Psychosocial interventions

Psychosocial interventions refer to a type of modality of treatment that does not use medication, and include various lifestyle changes and therapies to attempt to support people who are stuggling with a behaviour, or sickness.  They are well known and researched to be effective in an array of fields, including substance misuse (addictions) and mental health.  Now while I'm not suggesting we need help for our mental health, I've thought long and hard about the application of psychsocial intervention in breastfeeding aversion, and I am pretty confident that implementing some of them will have a positive effect on you, your life and your infant/s life too.

Interventions usually are categorised into the following;

1. Group sessions - here it would be online support forums (in the absence of BAA meet up groups in your local area)

2. Community support - so like an activity centre for kids, or parents meet - up for social (and sanity) reasons

3. Spouse support - YES, it has its own category as it is THAT important, and BAA is no exception, spouse support is CRITICAL

4. Life style changes - this includes nutrition, exercise and (of course) sleep (well rest and time out for oneself)

5. Individual therapy - looking at what the underlying problem may be that manifests in a type of behaviour, i.e anxiety or depression

From what I can gather, we have literally no access to any structured treatment so the individual therapy is out of the question, unless you are willing to pay for it yourself, and are able to find someone who specialises in BAA (goodluck, but if you do, *please* let me know).  So we are left with the others, 1-4. Now, there are difficulties with each, but I urge you to consider them all, in the capacity that you can.  

 

1.Join a group, on Facebook is the easiest (you'll need to prove you have breastfeeding aversion, with a little message to one of the admin about your story), it's not the easiest thing to bear your soul - and the horrid thoughts and feelings of BAA, but peer-to-peer support is key for your stablity, and to get advice, or just to vent it out.

 

2.Go OUT, be with people, if you can.  Do you ever notice how your BAA is present but doesn't rear its ugly head when you are out in public or at a kids group? There's a good reason for that, you may be distracted more than at home, it's (obviously) unnacceptable to dislike breastfeeding if you're a breastfeeding momma (God forbid you ever unlatch your infant - are you some kind of witch?), your infant is not SOOOOOOO obsessed with you and your breasts (if you're lucky), and so the vicious cycle of latching and aversion and agitation are averted...for the meanwhile.

 

3.Spouse support.  Hmm.  Sigh.  I've literally just stopped writing for a few minutes.  This is so important, but I feel like I can't write about it too much because it's not really in your control.  If you're with someone, if you're single, if your partner is supportive of breastfeeding, if they are not, even if they are it doesn't mean they will even begin to understand BAA.  I'm sorry but I'm going to leave this one here a little while until I can think of a strategy for you to implement.  In the meanwhile - send them the link to this website.

 

4.So lifestyle. It's been mentioned before, check your bloods, eat better and sleep well (hahaha yeah right).  Exercise, even for 10 minutes, get those endorphines going to counteract all that cortisol we so obviously have flooding through our veins.  I used to work in Public health, and in substance misuse, and I saw what a dramatic change these kinds of changes had on our patients, it works...but of course you need support to do it, and I will write more about that.

 

So, as a brief overview, these steps will help stimulate your body and mind into more positive interactions, experiences and hopefully stimulate your reward centres in your brain to release dopamine (happy hormone) to keep that momentum going.  If your friends don't help, change them, if your family don't help with BAA don't see them (I'm not joking).  I mean okay, lets not be too extreme, what I mean is marshall together health social support, religious, group, friends, work....have a better 'coping' network, or at least consider it.  I started to volunteer as a breastfeeding peer supporter with the National Health Service, and took more peer support sessions as time went on, and studied more about breastfeeding.  Basically, I did what I needed to at the time to continue breastfeeding when having severe BAA.