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Thread: Im starting to HATE breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default Im starting to HATE breastfeeding

    My daughter is 17 months. She has to be nursing all the time. Shes always been like this so its not teething or something like that. Im getting really sick of it. I want to be done. She eats in the morning and then when we get out of bed she does it again. And throughout the day. Anytime she falls asleep in the car as soon as we get home she nurses. She does it to fall asleep, half way through nap time, after nap time, before bed. Its driving me insane! And the worst part is at night. She eats every1-2 hours until 3 or 4am. At that point she has to be latched on ALL NIGHT. Most of the time shes not even sucking shes just latched on. And the way she is sucking I hate. The way it feels is like a really annoying tickle feeling and I cant stand it. If I dont let her at any point day or night she will scream bloody murder for hours. At the very least I need the night feedings to end. I cant do it anymore. All I want to do is cry. Ive tried night weaning several times but she just screams for hours. My husband works night so I dont have any help. I dont know what to do anymore.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Im starting to HATE breastfeeding

    Is the overwhelming annoyance with the nursing sensation something new? Some moms feel this way- it is sometimes called nursing aversion- when they are pregnant or there is some other hormonal change going on- ovulating or menstruating, for example.

    Have you discussed your child's sleep difficulties with her pediatrician? Some times sleep disturbance has a physical cause. Allergies, for example. These can be food or environmental.

    There are a couple things to think about in a situation like this, because moms can feel very conflicted about nursing for many reasons, and when a mom feels conflicted, it can greatly increase/create resentment of the nursing child or the nursing relationship.

    Are you (or anyone else) concerned that your child nurses more than is normal? (or should not be nursing at this age?) Do you think or have you been told that you are somehow doing something wrong by nursing your child? Do you think or have you been told that you have "created" a problem?

    While the sleep does sound unusually disrupted, it is very typical for a 17 month old to nurse a great deal- even more than they did previously. And nursing a child does not "cause" a child to sleep badly or need to nurse more.

    For getting the weaning process going, I would suggest a couple things. First, try to see if there is any way to reduce the annoying feeling when you nurse. Try to get her to latch differently, change positions, whatever. If you are not pregnant, you might even look into a galactagogue- maybe this feeling is caused by the milk production being low. As you work on weaning it is not helpful if nursing for any length of time drives you crazy. The weaning process usually goes best if mom is able to stay calm and implement her plans step by step.

    Telling a child out and out that they cannot nurse is often going to lead to meltdowns. Here are some other ideas: Redirect, offer a substitute, and limit the length of nursing sessions. This way, you can say yes, while still starting the weaning process. examples-'Yes, when we get back from the park,' "Yes but first lets have a drink and a snack", "Yes for the time it takes me to sing this song." It often helps to give the child a choice between two acceptable alternatives- what to have for a snack, what song to sing, etc,.

    Sometimes a child will insist on lots of nursing if they are needing more attention, or feel insecure. Some children will also nurse lots if they are bored. Getting out more, especially with other moms and kids, may help, as might showing your child even more direct, loving attention. I would sometimes get my daughter to forget about nursing with lots of kissing games, finger games, massaging, roughhousing, engaging child in a one to one "talk" (Even if they are not yet talking) etc.

    For obvious reasons, all of the above go over far better for daytime sessions. The last nursing sessions to go, typically, are the ones that gentle the transitions between the sleep and wakefulness. This is why nursing "Morning, nap time and bedtime" is such a typical pattern well into and even past the toddler years.

    One thing to think about is if such a pattern is what you would like to work towards, or a different pattern, or weaning entirely. This may change how you approach the process. It helps to have goals, and there can be interim goals. Goals can shift as well.

    For night weaning, again I would wonder if there is some reason your child has so much difficulty settling. Beyond that, I would suggest getting help at night from someone if that is at all possible.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Default Re: Im starting to HATE breastfeeding

    Great suggestions above, but just wanted to add that I am exactly where you are right now, only with my 11 month old! She was nursing to sleep, nursing through naps (sometimes 2-3 hrs!), and waking every 1-2 hours at night. I am not pregnant (I've checked multiple times lol), but not only do I have some nursing aversion feelings, but when I nurse her for any extended period, I get incredibly nauseated. I always have pain when nursing, too. I finally decided something had to change or we would be headed towards completely weaning way too early. I am using Elizabeth Pantley's No-Cry Sleep Solutions chapter on the nursing sleep association to try to get baby to sleep on her own for naps and longer stretches at night without relying on nursing to fall asleep/get through multiple sleep cycles (that's our main area of struggle) - and it's working. It's NOT easy, in fact the night before last I was in tears, ready to give up completely, but last night she wouldn't even nurse to sleep for bed; wanted my husband to walk and sing to her (that's usually our nightly routine before she nurses to sleep), and then he laid her down in bed and she slept for 4 hours straight. First time in MONTHS. Then today I was able to lay her down for her nap (again using Pantley's method) and she slept 2 hours where before she would always wake or start to stir 30-45 mins into her nap. It might be worth checking into for you. I think it is harder when you're the only one doing the nighttime parenting, because babies very attached to the boob will want, guess what, the boob when they're with you, but I don't think its impossible. Also, I've seen a lot of people suggest Jay Gordon's (?) night weaning article, too. Good luck - it's not easy to have to make such drastic changes after baby's gotten used to things being a certain way, but in the long run your relationship will be better if you avoid getting into a situation where you start to feel resentful of how things are (again, that's where I was getting!).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2015

    Default Re: Im starting to HATE breastfeeding

    Great suggestions above. I personally found that just giving a name to nursing aversion made it easier for me. It is a really awful feeling, but knowing it's normal helped me. It didn't make it go away, but it helped mentally.

    One thing I did is develop a system with my partner where when I feel at my limit he will help. Your partner isn't there at night, but could he help during the day when you're overwhelmed? I get a little extra time when I am at "code alpha," which is what we say to each other when we're at the point where our patience is so tested that we feel we have lost the ability to respond sensitively to our son, and we need help from the other parent as immediately as possible. If your partner can't help when you're at that point, is there anyone else, family, friend, or hired, who could?

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