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Nanny's Says: Breastfeed Your Baby for at least a year!
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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 didn’t know what to think or how to act.”

White’s 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 he’s 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 mommy’s 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 didn’t 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

Breastfeeding Articles Index Breastfeeding LinksBreastfeeding Products Breastfeeding Books

Nanny’s Place Home Nanny's Notes Breastfeeding Corner For Parents Health and Safety Articles

Last updated Sat, May 13, 2006

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