Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    For some reason the past two weeks or so, it's really started to irritate me. A few weeks ago she was hitting and kicking me a lot while she nursed. That has mostly calmed down, but she's sort of tickling and flicking and scratching me with her fingers while she nurses. I can occupy her top hand while she nurses, but i can't do anything about her bottom hand.

    I know it sounds like a small thing, but it's sort of like chinese water torture to me.

    In general, I'm starting to find breastfeeding really frustrating. Part of me wonders if it's this that's annoying or if it's breastfeeding in general but I'm focusing on this one thing for some reason. I'm starting to dread nursing at all.

    My daughter's only 6 months old. I'd planned to breastfeed for at least a year and assumed I'd have no problem getting to that. But for some reason, now I feel like I just don't know if I can make it. Breastfeeding makes me feel, I don't know how to put this--objectified in a weird way, like i'm just a pair of boobs, or just a food delivery system. I feel self-conscious about my body, I feel uncomfortable with my body and the way my breasts look (and I never liked them before this either) and this is not helping either my mood or my sex life.

    Sorry, I realize this post is kind of all over the place. I'm trying to collect my thoughts into something that makes sense, but I know I'm not coming across well. I don't want to stop BFing, but I need to turn this into a more positive experience if I'm going to continue for very long.

    Does this happen to anyone else? Does anyone have any tips for getting my daughter to stop fidgeting with my breasts while she eats (that would make me a lot more sane). is there any way to get the positive back?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,476

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    At 6 months they tend to get very busy. You can try a nursing necklace to help keep her hands busy. If you just put in "nursing necklace" in google, you'll see plenty.

    Keeping her nails short will also help. When they start to get scratchy, it's time to give them a trim.

    I also wear a nursing bra and nursing top when I nurse. Lack of access to the other breast helps to limit the 'twiddling' they try on the other breast. A blanket over your other shoulder will also help. Giving them something else really does work. Keep in mind that it is a phase. She'll settle back in again.

    You mentioned that you weren't happy with your breasts before. So we can't blame breast feeding on that. Other than the fact that you're seeing your breasts a lot more often these days. It can be a little surprising, suddenly having so much focus on your own boobs. The good news is that thinking about it logically, you'll gain an appreciation for your breasts. For the job that they're doing, the nourishment and comfort they give to your baby. Thinking about it can be empowering! It's all about perspective. You'll find it Momma.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,889

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    This is all very normal and very common.

    Older babies do all sorts of annoying acrobatics at the breast. A nursing necklace may help, or just pulling your shirt down over the area baby likes to scratch/twiddle may be enough. But it sounds like the problem is more the bottom hand- so how about placing some sort of flattish pillow or maybe a baby blanket in between you and baby? Just make it hard for those little fingers to dig into you.

    Nursing can definitely impact our feelings about our bodies. There are times when I just HATE seeing my big old breast flopped out, instead of tucked away in a bra. And my tummy exposed, and muffin-ing over the top of my jeans. Honestly, I notice feelings of dissatisfaction with my body much more in the week leading up to my period. Not only am I retaining water and looking heavier, but I am just generally irritable so I feel fatter/uglier, and I just have much less patience for things involving my body. Like putting on clothes, or taking them off, or sex, or nursing my toddler.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    113

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    I can totally relate to the annoying fidgeting and scratching and dreading nursing for that reason. I found it helps to give my daughter a small stuffed animal to hold. I was also very annoyed at one point by latching on and off, rolling, crawling up the bed when I was trying to nurse her to sleep, scraping something (teeth?) on my nipple, and occasional biting. I almost posted the same thing myself, as I wanted to go back to the toothless-bag-of-potatos newborn that's so nice to nurse. At the same time she seemed to be going through a "no" phase, refusing to sit in the carseat, highchair, etc, so I think it all got mixed up in my head.

    But then things got better. It helped to calm her first by carrying in the ergo or sling for 15 min and tidying the house a bit, before nursing. Or else, just don't nurse her when she isn't really asking to nurse. I also found she did not do the annoying things as much in cradle position or when asleep, and so I could still take pleasure in those gentle night feedings. Maybe this sounds silly but one night I was half sleeping while she was nursing gently in the middle of the night and when I felt the milk let down I had this sudden thought that the milk was love gushing out of me and into my baby. I got through the annoying stuff and the glow has come back. My daughter is about to turn one.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    not every mom loves breastfeeding. and i think it is safe to say that every mom finds it annoying, tiring, frustrating etc. at least some of the time or during certain stages. but really the same can be said about many-perhaps all, aspects of parenting. maybe some moms love reading the same picture book for the tenth time in an afternoon or spending hours on the floor intentionally losing at candyland, I am definitely not one of them. Sometimes during those toddler years I thought I would go insane if I went another single day without an adult conversation! but i did not stop reading to my toddlers or playing games with them. depending on the circumstance, i either accepted it was a stage or made adjustments as needed to deal with it. but did i have a 'choice'? no one was trying to sell me a mommy substitute who could play with my kids or read to them. but mothers are constantly barraged with the (untrue)message that there is a substitute for breastfeeding that is 'almost' as good.

    Breastfeeding makes me feel, I don't know how to put this--objectified in a weird way, like i'm just a pair of boobs, or just a food delivery system. I feel self-conscious about my body, I feel uncomfortable with my body and the way my breasts look (and I never liked them before this either) and this is not helping either my mood or my sex life.
    is this your first baby? because many of these feelings may be from the changes to your body from pregnancy, that is VERY common. A mom's entire body including breasts change in pregnancy, often permanently. Breastfeeding is often blamed but feeling 'unsexy' post pregnancy happens across the board. yes hormonally breastfeeding suppresses libido, but that can usually be overcome if mom is able to feel at least a bit positive about her body so she can feel wanted and attractive. Sometimes we need to just sort of get the ball rolling so to speak. Also moms with histories of poor body image often face more than the usual challenges with both pregnancy and its aftermath and breastfeeding. if the mom has a history of abuse, that clearly may multiply these negative feelings.

    What local support do you have? unfortunately many moms who have nursed past the first couple of months often find it difficult to find peers who are doing the same. having other breastfeeding mommies to hang out with on a regular basis is usually very helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Ann Arbor MI
    Posts
    81

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    I don't mean to hi jack, but I feel the same way. Going through the same feelings right now.
    First time mommy

    I think I'm doing really well. Babies are amazing little creatures and every moment with her is a gift to me.

    I'm not political but don't mess with my baby or her meal!

    EBF <3 5 months old now
    Co-sharing sleep <3
    BLS when she gives us a thumbs up
    NIP, and she'll wean when she's ready

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    Sherice--Not hijacking at all. It's nice to know that I'm not alone.

    I also wear a nursing bra and nursing top when I nurse. Lack of access to the other breast helps to limit the 'twiddling' they try on the other breast. A blanket over your other shoulder will also help. Giving them something else really does work. Keep in mind that it is a phase. She'll settle back in again.

    The problem is that the fiddling is actually on the breast that I'm nursing with. I generally keep my other breast covered up. I have started to use a blanket on the underside, as mommal suggested and it seems to be helping.

    Things have improved the past few days, or at least, I'm better able to deal with it. Not sure exactly which.

    The good news is that thinking about it logically, you'll gain an appreciation for your breasts. For the job that they're doing, the nourishment and comfort they give to your baby. Thinking about it can be empowering!

    The thing is, that this is what I expected would happen, but it hasn't kicked in yet. It's taken me by a total surprise. In general, I am the sort of person who is good at making the best of situations, even when they're uncomfortable. I loved pregnancy and felt like my body was doing exactly what it was meant for. I rolled with the punches when it came to labor and c-section recovery pretty easily. So I expected that breastfeeding would be the same. I guess there's part of me that feels like I'm reaching a sort of breaking point.

    I've had smaller moments of frustration earlier about BFing, and I always got through them and am glad that I did. I'm trying to stick it out for as long as I can. I have this notion that if I can make it to Christmas, then I'll be able to hold on until she at least turns one. Trying to think of making it to next April is a little overwhelming right now, so I picked Christmas as a less intimidating milestone.

    PteroglossusI'm glad to hear that the glow came back.

    Quote Originally Posted by lllmeg
    this your first baby? because many of these feelings may be from the changes to your body from pregnancy, that is VERY common. A mom's entire body including breasts change in pregnancy, often permanently. Breastfeeding is often blamed but feeling 'unsexy' post pregnancy happens across the board. yes hormonally breastfeeding suppresses libido, but that can usually be overcome if mom is able to feel at least a bit positive about her body so she can feel wanted and attractive. Sometimes we need to just sort of get the ball rolling so to speak. Also moms with histories of poor body image often face more than the usual challenges with both pregnancy and its aftermath and breastfeeding. if the mom has a history of abuse, that clearly may multiply these negative feelings.
    This is my first baby. I do have a history of poor body image as I am recovered from eating disorders. I worked really hard to overcome my body image issues, and I have been totally recovered from my ED for years--no thoughts or behaviors, nothing. So it is kind of throwing me a little to now have a body issue. I will say that it feels totally different than the body issues that contributed to my ED, so I don't consider it to necessarily be a continuation of the ED. But perhaps I'm hardwired to have body image issues.

    I do have some local support, but not a lot. My local LLL meeting is only once a month and I always seem to have something going on that can't be changed when it's happening. I have worked with an IBCLC, but I'm not sure if this is something they could help with or not. I have a number of friends with babies, but we're so busy with going back to work, etc., that we don't have much time to get together. For me, it's basically work, daycare pickup, home, spend time with baby, bathtime, etc. I've thought about checking in with my former therapist. There's also a lot of other stress in my house right now, mostly related to employment and finances, and I'm sure that is contributing.

    but mothers are constantly barraged with the (untrue)message that there is a substitute for breastfeeding that is 'almost' as good.
    Luckily, no one's barraging me with formula suggestions, but knowing formula is the alternative is what is keeping me on track. I feel like there is so much going on right now that's out of my control, and the only thing I really can control right now is what she eats. If nothing else, I want to do this for her. That and the inconvenience of having to prepare a bottle every time she needs to eat.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19,889

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    It's really funny how childbearing and mothering can play with whatever quirks are stuck in your psyche, and how those quirks, which may have been under control for years and years, can blossom in new ways when you're gestating or caring for a baby. For me, it was being molested as a child. Even though that experience was nearly 20 years prior to my first child being born, and even though I thought I had dealt with it completely, that I had exorcised that demon, when I was pregnant the experience started to haunt me again. It didn't haunt me quite the same way it had when it was brand-new, though- I got intrusive memories all over again but I got them at very different junctures than when I was a child. What I am trying to say is that even though the eating disorder and the attendant body image issues seem like something that happened long ago and far away, don't be surprised if those issues are still there in some sort of mutated form, creeping out while you are processing a very new and stressful experience.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    Yeah, I think the hard thing for me is that for several years I've done peer support for people with eating disorders and I've always told them that full recovery is possible, I don't have any ED thoughts, etc. I have explained that recovery didn't solve all of my flaws and imperfections but that recovery allowed me to accept the flaws and imperfections without wanting to resort to behaviors that could kill me. What I've always told people is that the body image issues that contributed to my ED have been healed, but that doesn't mean that I'll never have another body image issue again. But in a way, I still feel somewhat like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth because I've been such a role model for life after recovery. I handled the weight changes of pregnancy fine, so I thought that I could handle the rest of it fine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    miles from nowhere
    Posts
    11,086

    Default Re: Breastfeeding, the glow is wearing off.

    You are handling it fine. By recognizing that's whats happening and talking about it and finding whatever steps you need to take to cope with it. And one day in the future you'll be able to say that there was a time after you had your first baby when you wavered and felt the effects again, but that you recovered from that too. And so can they.

    What I'm saying is, this doesn't make you a hypocrite (because I feel like that's how you're thinking of yourself). It will make you even more knowledgeable and more capable of helping others with similar issues in the future.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •