Peanut waited beyond the “normal” time to get her teeth. Quite honestly, it worried me a bit. Then BOOM! she gets 5 teeth over the span of one month—believe me, it wasn’t fun. Now, while I’m quite enjoying her toothy grins, I’m amazed at how many people expect me to stop breastfeeding.
For some it was the first response. I showed one friend her newly acquired first tooth and she immediately says “I guess your ‘relationship’ is done?” Of course, being the knowledge spewer I am, I go off into an inappropriately long explanation of how breastfeeding with teeth works.
How does it work you say? According to all of the internets I’ve read on the subject (because I was quite afraid of teeth before they started sprouting) your nursling shouldn’t be able to bite you so long as the latch is correct. It makes sense because so much of the nipple is in their mouth that they can’t really bite down (at least not very hard).
Even my mother-in-law has asked me whether or not we’ve had problems with biting. Yes, there have been instances of her starting to unlatch and accidentally biting in an effort to get the nipple back in her mouth. Yes, there are times when it feels a little weird because I can feel her teeth while she’s eating. Yes, there have been a couple times when I shout in pain and have to set her down for a moment.
From what I hear, it’s just another learning experience. We will eventually get used to these new teethies being involved in our breastfeeding relationship and avoid upsetting situations. I bold the word “we” because they’re new to Peanut too. It’s a learning experience for both of us.
I’m sure that teeth is just the beginning of the “Aren’t you going to stop breastfeeding because of (insert event)?” questions. When Peanut was six months old my mother’s friend asked when we planned on stopping. Six. Months. Old. In a month and a half, we’ll get the “Aren’t you going to stop breastfeeding because she can have cows milk now?” When she’s two I’m sure I’ll get “Aren’t you going to stop breastfeeding because you’ve reached the WHO recommendation?”
So a quick answer to all of you out there reading this—we’ll stop when we’re ready. When that will be, I don’t know. So. Stop. Asking.