Breastfeeding and Teething: What You Should Know

Posted on: March 27th, 2017 by JayHawkPharmacyBlogger

Breastfeeding can be a wonderful time of bonding between you and your baby, but if you have trouble with latching, it can quickly turn painful and frustrating. This can be amplified once your baby starts to teethe. Some children see their first tooth as young as three months old, and given that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies for at least a year, it’s very likely that you will experience teeth on your nipple at some point.

Jayhawk Pharmacy is here to help. We would like to offer these tips to breastfeeding after teething has started:

Treat their gums beforehand.

Prior to nursing, give your child something cold they can chew on. This can include a cold teething ring or even a washcloth that’s been run under cold water. Your baby will be in some pain from the teeth coming in, so the cold will soothe them. You can also try gently massaging your child’s gums. Another alternative is using an over-the-counter gum numbing ointment, although we suggest consulting with your pediatrician first.

Be vigilant with the latch.

As we noted before, not having a proper latch can be painful for you, and can become even more so after baby starts teething. Make sure your baby opens their mouth wide before you attempt a latch, as their teeth can easily scrape up against your areola. You also want to ensure that their tongue is moved out of the way, as it’s easy for them to accidentally bite it. Different nursing positions can also help if your baby has trouble latching on.

 Treat your nipple afterwards.

Even if you do have a good latch, a teething baby can still leave sore nipples. The teething process usually causes them to make more saliva, which can cause skin irritation. Rinse your nipples off with cold water after you are done nursing, and apply lanolin.


If you are still experiencing trouble, talk to a lactation consultant or contact your local La Leche League. For some mothers, directly breastfeeding their child can be so stressful that they opt to use a breast pump instead. We’re here for you if that’s the case. Our online catalog and store shelves both contain a large selection of name-brand breast pumps and other maternity products.

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