Nursing aversion is not something I’ve really tackled up until now. Though at times breastfeeding Nookie has been intense and her demands have pushed me right to the edge of tolerance, I’ve never really felt a physical aversion to it. But from being about three weeks pregnant I started to feel a very strange and distressing aversion indeed, and I’m still battling on through it.
At first I thought it was just the sore nipples. My nipples were really sore for the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Breastfeeding was very painful and I was loathe to do it. I had to keep telling Nookie no, no matter how much she asked. I would feed her in the morning, at night, and very occasionally through the day if she had hurt herself or really wanted to. And I would grit my teeth and breathe through the pain, knowing this would pass soon and when it did I would be glad I had soldiered through. But as the pain started to subside (and it’s now gone completely), it became less about pain and more about really not wanting to. I found the sensation absolutely repulsive. Nookie would nurse and I would sit there curling my toes up with my whole body itching to get her off me! It’s not like anything I’ve ever experienced before, and it was really quite distressing. I’ve breastfed for three and a half years now and I’ve never felt anything like it. Poor Nookie would plead with me to nurse, and I would, but after seconds I’d have to drag her off because I just couldn’t stand it! The sadness in her face broke my heart.
We went on like this until last week… Nookie seemed less interested in nursing, and I think it’s because of how obviously I was hating it. Sometimes she would ask and I’d manage to nurse for a few minutes before I’d have to stop her. We were down to three or four times a day. It was really getting me down. The sadness in her face was breaking my heart. I really tried to give her what she wanted, but my body was beyond agitated at the sensation. Now I know what all those women who have spoken about nursing aversion mean…
Now things are slightly easier. As I move into the second trimester the aversion seems to have reduced a little. I’m still getting it, and I’m still reluctant to breastfeed, but I’m now not so agitated when I do it. I can tolerate a little longer before I have to stop her. Gradually it’s getting easier. In the morning and at night I can feed her for a good ten minutes before I’ve had enough, and through the day I’m managing three or four times of a few minutes. I’m soldiering on through the aversion… Nookie still obviously needs this and I’m doing all I can to meet her needs.
Have you ever experienced a breastfeeding aversion? How did you cope, or was it the end of your breastfeeding relationship?