Q: My 7 month old is pinching me when I breastfeed her. It gets painful at times.  How do I get her to stop?

A: Older babies may get "playful" while they are at the breast since it can be pretty boring to recline in one position, looking at mom's breast for 30 minutes, when there are more interesting things to explore. This "playful" activity may not be so pleasant for mom, though.

While latched on, some babies will turn their heads to look around, tug on Mom's hair, or pinch. The solution: If she pinches or hurts you during breastfeeding, calmly say "No" to the pinching and remove her from your breast. It may take a few times, but she will eventually understand.  Avoid screaming or yelling, since this response can make babies try the behavior again to see how you will respond. Just remember: If she is really hungry, she will get down to business and eat. If she is more interested in playing and pinching, end mealtime.

Answered by Dr. Ari Brown



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