March 12, 2010

oh no, she didn't!

yes. yes, she did.

i was flipping channels early in the morning, which i don't normally do, but i came across the CBS show the doctors and was intrigued by the question and answer format of today's episode. i'm not sure if it was a recent episode or a re-run because i've only watched about 15 minutes of the show ever.

one question came from a breastfeeding mother with a ten month old who has recently started biting her. according to her letter, he bites every time she nurses and HARD. she basically asked what she could do about this nuisance.

i was shocked when the only female doctor on the panel, dr. lisa masterson, stated the only option the woman had was to wean her son. dr. masterson explained that if an infant is biting his mother, it's an indication that the child is saying, "i'm done with you, i've had enough" or something to that effect. just wow.

i was then also surprised that a male doctor not only gave much better advice, but the advice i have used myself, successfully with my youngest two nurslings (i didn't nurse my oldest long enough to experience biting). he said that the natural reaction might be for the mother to try and pull their child off the breast as they bite, but if you've ever tried this, yeah, you know how ineffective and painful it can be so he suggessted, instead, that you gently push the baby's head towards your chest, squishing their little nose and they'll unlatch themselves so they can breathe. it's been my favorite technique and neither of my younger bite for long after experiencing that a few times. i read about it in a dr. sears book, either the breastfeeding book or the baby book, i forget which. so it wasn't all too shocking when i discovered that the male doctor that provided this awesome advice on the show, was dr. jim sears, son of the dr. sears.

while i am still somewhat livid after hearing dr. masterson's terrible advice passed off so matter-of-factly, i am very grateful that CBS has dr. sears on the panel and that he can offer a more gentle alternative to some of the things that pass as mainstream, acceptable medical advice.

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