Friday, August 5, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week: A Macabre Nursing Story

*This story is in no way meant to detract people from breastfeeding. It's a story I've been longing to tell and since it's World Breastfeeding Week, I thought now was as good as ever.*

Over Christmas last year, I fell terribly ill. We now know it was a severe case of tonsillitis brought on by allergies, but no one could figure it out and I became sicker and sicker.

I had to go to urgent care on Christmas day, running 104 degree fever and talking gibberish. I told the doctor I was dying and when he didn't react to that I got loud, saying,

"why don't you care that I'm dying! I always get well and I'm not well and I've been sick for a long time and my fever won't go away and I need to go to the hospital!"

The doctor was made of stone. He didn't even acknowledge my rant and gave me a steroid shot in the bum and sent me on my merry way.

That being said, we had no idea whether or not my illness was contagious but after having gone through the ear tube saga with Toph, we decided not to risk him getting it. It was decided I would pump my milk out (I was already used to this. My pump became one of my closest girlfriends). Matt would give the baby bottles and I would only nurse once I was fever free for 24 hours.

Well, that fever free day came and I was so happy. I got to nurse Toph for the first time in a few days. We sat down to nurse and I knew my supply would be low but I didn't know how low.

Apparently, Toph was not thrilled because after a few minutes of vigorous sucking, he took matters into his own teeth.

Meaning, he bit me. Hard. I mean, clamped down and wouldn't let go. I was still a little out of it and while I normally wouldn't have done it, I pulled my breast out of his mouth, thus dragging the little tooth across my breast. Oh the pain.

I handed the baby to Matt and decided I needed to pump extra to build my supply back up. I didn't look at my breast and figured a baby with one bottom tooth couldn't possibly draw blood.

I got the pump situated and everything in it's proper place and turned the pump on. I leaned my head back to rest my eyes as I was starting to get tired again. I pumped for about four minutes when Matt passed by.

His eyes got really big as he looked at the pump bottle and he gasped. I was roused from a half doze and looked down.

The right pump bottle was filling with blood.

Toph did indeed draw blood and the pump was now suctioning out the blood. What should have been just a little dab of blood turned into a bloody massacre due to the pump extracting it all out.

In the bottle was a mixture of blood streaked breast milk.

I am not a squeamish person, but this sight made me feel a little light headed (more than I already felt).

I simply turned the pump off and decided I would drink fenugreek tea instead to try and increase my supply. It worked.

*This was the only macabre hiccup in breastfeeding that occurred. And it didn't even hurt that bad. Please still consider breastfeeding your child. Totally worth it, bloody bottle and all.*

Visit the World Breastfeeding Week site here.

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The BabbyMama @ IKHIBF said...


Happened to a friend of mine, too. Not the bite, but the pink milk. According to her pedi, it was fine to feed - since if the little one had nursed it would have been the same pink milk going in.

The Babby pulled a bite on me once, but didn't draw blood. Owwwwwww.

About Mrs. G said...

OUCH! My daughter bit me a few times but never that hard!
Come link this up today at Growing Up Gardner!

Sharde said...

ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch. okay. i'm not a mom- and wont be for a couple years (please hold me to that). i don't want to breastfeed my kids because I have this idea that a.) my good boobies will become terrible boobies and need a boob job, but i won't be able to afford the boob job and brandon wouldn't like fake boobs anyways. and b.) i was breast fed, the only one among three kids, and i'm the sickliest one. my other two sisters have strong immune systems compared to my own. i'm allergic to plastic for crying out loud! bad immune system. c.) i think its going to hurt.

The bonding with your baby and the fact that it supposedly helps you lose the baby weight and everything are attractive. but still. i'm really not so sure about that. my reasons sound selfish probably. i'm just not so sure. i tell myself that i'd consider just pumping so that they can still get the great nutrition from breast milk, but then i think technology nowadays makes formula a lot better than it used to be. THEN i think breastmilk is FREE and formula is EXPENSIVE, but who knows.

not like i'm getting pregnant anytime soon. knock on wood. :)

the style projects

Rach (DonutsMama) said...

Oh my goodness that is awful! I'd be completely freaked out too!

Nebuchudnessar said...


My daughter has bitten me, but not quite that badly.

I agree though, breastfeeding is so worth the occasional "issue" you come up against.

Anonymous said...

I can see why you were wanting to share this, it's pretty dramatic. My boy bit me once and he did draw blood. Thankfully though, I wasn't pumping at the time. He did leave a little bite mark/scab, but nothing major. I couldn't agree with you more, it's tough at times, but breastfeeding is SO TOTALLY worth it. Congrats on nursing this long... actually, congrats to us both! We are rockstars as far as I'm concerned!