Breastfeeding Agitation and tips to overcome it

What is Breastfeeding Agitation?

Breastfeeding agitation refers to the aversion to breastfeeding. It is also known as nursing aversion.  Often, breastfeeding aversion manifests as anger and irritation in the time that’s usually meant for calming and bonding with the baby.

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Breastfeeding agitation is said to be common in one-third of the breastfeeding or pregnant mothers. It can, however, occur even in nursing mothers who are not pregnant.

What is the cause of breastfeeding agitation?

Breastfeeding agitation is believed to arise due to a variety of reasons:

  • Physical sensitivity: Some women find breastfeeding to be physically very intolerable and painful in nature.
  • Creepy feeling: Some women find breastfeeding to be a crawly experience, like bugs crawling on their breasts.
  • Emotional aversion: It makes the nursing mother very anxious and uncomfortable.
  • Maternal aggression: Plausibly the instinct to wean off the child early.
  • Social settings and public places: These make mothers averse for a while, which is normal.
  • Postnatal depression: It can lead to an aversion to breastfeeding.
  • Any history of sexual abuse or trauma.

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What are ways of overcoming breastfeeding agitation?

Use the following tips for overcoming breastfeeding agitation:

  • Acceptance: It is okay to experience it and the fact that many women experience the same. It will be helpful in removing any remorse or feeling of guilt you may have towards your baby.
  • Find time for yourself: Spend some time on yourself, take the help of others for a while to care for the child, say your partner. Spending some time alone will help you reclaim yourself.
  • Distraction: When you breastfeed, find ways to distract yourselves by watching television, read a magazine or check your social network updates.
  • Bond with your baby: Cuddle your baby often without breastfeeding. It will improve your bonding with the baby, especially with more skin-to-skin contact.
  • Relax: Learn some relaxation methods, listen to music, etc. to soothe your nerves.
  • Sleep well: Fatigue can take a toll on your health. Rest as much as possible.
  • Wean your baby: Try weaning your baby.
  • Eat well and remain hydrated: You will feel worse when hungry and stressed out.
  • Meditation: You can experience calm and peace with yoga and meditation. You can meditate during breastfeeding as well.

Next Steps

Read more about breastfeeding agitation, especially ways of tackling breastfeeding agitation. Take the help of your partner, family members and friends to get some quality time for yourselves to calm your nerves.

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References

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  • Breastfeeding Agitation. La Leche League International. http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvaugsep03p90.html. Accessed 19 Oct. 16.
  • I hate breastfeeding. Australian Breastfeeding Association. https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/blog/simonecasey/i-hate-breastfeeding. Accessed 19 Oct. 16.

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