Ending Feeding: Breastfeeding Aversion

So I have just posted this on Instagram

And Facebook

And wanted to share it here too

In case anyone else is feeling like me

And is too scared to say anything to anyone

I have been too frightened to tell anyone

In case people thought I was a terrible mother

In case I am a terrible mother

Perhaps I am

People’s responses so far

Have been kind and sympathetic

And I am sat here in tears

Wishing I had talked to someone sooner

Wishing I had been brave enough to say

I have loved nursing Bea

I have fed her on demand for most of her almost 2.5 years

But I hate it now

I dread bedtime coming

I hate the feeling of her at my breast

It makes me feel anxious and cross

And it affects me physically too

I feel very irritable

It makes my skin crawl

And I know it is me

In my head

I know that it is not Bea’s fault

Once she is asleep

The feelings go away again very quickly

But in the time she feeds to sleep

And settles herself on me through the night

Though those times are often just a few short minutes

The bad feelings are very intense

I do not not want to lie in the dark anymore

Feeding my toddler through tears

Wanting to push her away

But knowing I can’t

A few people have now mentioned breastfeeding aversion to me

I did not know this was even a thing

But I am glad that it is

Though I would not wish these feelings on anyone

I am glad that the feelings I have

Are recognised by others

And even have an identifiable name

Perhaps I am not such a terrible mother after all

I know that the time has come to stop feeding Bea

It coincides with David’s busiest time of year

And 4 days working away in London

But I know that he is ready and willing

To step in and take over Bea’s bedtime

Tonight I tried just laying with Bea

But it is too difficult for her with me at the moment

It has to be Daddy

And that is how it was with Esther and William too

Though they were only 15 months old at the time

So tonight I am feeling relieved

That my feelings are not uncommon

That they are in fact normal

And okay to feel

I am feeling determined that now is the time

To stop the night feeding with Bea

And I am feeling glad

To have at last told people

And to know that someone out there

Might have been crying alone in the dark like me

And one day they might find this post

And know

That they are not alone

That they are okay

That what they are feeling is okay

And does not make them a bad person

They are a mother

Doing the very best she can for her little one

And if Bea reads this one day

I hope that she will know

How much I adore her

How much I treasure the times I have spent feeding her

And how this aversion has broken my heart

You can read more about breastfeeding aversion in pregnancy here

And here

You are not alone

bea together

4 thoughts on “Ending Feeding: Breastfeeding Aversion

  1. You are absolutely NOT alone in this. I fed my 6yo for a VERY extended length of time but my milk dried up when I was about 13 weeks pregnant with my 18mo and I couldn’t have been more relieved. It had just started to feel horrible to do it. The outcome is that I really don’t know how to stop feeding!! I just have to carry on going until they give up on their own. Or when they’re 30…..

  2. Sucking is physiologically comforting – whether dummy or booby – the reality is, I believe, after 2 years (if not before), a breastfed baby will still grow up perfectly normal/healthy/happy without breast milk – it might take a few days for them to adjust – but then they are fine – seriously, how many adults out there can say we remember being breastfed or being upset when it stopped? Probably zero! How many happy/content adults are there out there who were not breastfed or who were not breastfed for an extended period? Many!

    If it is making you so unhappy, then that will have more damaging and long term effects for you and Bea, than continuing for so long. You have done an amazing thing to breastfeed for so long, but if it too much now you are pregnant – then do not feel guilty stopping. Yes you may have a few days of it being hard/upsetting – but she will be fine. I stopped with my first at 18 months when I was 4 months pregnant – I read that you can put plasters on your boobies and say you have an ouchy and as they are so sensitive to other’s pain, they often more easily accept stopping – I did not do that, but happened to burn my ‘bump’ when misjudging the edge of the ironing board so it was ‘ouchy’ where she would have had to lie across me – there were a couple of days of her asking/tugging my top, but quickly she was fine and is a perfectly happy/content 4 year old now:)

  3. Should read: If it is making you so unhappy, then that will have more damaging and long term effects for you and Bea, than stopping now.

  4. Hi Jennie – this seems perfectly natural to me. Your body/mind/subconscious are telling you it is time to stop because you need to devote your body to your next baby. I also think there maybe comes a time for a long-term breastfeeding mother when it just doesn’t feel right to be nursing a growing toddler/child any more. I definitely felt this with my younger child and stopped all of a sudden. They weren’t impressed for a few days but they got over it.

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