Nursing grosses me out - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-30-2007, 05:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't understand what has happened. I have always loved nursing my DS.

But in the last few months, it has just started to totally creep me out.

I don't mean the "Ew, his teeth are scraping against me and it drives me nuts" kind of thing, I have dealt with that before and did OK.

This is just a really gross feeling. It has something to do with DS getting older (and maybe turning 3 in December? I don't know for sure). It just feels wrong to be nursing him and it just COMPLETELY grosses me out (I feel so horrible admitting that).

I am finding myself weaning him (making nursing less available) and I don't want to do that! : I wanted to nurse him so much longer.

It's not like he even wants to nurse that often... just when he's sleepy or REALLY upset.

I don't want to wean DS. I want to nurse him as long as he needs it, especially during this time (going through divorce and me going back to work).

Any advice for me? I am feeling really down in the dumps right now about my parenting. I used to be a nice, patient, loving mama and now I'm some horrible woman who's always mean to her DS and is actually limiting nursing. : I don't like the mama I am now.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:09 PM
 
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you still are a nice, loving, patient, caring mother. you're going through a lot of upheaval right now. maybe nursing is getting gross because you've got a lot on your plate and it's not so much that it's gross but the demand is getting demanding (does that make sense). is your ds needing to nurse more because his life is in upheaval too?
nursing is still important. make sure you are getting plenty of fluids and rest (easier said than done on the last one). that'll make you feel better and nursing won't seem so gross. remind yourself that he's reconnecting with you too in the way he knows is best for him.
it's not going to be like this all the time. you still need time to adjust to your new situation, mentally and emotionally. it's just harder when you have to go through it with little ones whether they are nursing or not.
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:13 PM
 
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Is there a chance that his continued nursing will become an issue in the divorce? Are you possibly deep down nervous that it will be even if you intellectually think it won't? I would think that fears about that could be contributing to your wanting to wean him (for his and your protection) and your psyche has decided that this is the way to do it.

Just an idea. s mama

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Old 01-30-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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Don't feel bad about this. I tend to think it's a natural feeling, honestly. I know this is the CLW forum, but one of the wisest posts I ever read about BFing was from someone who pointed out that many other mammals do not CLW. The mother weans the babies, pushes them away, walks away herself.

So....the feelings you have might be completely natural and make evolutionary sense - some hormonal thing going on to "help" you wean your son.

I went through the same thing with my older DD after she turned 3 or so. I thought it was because I had a new baby to nurse and DD1 just seemed so huge compared to a newborn...it was awkward nursing her and I really felt like I didn't want to.

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Old 01-30-2007, 06:51 PM
 
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Nursing got uncomfortable for me as DD's latch changed. She doesn't latch properly anymore and trying to fix it doesn't work. It is like she "forgot" how to latch. I have zero milk and am pregnant to boot so nursing is driving me so buggy I just want to pull my hair out. I am hoping I get some colostrum soon or something changes because as it is I can only tollerate it for about 5 minutes.

If you come up with something that works please please share!
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Pattyla View Post
Is there a chance that his continued nursing will become an issue in the divorce? Are you possibly deep down nervous that it will be even if you intellectually think it won't? I would think that fears about that could be contributing to your wanting to wean him (for his and your protection) and your psyche has decided that this is the way to do it.

Just an idea. s mama
Well, yes, it is possible. My ex made several disparaging comments about it (and how he would be nursing until 18, only he said it in a rather base way) before we separated. It could have something to do with it, that's a good point.

I just... don't know how to fix it, ya know? I think he really needs that right now.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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Kay, I'm sorry you're feeling so bad about this. I can relate. When my oldest two got around three, I started to get creeped out, too. I think my had to do with past sexual abuse issues. I actually ended up weaning because they were getting to the point where they would remember nursing, and I absolutely did not want them to remember nursing in a negative way. It had been such a positive experience for three years, I didn't want them to grow up being saddened by the memory of it. I managed to nurse both of them until 3 1/2, and I gently weaned them using mama-led and child-led cues. I know they both would have kept nursing for at least a little while longer, but it was gentle, and I don't think they were harmed for it emotionally - but, I couldn't have kept nursing them. I was beginning to feel violated when they nursed.: I was incredibly thrilled when my youngest weaned all on her own at 2 1/2. Please don't beat yourself up for your feelings. You're a good mama who is trying to do the best for her child.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kay, I'm sorry you're feeling so bad about this. I can relate. When my oldest two got around three, I started to get creeped out, too. I think my had to do with past sexual abuse issues. I actually ended up weaning because they were getting to the point where they would remember nursing, and I absolutely did not want them to remember nursing in a negative way. It had been such a positive experience for three years, I didn't want them to grow up being saddened by the memory of it. I managed to nurse both of them until 3 1/2, and I gently weaned them using mama-led and child-led cues. I know they both would have kept nursing for at least a little while longer, but it was gentle, and I don't think they were harmed for it emotionally - but, I couldn't have kept nursing them. I was beginning to feel violated when they nursed.: I was incredibly thrilled when my youngest weaned all on her own at 2 1/2. Please don't beat yourself up for your feelings. You're a good mama who is trying to do the best for her child.
Mama, that is exactly how I feel! I'm so glad to read your post because that sounds like exactly my own situation. I wasn't sexually abused but apparently I have some issues around that and that is how nursing makes me feel... violated.

This feeling has not gotten any better, in fact it keeps getting worse. Over the last few days, I have actually told my DS he could not nurse a couple of times. I feel just horrible about it... I would never have told him no before. I just don't know what to do. Or, if there is anything I *can* do. I feel like such a FAILURE. :
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Old 02-02-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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You're not a failure. You've nursed for three years! That is so fantastic. You have a lot of options open to you - give yourself a few days to think them all over. I know, for me, it helped to have a plan - it made it better for me. Good luck hon. You'll find something that works for you.
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:41 AM
 
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I had some similar feelings sometime after my dd turned three as well. Her latch had changed, as lyttlewon described, like she forgot how to nurse and all the repositioning in the world didn't help. Sometimes it even felt sexual to me, and I found it pretty disturbing. To get through it, I would only nurse her while on the computer, reading, or doing something else distracting so I could take my mind off it. It did get a little better, although I will admit that I never recaptured the feeling of enjoying nursing her after that. She stopped nursing (I guess we could call it MLW) at 4 years and 3 months of age.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:36 AM
 
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When I read the LLL book "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" they actually discuss this feeling. From what I can remember, it's hormonal. They even described women feeling actively hostile towards an older nursling seeking nursing time. From the standpoint of tandem nursing, it's nature's way of pushing the older child towards weaning to make way for the younger child.

Don't feel badly about it. You've given your child a solid foundation with your nursing. At some point, a mother may feel ready to be done (even a mother who desires to allow the child to lead the weaning). Only you know when it's been "long enough." Whatever you choose to do with your feelings is the right thing to do for you.
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Old 02-02-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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I hope this is okay to say in the CLW forum (I am not sure if all CLWs believe in on-demand, no-limit nursing or not), but you sound like you need help, so here goes.

I have never night-weaned, ds1 is 3 yo, and he is tandem nursing. But I do put limits on his nursing. Some of the limits have to do with the baby's needs for milk coming first, but some are just because nursing my 3 yo does not feel the same. Tandem nursing both boys at the same time gives me that "heebie jeebie" feeling, too. Sometimes, but less often, just nursing my 3yo gives me that feeling. Maybe if I had been brought up in a different culture, I wouldn't feel that way, but there it is.

I have found that if I limit the nursing time, I can enjoy it more. So, I will say "five minutes" or "two minutes." Then I count to ten when the time is up, and he goes merrily on his way. If I know the nursing time will be limited, and more in my control, it does not bother me as much. I do not do this all the time. There are plenty of times when he gets to decide when the time ends, and I still always nurse him to sleep at night. But this has helped me deal, and in the end, I think it makes our nursing relationship stronger. He is not showing any signs of wanting to wean.

However, I am not entirely dedicated to CLW (I'm playing it by ear and keeping my options open. ), so if that advice doesn't feel right to you, you could also try distraction. Distract yourself when he nurses. Ds likes to go to sleep with the light on, and I find it much easier to read while he nurses to sleep. Otherwise, if it's taking awhile, it drives me batty.

You are not a bad mom at all. Your a wonderful mom with perfectly normal feelings. We all sometimes act more harshly than we would like. Here, I will share my really bad mom moment from today to help you feel better. I actually cursed (da** it) while yelling at ds to stop something today. : --he kept locking the car door while I tried to open it to put him in his carseat, and it was so cold my fingers were in pain. Now, doesn't that make you feel better about yourself!

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Old 02-04-2007, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just wanted to thank everyone for their replies again.

I have actually been doing a lot better the last couple of days. I'm not totally sure why? When he latches on it doesn't feel yucky. It's possible his latch was part of the problem... when he nursed on the left side earlier I noticed he likes to try to turn his head up a bit... and when they are not latched on as well it's a totally different feeling.

So, despite the odds, I'm really hoping that's at least part of the problem and if I can make sure he gets a really good latch maybe that will help!

Also I am about to start AF, so who knows what affect my weird cycles are having on this? Things seem to get really bad when I'm fertile. Maybe I have an increased sex drive during my fertile time, which makes me more sensitive and makes me uncomfortable? I don't know.

I do really appreciate all of your advice and I have read this thread and everyone's replies several times now. I do think I probably have my own issues which are exacerbating this whole problem, but I guess I don't really know what they are. I was not sexually abused like a previous poster.

Anyway, I just wanted to let everyone know that at least for the last day or two, I have been doing better, even last night when he wanted to nurse. And I didn't yell at him or anything.

My ex-H has actually been helping me (imagine that) eliminate his naps and I think that has affected my stress level. You can't imagine how soothing it is to have an hour or so to myself before bedtime.
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Old 02-04-2007, 04:51 AM
 
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First of all my appologies for not thoroughly reading all the replies.

I just wanted to mention that anytime I have experienced greater stress with my DP, I have simultaneously experienced greater stress mothering, including BF.

Please take care of yourself too.
"It takes a village."
I am glad that your distress has eased up recently.
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:11 PM
 
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I'm glad things are going better. I just wanted to add, when I get that feeling that I will just scream if I have to nurse, I either tell my ds "we'll nurse while I count to 10 and then I have to ...." (as a pp already said) or I tell him I can't nurse him right now but offer something unequivocally loving in its place ("I need a little break from nursing right now, but let's choose a book and snuggle together on the couch"). He doesn't always find it easy (and I don't always manage to do this as nicely as I would like), but I hope that it's easier to deal with if I'm very clearly offering him my attention and affection, which is a lot of what he's seeking from nursing.
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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Nursing dd bugs me when I'm about to start AF as well. Like, I'm-going-to-rip-your-hair-out-get-off-of-me bugs me.

I've limited nursing on those days. Like, okay, but only for a minute then we'll have some cuddles. It works out well. She still gets her "boo" and I feel better. Then we'll cuddle for a bit instead.

You're an awesome mama! In no way, shape, or form, a failure or horrible. Remember that!
All the best!
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:58 PM
 
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glad to hear things are much more peaceful thanks for the update.

i had totally forgotten about AF. i haven't dealt with that too many times in the last 7 yrs, but i remember those "mouth's off" feelings with AF.
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Old 02-04-2007, 11:11 PM
 
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i had totally forgotten about AF. i haven't dealt with that too many times in the last 7 yrs, but i remember those "mouth's off" feelings with AF.
i know when i'm having my period my milk supply drops, and my dd's ((5yo (mama led weaned at 4 3/4) and nursing 2yo)) nurse longer, harder and more clampy. it feels less comfortable even if i didn't also feel irritable.

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