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If you experience breastfeeding aversion or agitation, and you wish to anonymously share your experience please send it to us to post.

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THANK YOU to everyone who has been in touch to share their experiences - please note all comments are annonymised and I'm working on uploading them all

Mostly in the night (we bed share) or when I am very tired. It makes me feel angry, or makes my skin crawl, or feel nauseated. It is also sometimes triggered when he plays with the other nipple whilst feeding. He is 16 months and I have only experienced aversion since he was 14 months. The frequency is perhaps once/twice per week.

Nasra

Muscat

My aversion started when my baby was a few months old, I wasn't pregnant and it was my first baby. I didn't know what it was, I felt angry when my baby was latched and I had intrusive thoughts  like wanting to 'throw my baby across the room', but of course I didn't.  I was so upset about it and felt guilty, I didn't know what to do and I didn't tell anyone...until I found an online support group on Facebook.

Julia

Manchester

The 2 days before I get my period I get nursing aversion at night. This usually feels like a need to get the baby off me and what can only be described as extreme itching all over my body but under my skin. 

Nadia

Bologne

I have 2 girls one just turned 2 in September and the other is 7months as of October. I noticed the "touched out" feeling after by second baby was born. It seemed my older one either changed her latch or it seemed more aggressive than my new baby who's latch seemed soft/gentle. My 2 year old also likes to pinch my skin between her thumb and index finger never hard but always touching. The pinching combined with the nursing and the moving legs can make it feel like it's too much stimulation I then feel like I just want her off of me. Even if she is laying down and being calm when it's time for a nap if she starts the pinching or brushing/petting my skin I get this urge to want to rush her feeding and make her finish soon. I'll also feel the urge to push her away, I've never acted upon it but it can be strong. During the times of back to back nursing of both girls, I have found that I need some separation from them like taking a shower or doing some task that doesn't involve them. Otherwise, I can feel overwhelmed and it makes nursing not enjoyable or relaxing and I will tend to be more short tempered with those around me and again want them to hurry and nurse. I haven't noticed the feeling of agitation when in nursing my younger one as often as my older one. For my 2 year old I would say every other nursing session I feel over touched. She nurses 6+ times a day. The 7 month old nurses every 2-4 hours and usually it's the bedtime feedings when I feel like I just a want to be done for the day.  

Emily

Vancouver

Usually, in the week before my period, makes me cringe and like I need to shove her off. As soon as period comes, it goes. Dd is nearly 23 months, never had formula or a bottle (I could never express very much) 
I have noticed that it's MUCH worse the more tired I am. I now try to be as kind to myself as possible and rest whenever I can as I know that this helps my general sanity so much!

One peculiar feature of the aversion that I experience is that I only feel skin crawly on the side that my toddler is feeding from - it can literally make me want to push him off me and run screaming! The baby has no impact at all and I don't experience these negative feelings towards him whatsoever.

Pam

Brisbane

My first experience of aversion happened shortly after the birth of my 3rd child (my toddler was 2 and still feeding). I was taken a bit by surprise as I'd read about it but didn't expect it to happen to me as I'd always had such a positive relationship with breastfeeding and felt completely confident in my ability to tandem feed. It was such an overwhelming feeling, it was all I could do to contain myself, I literally felt seething and my skin was crawling. The first few weeks were the worst and I had the most episodes during this time. I still get slight feelings of aversion but nothing as intense as back then (the boys are now 9 months and 3).

I have noticed that it's MUCH worse the more tired I am. I now try to be as kind to myself as possible and rest whenever I can as I know that this helps my general sanity so much!

One peculiar feature of the aversion that I experience is that I only feel skin crawly on the side that my toddler is feeding from - it can literally make me want to push him off me and run screaming! The baby has no impact at all and I don't experience these negative feelings towards him whatsoever.

Suzanna

Cologne

Wow where do I start, I actually did not even know there was a term for this. I have a 4 year old daughter I breastfed her for first two years, I initially went with the flow planned to give the bottle as soon as I was in the right mindset to but was soon told breastfeeding was going well and I just kept on with it. I didn't know what to expect, what was happening all I know was as she was getting bigger she needed more milk and it felt like literally I was breastfeeding non-stop for two years, I hated night time feeds because she was latched in all night and when she fell off she would cry and I would wake up and give her the breast again. She would co sleep, I really hated breastfeeding,i felt like a human dummy, I wish she would take a bottle I didn't express as I didn't know what I was meant to be doing, seeing as though my child is 10 months, am much more  clued up and I wanted to fully breastfeed but because of various reasons  I mainly formula feed and breastfeed sometimes just when baby drifts to sleep but it's ok now. But it's much much less.

Rachel

London

It's a sudden rush that makes me want to pull my son off immediately. Once it's there, it stays through the whole feed and I end up having to take my son off as I can't stand it any longer. Not sure how to describe the feeling but it's toe curling! 

Priya

Bangalore

I had no/very low milk supply between 20-26 weeks pregnant and whenever my toddler nursed the feeling irritated me and I just wanted her to stop. Most of the time I kept going as she wasn't as interest without milk coming but I did have to take her off before she was ready sometimes as I couldn't stand it.

Aisha

Saudi

I experienced nursing aversion strongly when my son was a newborn (3 months and under) when he would change from effective feeding to 'comfort ' suckling (feeding without actually transferring much milk). It felt like an overwhelming urge to break his latch and remove him from the breast, alongside physical nausea and a 'skin-crawling' sensation.

As a toddler, I experienced nursing aversion more frequently by around 19 months, although feeding by then was just once per day. It was this that eventually led me to stop breastfeeding.

Sehra

Dundee

I have experienced it several times over the course of feeding my twins (one of whom has now weaned). I found it worst when tandem feeding but also do still suffer particularly around the time of ovulation. I suffer feelings of repulsion and a sense of anger and resentment towards my child. Sometimes I have to end the nursing session sooner than she would prefer. 

Praveena

Birmingham

Happens every few weeks, especially since LO over 12 months (now 2). No period yet, but suspect may be hormonal. Feels like latch is off, all twiddling immediately frustrating (normally can tolerate), and I just want feeds to be shorter but seem to go on for ages. Also feel like more aversion around bad sleeping night (no night weaning). 

Salama

Berlin

When I was pregnant with my second child I was still nursing my first child. When she nursed I felt like my skin was crawling, and like everything in me just wanted to make her stop, to the point my toes were curling under, I was biting my nails/my fingers. I had to breathe deeply and mentally talk myself through it being okay so that I didn't show my frustration to my baby girl.

 

I hated it. It made something (breastfeeding) that I cherished and was a bonding time for my baby and I, into something I dreaded doing. I tried everything to distract myself and keep my mind off of nursing, but nothing made it go away. It was getting worse by the day, but I was determined to nurse her, and wanted to tandem nurse once our son was born.

 

However, when she was 16 months old she weaned herself because she didn't like the taste of my colostrum that was coming in. Now I am not pregnant and have not had any signs of nursing aversion with my 4 month old.

Sareh

London

As a feminist, it is a strange experience to suddenly give of your body. I very often feel aggrieved and angry that my babies are so dependent upon my body. Most times I am okay but sometimes, especially if the feeding last a long time or is particularly difficult to establish then I feel a strong aversion.

Chita

London

I have recently been feeling this a lot. We had a rocky start to breastfeeding with tongue tie undiagnosed until 9 weeks and then a lot of work to get latch correct again resulting in pain while feeding for nearly about the first 3 months.  But I stuck with it and gritted my teeth through the pain as I was adamant I wanted to breastfeed.  I'm so glad I did as we are still going strong at 2yrs 2months.  However lately I have been having feeding aversions more and more.  I often notice it when I am extremely tired or haven't given myself time to breathe or take a break, even if it's just a hot bath in the evening on my own.  My son has also been feeding like a newborn recently and seems to be constantly on the boob which is making getting ready and getting out the house a real daily struggle and I think this really contributes to my feelings of aversion too. 

I don't get it every feed but I am noticing it more often nowadays and it makes me feel very guilty.

Florence

Hull

Currently breastfeeding 3 month old and 2.5 year old. Aversion happens with 2.5 yo. Feels unpleasantly tickly and uncomfortable most of the time. Sometimes during a feeding I get the urge to pull her off - I don't act on the urge but usually end each feeding before she wants to by counting down from 5 to 1.

Poonum

Nairobi

I enjoy it (breastfeeding) now that I'm combination feeding. I hated being the sole provider of his milk and being, what it seemed like, a slave to his wants and needs. My body was no longer mine and I was exhausted. But the feeling of him suckling on my breast is actually quite lovely!

Aurelia

Dubrovnik

From time to time I get an aversion when the twins have been feeding so much/so often, especially at night, and now their teeth are coming through as their latch is temporarily worse. Normally I sleep lying down and doze but when it's sore from changing latches then I feel like I'm awake all night the twins are waking and feeding non-stop, and basically I just don't want them anywhere near me. But I have to feed them, so I lie there in the night absolutely hating it as they feed. It's awful but I'm helpless to do anything. It's happened twice now, and I'm in the middle of a third episode, but it does pass and then breastfeeding multiple times at night gets relatively easy again. The twins are 10 months and our breastfeeding journey has been otherwise unaffected by major issues, other than mixed feeding/formula top-ups for first 3 months.

Sheena

Bristol

During the fourth month of my current pregnancy, I started to feel quite agitated when my then-14-month-old son would latch on to feed. I often felt like pinching him or hurting him in some way to get him to not want to breastfeed anymore. I felt guilty for having those thoughts because I desperately wanted to provide the comfort and nourishment, but it made my skin crawl when he would want my breast. It felt wrong to have him on my breast; it felt almost sexual to have him feeding from me, although I didn't (and still don't) view breastfeeding as a sexual act. 

Annabel

Glasgow

Had a lot of aversion in early pregnancy. Started with pain and then a desire not to breastfeed for more than 10 mins or so. I night weaned when 4 months pregnant and the aversion stopped.
At 30ish weeks, it returned but this time was feelings if resentment as well as feeling touched out and not enjoying the breastfeeding relationship at all.
I nurses till 3 days after birth when I really couldn't take it any more.
Probably because I was in hospital, had both a vaginal and caesarean birth (twins) one was in nicu and I was very stressed.

Anifisska

Athens

I LOVE breastfeeding. I breastfed my first over two years and currently am breastfeeding my 18-month-old. But there are times when my younger wants to consistently nurse and my 3-year-old wants to put his hand down my shirt. Then my husband gets touchy. And I just shout "everyone leave me alone!!!"  They all walk away, then a few minutes later I am cuddling with all three again...

And I still breastfeed my 18-month-old during the night. Nights when she needs more nursing (teething, ill, developmental spurt), I am glad to give her nighttime comfort, though it does get me frustrated and exhausted. 

Thorraya

Fez

I often have aversion around ovulation and during my period.  I also had it while I was breastfeeding my daughter during pregnancy. I was very shocked when I first experienced it towards my son who was only 8 or 9 months old at the time.  It took me a couple of months to link it with my cycles.  It helps me a lot to get through it to know it is hormonal and temporary each month and it has lessened.  

With my daughter during pregnancy, it was mostly due to nipple pain. There was some irritable mood.  With my son, I feel actual rage and it is very frightening.  

Tabitha

Jersey

It's definitely tied to my cycle. Around ovulation and right before my period it happens. This didn't happen with my first, but she self-weaned at 16 months and was a decent sleeper. This one is 24 months and has only ever slept through about 20 times. When it happens, I feel like I want to be that mother dog who just gets up and walks away to wean. I get angry and sad and frustrated and the creepy crawlies.

Liz

Geneva

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