There comes a time when every breastfeeding mother dreads. It's that time when your sweet cuddly baby turns into a drooling, biting monster. Some women fear this moment so much, they stop nursing altogether just to avoid being bitten. And that's a pity.
True, most babies bite when they're teething, or at least attempt to bite, and it can be pretty scary. But with the right attitude, some vigilance and swift crisis management, biting should quickly become a thing of the past.
I can't press enough that you should at all time remain calm! Crying out would either scare your child (which might result in biting down even harder) or make him/her laugh because mommy is making funny noises. Getting angry at your child for biting doesn't help either. Your baby doesn't do this to hurt you! He does it because he's uncomfortable and biting soothes him/her. Of course, this same attitude can be held when the baby already has teeth and still bites.
Observe your child closely when he nurses. Babies can't bite down when they're actively nursing, their tongue being over their bottom teeth prevents them too. Most babies bite at the end of a nursing session out of boredom or because they are feeling tired/uncomfortable. When you notice your child is no longer actively nursing, take them off the breast.
Some babies bite because they are impatient. Waiting for the let down just takes to long for them. Same applies here: be vigilant, take your child off the breast when you notice he pulls his tongue away off his lower teeth. In this case put them back on imediately after (and hope the let down has come).
If you watch your child closely, you will find out when he manifests the biting behavior and you will be able to foresee and prevent it.
For my daughter, the biting lasted about six months. She now has a full set of teeth and never bites any more. She did bite down very hard once (on her birthday! She got spooked because the phone rang), and I had blood in my milk for a day - very scary. But we both survived and we're still nursing away happily at almost 21 months.
With the full set of teeth, sometimes she makes me think of a shark when she latches on. How about you? Did the teething go smoothly without biting? Did those pearly whites scare you off?