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Thread: Nursing my toddler makes me physically cringe!

  1. #1

    Default Nursing my toddler makes me physically cringe!

    Ever since my son was born 7 and a half weeks ago, I've started having problems nursing my 2 and a half year old daughter. I've always said and planned to let her self-wean, but lately when she nurses, it drives me insane! I can't really explain it. I think her latch is off and that's not helping, but it's deeper than that. It's not pain, per se, but it's like a super-high level of annoyance coursing throughout my body. My legs feel like they did when I had restless leg syndrome while pregnant, I want to pull my hair out literally, I want to scream and cry. And sometimes I do. It's almost like nails down a chalkboard. It makes my whole body cringe. I find myself squirming when she asks for booby.

    Ava has always been petite. She's fallen completely off the growth chart (hasn't stayed on her curve at all). She's almost 29 months old and weighs about 21 lbs and in the less than 1 percentile. She's been on a food strike from about 2 weeks before my son, Rain, was born (he's 7 weeks and 5 days). There were some days that we were lucky if we could get her to eat one or two bites of yogurt. Her food strike has improved, but she's still not eating like she should be. And yet, during the first month of her food strike she GAINED A POUND! She got that from the super fatty newborn milk.

    At this point all she wants to do is nurse. I know she needs to eat solids so I try to tell her she can have booby after she eats something. Right now she's nursing more than my newborn!

    So I'm not sure if it's because she's nursing so frequently that I'm feeling this way, or if it's hormonal, or what. I don't want to stop nursing her because I know that at this point, it's helping her. I've tried cutting her off from the breast for a while right after Rain was born because my milk was giving her diarrhea. I thought maybe if she didn't have breastmilk she'd eat more solids. Didn't happen. She didn't get breastmilk for 2 weeks and still was starving herself.

    I'm at a loss. I'm getting to the point that I HATE breastfeeding her. but I want to continue because I know it's helping her keep her weight up more than just solids are right now. And it's just her, my son doesn't make me feel this way. Plus I'm pumping for a friend's baby and that doesn't make me feel bad either. It's just when Ava tries to nurse, it makes me feel crazy!

    Anyone ever gone through this before? Nursing one particular child makes you physically cringe? Could it be hormonal (I had PPD after she was born. But it was more like postpartum anger but I only took it out on my husband.) ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Nursing my toddler makes me physically cringe!

    Nursing aversion with older nursling is not at all uncommon after new baby comes. I think this is what you are describing.

    I believe hormones play a part. Also a toddler nurses very differently than a newborn, and it can feel very odd in comparison. I personally did not have true nursing aversion, but I certainly did find that nursing my older son-almost two when his brother was born, could be painful or uncomfortable. I also found I would often get the creepy crawly, agitated feeling nursing them at the same time.

    I worked on asking my son to 'open wide' and 'nurse soft' or 'nurse slow' so his nursing was not so intense. I also would ask him to wait until his brother was done to nurse, and do other strategies like redirection and limiting the length of nursing sessions for older child.

    I understand really wanting to continue to nurse both of your children, and it is quite possible this feeling will alleviate as both children get older. Certainly it did for me, and I tandem nursed both boys for three years and was happy to do so.

    An alternative for your situation with the concern about your daughter's weight gain and eating habits, might be to pump and give your daughter your milk in a cup or bottle?

    Also, this is not about tandem nursing, but if you have not read the book "My Child Won't Eat" I suggest it.

    You are nursing two, and pumping for another child? Wow. You are a trooper! I would suggest that this extra milk extraction may be intensifying your feelings. Not saying to not do it, but the fact it does not bother you to pump does not mean the pumping is not contributing to your agitation when nursing your daughter in some way. Just as nursing your infant feels normal, as it should, but this agitation would almost certainly not be there or at least, not as intense, if your nursing two year old were still an only child. kwim?

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