Help! Nursing aversion/breastfeeding agitation - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 3 months post-partum with my second child, and nursing my 32-month-old. I am not sure when the nursing aversion started - I think it moved in slowly starting with the last month of pregnancy, and has been escalating ever since. It was growing so slowly that the absolute NIGHTMARE that I am experiencing right now kind of sneaked up on me.

Can anybody share any strategies for coping with this? Is there any hope that it will pass? I am desperate to save my nursing relationship with my son. I have been doing terrible things: forcefully unlatching him and pushing him away from me; pulling his hair; yelling at him to stop torturing me. The horrible feelings are overwhelming, I can't control myself. I am so ashamed and in so much pain because of this! I didn't realize that this is something that happens to other women, and thought that I need to get more sleep, or drink more water, but obviously it doesn't help.
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#2 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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I'm so sorry.

Since you have a new baby, could it be something like D-MER?

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#3 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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I'm so sorry! That is rough.

I have definitely had times where the creepy crawlies attacked and I just wanted to get.this.child.off.me!

One thing that has worked for us is counting down. I'll say, "Almost done!" in the calmest, most matter of fact voice I can manage, and hold up my hand with all five fingers up. My 16 month old frequently just pops off because he knows that he's almost done, but even if he doesn't and I unlatch him at the end of the countdown (which btw is sometimes faster and sometimes slow depending on how I am feeling) he is less upset because there was some warning.

Working on that and giving me the ability to communicate some boundaries with him has really helped our nursing relationship.

This may sound harsh, but I don't mean it that way- in the Adventures in Tandem Nursing Book a woman was struggling with extreme aversion/agitation, and it was causing her to be resentful and angry towards her son. Her husband told her it would be better to wean him instead of continuing to nurse and being angry at her son over it. She ended up pondering weaning but continuing to nurse while feeling less trapped since she had considered weaning.

I realize you want to keep nursing, but the reactions/actions you've described... well, if you can't eliminate them with gentle boundaries, I would say maybe evaluate weaning. I don't think continued nursing is best IF it means yelling, etc, and bad memories for both of you.


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#4 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 04:31 PM
 
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Two great books are Adventures in Tandem Nursing and Mothering Your Nursing toddler.

s: I remember this exact feeling when ds2 was in the newborn phase. He's now 7 months, and I feel much more comfortable nursing my older ds (who is 4, BTW). I still limit his nursing, but the creepy crawly feelings and horrible aversion are gone. I think it's pretty instinctive to want to focus on the newborn and feel touched out, especially if the toddler wants to nurse a lot.
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#5 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 05:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post
I'm so sorry.

Since you have a new baby, could it be something like D-MER?
it only happens when the older one nurses. could that be d-mer? i read the descriptions written by mothers on the site you linked, and found only one that matched what i feel - aggression and a strong urge to scream and run away.
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#6 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ruthmg View Post
Two great books are Adventures in Tandem Nursing and Mothering Your Nursing toddler.

s: I remember this exact feeling when ds2 was in the newborn phase. He's now 7 months, and I feel much more comfortable nursing my older ds (who is 4, BTW). I still limit his nursing, but the creepy crawly feelings and horrible aversion are gone. I think it's pretty instinctive to want to focus on the newborn and feel touched out, especially if the toddler wants to nurse a lot.
i was prepared for feeling touched out, but i never expected to feel like throwing my toddler off me immediately, and wanting to hurt him for "torturing me". i am trying to connect it to anything - my hunger, the way he sucks, daily milk supply fluctuations... sometimes nursing him is fine, and other times it turns into the worst kind of drama. early morning tends to be awful
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#7 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 06:12 PM
 
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I can't help you with continuing to nurse but you're describing exactly how I felt while I was nursing during pregnancy. It was horrific. I didn't hesitate to wean because I knew I'd hate tandeming (I get physically overwhelmed very easily and knew I'd be happier nursing one and doing 'big kid' things with the other). So, don't feel bad for feeling this way. I think it's very common and it seems like people do get through it!

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#8 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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Pulling on his hair and yelling at him is a form of abuse. Please seek professional help - you sound like you have some issues that really need to be resolved. I don't mean to add to your stress, but I really think you should consider weaning him in order to keep him safe. Best of luck.
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#9 of 21 Old 07-31-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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Honestly I would wean him. Breastfeeding is something the both of you should enjoy. What is the benefit of breastfeeding him at this point if you are yelling at him and pulling his hair?

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#10 of 21 Old 08-01-2009, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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i am really distressed by most of the responses i have gotten in this thread. OBVIOUSLY the point is not to breastfeed even though it is making me get angry at my son - the point is to SOLVE the problem, and stop getting angry at him. and i am not PULLING on his hair, i did it once! for crying out loud! when somebody says they are "desperate" to preserve their nursing relationship, "just wean and everybody will be happy" is so clearly NOT the solution! if you have no idea what breastfeeding agitation is, why do you comment on a post with that as the title, telling the mother she has issues that need to be resolved? it is a physical problem, and one that HAPPENS to tandem mothers, ok? no thanks for all the NON help!
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#11 of 21 Old 08-01-2009, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ps4624 View Post
Pulling on his hair and yelling at him is a form of abuse. Please seek professional help - you sound like you have some issues that really need to be resolved. I don't mean to add to your stress, but I really think you should consider weaning him in order to keep him safe. Best of luck.
i really think that you should consider not answering posts written by people dealing with problems about which you have no idea whatsoever.
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#12 of 21 Old 08-01-2009, 04:17 PM
 
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I weaned my older daughter (3 yo at the time) about 2 or 3 mo into my pregnancy because the feeling was worse than nails on a chalkboard for me. Somehow the sensation changed and it was really a horrible experience for me.

We have resumed nursing since her sister was born although we probably only nurse once or twice a week instead of every day. My baby is about 8 mo old now and nursing her older sister does not give me the same sensations and it is absolutely fine. The biggest hurdle now is the caloric drain of tandem nursing.

Maybe a reduced nursing schedule is your answer?
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#13 of 21 Old 08-01-2009, 10:28 PM
 
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I'm sorry if my post hurt your feelings. You might want to post this over in Child-led Weaning, the mamas there are more experienced in avoiding weaning at all costs.

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#14 of 21 Old 08-02-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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Don't know if you've seen this thread: http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1116115 I saw it and thought of you. Hope that helps.

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#15 of 21 Old 08-02-2009, 11:44 PM
 
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In the early months of tandem nursing my DD and DS, I established a couple of boundaries with my DD that really helped me! First, I taught her that sometimes we would only nurse until I was done counting to 30. Actually, I think I started it as counting to 10, and we've since negotiated it up to 30. Anyway, I taught her that we would nurse to [whatever number you choose] and that was it. She would have to stop when I got to that number. If she didn't stop, I would unlatch her and say, "We're all done for now." This has been a lifesaver at preserving our nursing relationship through the 15 months I've been tandem nursing. When I know I'm going to feel overwhelmed, or I flat-out don't feel like nursing her, or her toddler brother is going crazy over something, I can nurse her quickly. I try not to limit her if I don't have to, but life has been so crazy that I "count" her more often than not. She's used to it now and doesn't seem to have a problem with it.

The other rule I established was that she couldn't nurse while the baby was nursing. The times we tried, her latch was off and caused me aversions. For a long time, there was only one position I could nurse her in that didn't cause me discomfort that led to aversive feelings.

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#16 of 21 Old 06-15-2011, 02:29 AM
 
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I have the exact same feelings.  I'm tandem nursing a 15 month old, and a 4.5 year old.  Sometimes nursing the older one is a real nightmare, I just want to scream.  There are sometimes though, that it feels ok, and it doesn't bother me at all.  It really helps to find out other mothers experience the same thing.  I don't want to wean her yet.  She's obviously not ready.

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#17 of 21 Old 06-15-2011, 08:29 AM
 
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I had (have) big aversions to nursing my 27 month old too...during pregnancy and now that my son is here (he's 12 weeks).  I thought it was just me!  Setting limits really helped.  She only nurses in the morning and at night before bed, and when I've had enough I tell her that boobies need to rest and only one more minute.  She sometimes refuses to unlatch, at which time I do it, which usually results in a scene.  Like you I don't feel this way all the time, and I haven't linked it to any one thing, although I think it has to do with her latch sometimes.  Because there are limits, I feel like I can count to ten and deal with it when I hate it so that we can still enjoy the relationship when I don't.  That said, I would be okay if she weaned on her own...    

 

Not a solution, but a way of coping.  I hope you can find one or the other.


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#18 of 21 Old 06-15-2011, 01:18 PM
 
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This thread is two years old.

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#19 of 21 Old 06-16-2011, 01:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post

This thread is two years old.


I know but since I 'm having similar feelings, I thought I'd post here instead of starting a new one.

 

Crayfishgirl thank you!  :)
 

 

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#20 of 21 Old 06-16-2011, 09:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liliaceae View Post

This thread is two years old.


I didn't even notice that!  Regardless, I'm glad you ressurected it Chloe....I honestly thought I was the only one who had strong negative feelings about nursing my older child now that I have a new baby, and felt like I must be a horrible mother!  its really reassuring knowing that other mamas feel this way too.

 


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#21 of 21 Old 02-03-2013, 05:09 PM
 
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