014

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!  

The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2014 is all about increasing awareness and sustaining the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.  We couldn't think of any better way to celebrate a whole week dedicated to the awesomeness of breastfeeding than to have another ULTIMATE World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway!  

World Breastfeeding Week is a time to celebrate breastfeeding mothers around the world, as well as recognize the barriers that these same mothers face as they strive to meet their personal breastfeeding goals.  Breastfeeding, as all things having to do with parenting a child, requires a supportive network that guides, provides helpful advice, and elevates a mother's self-esteem.  Mother to mother support, in addition to community support and education, are crucial to a mother's personal breastfeeding success.

To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2014, over 15 breastfeeding-supportive companies have donated items for an enormous Breastfeeding Mom Prize Package, valued at over $1000!  First, we'd like to introduce you to the co-hosts of the Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week giveaway.  Then, we'll share all of the goodies that have been so graciously donated.


Meet your hosts:

San Diego Breastfeeding Center:  A judgment-free online and in-person resource for qualified breastfeeding information and personalized assistance for mothers facing breastfeeding challenges.  Founded by Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC in 2009, SDBFC offers private breastfeeding consultations, classes, free support groups, and an extensive blog. In March 2013, SDBFC launched the San Diego Nursing in Public Task Force to educate the San Diego community about the laws that protect a mother’s right to breastfeed in public and to provide support and guidance to mothers who have faced harassment for breastfeeding in public. 

New Mommy Media: New Mommy Media is a network of dynamic audio podcasts for new and expecting parents. Through our shows and interactive online content, we give tips and advice for new parents, educating and entertaining moms and dads as they transition into parenthood. The company currently produces four shows: Preggie PalsParent SaversTwin Talks and The Boob Group. The Boob Group is hosted by Robin Kaplan, M.Ed, IBCLC, and features a breastfeeding expert and a panel of breastfeeding mothers, openly discussing breastfeeding successes, struggles, and everything in between.  The show helps guide mothers by providing an honest, natural, and relaxed approach to breastfeeding.  


How to Enter the Ultimate World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway:

You may enter the giveaway from August 1, 2014 - August 7, 2014.  On August 8, 2014, we will announce 1 lucky winner of the Breastfeeding Mom Prize Package.  Winners must live in the United States or Canada.


Check out the Prizes!



One Pumpin' Pal Pumpin' Comfort Kit: Includes one pair of all three sizes of Super Shields, The Original Hands-Free Strap, and the Air-Dry parts bag.

One Cotton Candy Maternity/Nursing bra from Cake Lingerie: Cake Lingerie designs and manufactures luxurious Maternity/Nursing Lingerie, to make women look and feel beautiful during this extraordinary period in our lives. 

One trio of salves from Motherlove Herbal Company: Enjoy a set of Green Salve (for itches and rashes), Diaper Rash & Thrush Salve, and Nipple Cream.  

One Milkies Milk-Saver - slips into your bra or tank top to collect any leaking milk on your non-nursing side so you can easily store every last drop of that liquid gold! One Milkies Freeze is a convenient first-in, first-out milk storage system. Both donated by Fairhaven Health.

One nursing tank and hands-free pumping accessory kit from Glamourmom.

One Arden bra by The Dairy Fairy: The only nursing bra that multitasks as much as you do - nurse, hands free pump, and adjust the fit, all while looking and feeling beautiful.

One Pump&Nurse Tank and New Relaxed Fit Crossover Bra from Rumina Nursingwear.

Two ultra absorbent pocket diapers from Thirsties.  Thirsties new One-Size Pocket Diaper is ultra-absorbent, a cinch to use, and designed to provide a great fit for most babies from 8 to 40 lbs.

One carrier and accessories from Beco Baby Carrier: One Soleil Baby Carrier (Micah), one Soleil Accessory Pack (Micah), and a Mini (Micah) to match. 

One Hygeia EnJoye pump: The EnJoye™ with Deluxe Tote Set is a hospital-grade performance, personal-use, double electric breast pump that features independent speed and strength controls to allow the mother to pump at her own comfort settings and a bacteriostatic filter that protects from contaminants. 

One Eepples MilkCharm - a cute, simple dial that helps you easily label, track, and organize your breast milk supply.

One bulk bag of Our Lady of La Leche nursing blend tea by Birds & Bees.  Our blend for nursing mamas who see a drop in milk supply due to common occurrences such as illness, returning to work or school, surgery and other common events that can impact lactation.

One Lillebaby COMPLETE Original Designer Carrier (Charcoal with Finch). It’s called complete for a reason. The award-winning lillebaby® COMPLETE™ baby carrier offers more carrying positions, lasts longer, and includes more features than any other baby carrier.  

One JunoBlu Ventana Breast Pump Satchel in Mushroom.  The sleek and intentional styling of the Ventana Satchel is ideal for the mom who prefers a beautiful yet minimal translation of the breast pump bag.

One combo pack from Bamboobies: Bamboobies nursing pads are made of bamboo, organic cotton and hemp which make these reusable breast pads incredibly absorbent and unbelievably soft.

One NuzzleHUG and NuzzleNIP: The NuzzleHUG by Nuzzle soothes a nursing mother's lactation discomfort with warm and cool breast, neck and body therapy. A NuzzleNIP is a warming or cooling nipple soother accessory designed to attach to the center of a NuzzlePOD (an insert within the NuzzleHUG system) to relieve discomfort from tenderness and pain associated from nipple vasospasm.

One Breastfeeding Support Box from 16-Minute Club: The 16 Minute Club is the one-and-only home-delivery lactation support program focused on helping new nursing mothers meet their breastfeeding goals.


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Breastfeeding on YouTube

YouTube videos are the wave of the future, or so I'm told by my favorite social media gurus (yes, that's you, Amber McCann and Jeanette McCulloch!)  Apparently it is where many of the new mamas are looking for information about breastfeeding.  Who knew?  So, what does this mean for the San Diego Breastfeeding Center???

Well, let us tell you!  

Ashley and I have partnered up with Sunny Gault, from New Mommy Media, to create some fresh, informative, simple instructional breastfeeding videos.  Want to know how to do the side lying position so you can breastfeed in bed?  Want to know how to hand express?  Those are just a few of the 2-3 minutes tutorial videos we are recording and editing right now!  

Our adorable YouTube stars

Here's how you can help!

As we begin to create our brand new YouTube channel, we want to hear all of your ideas about breastfeeding topics you think we should create a video for.  Nipple shields, paced bottle-feeding, breastfeeding in a carrier... you name it and we will create it (within reason, of course!)  It's time to crowd source.  We need our village of creative mamas right now.  

If you have an idea for a YouTube breastfeeding tutorial video, please share in the comments.  We will add it to our ever growing list of video topics.

And, stay tuned for the launch of our brand new YouTube channel, DYI Breastfeeding!




Nursing in Public Incident at Sleep Train Amphitheatre

A few weeks ago, Megan Christopherson was harassed for nursing her baby in public at a Brad Paisley concert in a suburb of San Diego, CA.  Megan contacted us and asked if we could share her story, as well as the details for a nurse-in that she is organizing on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 3pm at the Elite Services USA Security Company.  


Here is Megan Christopherson's story, in her own words. 


On Thursday, July 10th 2014, I attended a concert with my two daughters at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, CA. Ellie is 8 years old and Gracie is 4 months old. We were having a great time, dancing, singing, and enjoying our stress free time. At approximately 8pm (2 hours after arriving inside the venue) I was approached by a female security guard from Elite Services USA Security Company. This security guard said to me, “Ma’am if you’re going to do that, then do that somewhere else or stop doing that here.” At this time I was nursing my 4 month old, while she was in her carrier. Because I was nursing her, I assumed the security guard was referring to me nursing. I asked her if that was so and she said yes. I stated that California state law protects breastfeeding women and that I had every right to continue to nurse my baby. She stated that there were people complaining. I continued to state what the law was and I told her I would stop breastfeeding when my baby was finished. She walked away.  


I had two options at this time - get completely upset at what just happened, and possibly affect my older daughter’s experience, or shake it off and continue to have fun. I made a post on Facebook about what just happened and then I continued to have fun with my daughter. I thought the incident was over and I would not be bothered again. About an hour later I noticed another security guard taking a picture of me with a cell phone. I had already finished nursing my baby and she was asleep. After that picture was taken, the night took a turn for the worse. 


At this time, the San Diego Nursing in Public Task Force is sending a letter to the Elite Security office, the employer of the security guards, kindly requesting that they create a breastfeeding-supportive policy statement for their staff members.  We will also be offering language that they can share with their staff members on how to kindly respond to a person who is uncomfortable seeing a mother nursing in public at a concert, without infringing upon the mother's right to breastfeed in public.
Here are the details for the Nurse-In Megan is organizing:
Address: 2878 Camino Del Rio S. Suite 260, San Diego, CA 92108
When: Thursday, July 24, 2014
Time: 3pm




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