You nursed your first baby so successfully that you could do it in your sleep (literally). So when you found out that another was on the way, you may have been more than confident that you would find your mommy-baby nursing groove with ease. That is, until you found your nursing sessions to be pretty painful, and learned that what you were experiencing is called breastfeeding agitation, and is a real thing. Although you may not be comfortable talking about your feelings with others, there are ways to cope with breastfeeding agitation while you make the best decision for you and your family.
According to La Leche League, breastfeeding agitation affects approximately a third of breastfeeding moms. It is especially prevalent in moms who are tandem nursing a newborn and toddler. Most women who have experienced breastfeeding agitation will tell you that the feelings they get are difficult to put into words, but will admit that the emotional and physical pain they experience are extremely hard to manage. Not only are they uncomfortable, they may be left feeling guilty about not wanting to nurse their own child.
It's important to know that breastfeeding agitation has no bearing on how you feel about your child, and is instead the result of hormones. Try some of the tips on this list to help get you through this uncomfortable period, and give yourself a break.
1Ask For Help
The Badass Breastfeeder blog advises that when things get to be too much, don't be afraid to call on your partner for help by supplementing with bottle feedings to give you a break.
2Find A Network
Look to social media to find a network of women who are experiencing the same thing. It can help to learn from their experiences, according to Baltimore Birth Services.
3Read A Book
Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower ($35) is a great resource to answer your questions about tandem nursing and help you cope with all of the physical and emotional symptoms you may be experiencing.
In an essay for Babble, mom, Wendy Wisner wrote that her feelings of breastfeeding agitation subsided on their own once her toddlers got past 18 months.
5Take Care Of Yourself
According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, moms should be sure to eat regularly and drink plenty of water between nursing sessions, to help combat feelings of being sick to their stomach.
6Find A Distraction
The Nursaholic, blogs about her personal experiences with breastfeeding agitation on her site, Mama's Milk No Chaser. She suggests that it can help to distract yourself with a book, a puzzle, or phone call with a friend to take your mind off of your discomfort.
7Know Your Limits
If your symptoms are more than you can handle, give yourself permission to wean.