Is that ok?
by Shel Franco
Margie White, of Oakland, CA, never worried if her baby
got enough breastmilk, and she never worried about
nursing in public. In fact, she felt very confident about
breastfeeding. Then came nipple twiddling.
When Jacob was thirteen months, White says, he discovered the other breast. Maybe he always knew it was there, but now he wanted to hold it and squeeze it while he was nursing. I didnt know what to think or how to act.
Whites experience is not unique. Many nursing moms have dealt with wandering hands. Short of making mom feel uncomfortable, these little pats and twists are not cause for concern.
Still, the habit can become annoying and even painful. My son would dig his finger nails into my nipple, says Julie Beck, of Columbus, Ohio. I actually bled.
To stop the torment, Beck turned to nursing beads. She discovered that these highly colored and textured beads strung with heavy duty fishing line were the perfect distraction.
Other moms have found relief in the palms of their hands. Wendy Glenn, of Tucson, Ariz., covers the non-nursing breast with her free hand. Jordan fussed a bit at first, but now hes fine to play with his hair.
Some children are more persistent than others. They know that the other breast is available, even if it is covered. For the tenacious child a stuffed animal, soft blanket, or mommys fingers can keep little ones busy.
At first, I worried that I had this abnormal child, says Rory Carpenter, of Boston, Mass. Then my sister told me her kids all did it, and my best friend agreed. It didnt seem so bad once I knew other moms went through it, too.
Shel Franco is a freelance writer and the editor of The Nursing Mom's News.
She is the proud mom of two very big and very healthy breastfed boys.
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More Breastfeeding Articles from Nanny's Place
Breastfeeding and Feminism Resources
Is That OK? (Nipple Twiddling during breastfeeding)
Eating Out (Breastfeeding in public)
Review: Breastfeeding: A Mother's Gift
Russian Study Shows that Early Mother-Child Contact Lessens Risk of Infant Abandonment
Last updated Sat, May 13, 2006
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