I really want to nurse my son longer, but if I don't get help soon we may end up weaning. Around 10 months old my son's latch started getting bad, but not too bad. At some point though it got worse, much worse. Now he leaves deep teeth marks (from his top teeth) every time he nurses. Sometimes it so bad he makes me bleed. Right now we are dealing with it by only nursing a few times a day (mostly before bed and first thing in the morning). His side laying latch is slightly better than other positions.
We have tried, lots of differant positons, showing him how to open his mouth, relatching over and over and over, tilting his head back, going "back to basics", & getting rid of sippy cups (but it was only short lived).
If I can't get it better soon I may just pump so that he can at least have breast milk in a cup for a while longer. My biggest concern is anti-bodies. He seems prone to colds and minor illnessess and I can only see it getting much worse once he is weaned!
Is his latch bad sometimes or always? If it's every time, I wonder if a chiropractic or cranial sacral treatment could help? Maybe there is a misalignment that is contributing to the poor latch.
I hope you get better suggestions, but I wanted to at least offer some support!
What positions are you using to nurse? A toddler can nurse in lots of different positions and it might help to pay attention to which positions are worst. Toddlers often want to sit up or do acrobatics while nursing, which can make the pressure of top teeth worse, so trying positions that keep your DS more horizontal might help. I also, as PP mentioned, wonder about trying cranial-sacral treatment or chiropractic, as this is not typically an issue once they get teeth. I also wonder if your DS is clamping down while nursing and perhaps always has, in which case there may be an oral anatomy issue contributing (posterior tongue tie or labial tie) and this is how he's learned to maintain suction.
Teeth marks in and of themselves aren't a particular concern, it's the trauma and pain. Have your menstrual cycles returned? Hormones can make you more sensitive, so you might track if the pain is worse at certain times of the month. Not a solution, but it can help to know that it will get better in a few days. Rinsing your breast and applying a barrier cream (lanolin - no need to remove before feeding; triple antibiotic ointment if broken skin, but rinse before feeding) to the affected area might help as well. Toddler's saliva can be irritating if your skin is very sensitive, especially if he has food particles in his mouth, and that may make you more prone to trauma from his teeth. I've heard of moms applying dental wax like is used on braces to prevent trauma when a toddler has a chipped tooth; maybe give that a try when you have actual trauma to allow healing. Actually, makes me wonder, could your DS have damaged his front teeth at some point and perhaps that's why you're getting injured? A dentist can file down sharp points if he chipped his teeth.
DD and DS are 11 & DD is 4 Our car is a bike!
Sharing our with 3, 2 & 4
Wow, thank you for all the suggestions. Most of the time he nurses very horizontal since he mostly nurses to sleep. Hes too busy running around to nurse most of the day!
As far as I know his teeth are fine, but I'm planning on taking the whole family to the dentist so I'll have him take a look. His latch is better on my right side, then my left side... he leaves deep cuts IN my nipple on my left. Its HORRIBLE.
I find that with my little guy (18 months old and at times has a very bad latch) I need to pull him in really close. That means he has to open wide and latch well. If I keep a hand between his shoulder blades it really helps.