Breastfeeding agitation: when the mother feels rejection by the breastfeeding child

If you ask any mother who breastfeeds older children (say from one year or two years old) why she does it, why she continues breastfeeding, she will surely explain that she no longer does so much for a nutritional issue, but more for a A matter of habit, of love, of enjoying a unique moment between them, of that moment that only they can share.

As a man who will never live something like that with his children I have no problem in understanding it, it seems logical. However, there is something that I did not understand and that happened to Miriam, my wife, until I informed myself of it. I speak of breastfeeding agitation, that in Christian would be something like those moments when the mother rejects the child who asks for breast, when you can't stand it.

Breastfeeding agitation?

Yes, I know, the term is very undefined and almost nobody understands what is being said when you explain it with these words. I don't know why they gave him this name, but they could have changed agitation for rejection, "breastfeeding rejection", which seems easier to understand by boat soon.

Well, whatever the way to call it is clear that the thing can not be there, because surely if you have never heard the term you will be thinking that how is it possible for a mother to reject her son who asks for her breast, as he has always done, that is just what I asked myself when Miriam told me: "I can't do it anymore, you tell me, I can't stand it".

It happened to Miriam in both pregnancies. Being pregnant and with the previous brother sucking it happened sometimes, especially at night, that he could not bear to ask for his chest. He turned away, got angry, snorted, asked me to help her and I didn't understand her, because I couldn't understand how I could get mad at him, with a child who had been sucking without problems for two years and with whom he had enjoyed breastfeeding.

It happened with both pregnancies, but it can also happen when the child is older and there is no pregnancy, or when a mother is breastfeeding two children in tandem and feels it with the oldest.

It is an unconscious and irrational rejection

Each woman can explain it a little in her own way, but summarizing all the women I have heard or read explain, it is about an unconscious feeling, something psychological that escapes reason. The mother explains it as a nervous cramp, as a tingling that runs throughout the body, as a sensation from which she must flee. There are women who even explain that they notice a certain sexual pleasure, such as a tingling that appears in a moment, when your son or daughter suck in which you do not want to feel it, you do not need it, you do not want it.

To understand it you must think of something that you cannot control, some sensation that you cannot bear and that you always want to run away from, and put your son, to the one you love most in the world, as guilty of it. There are people who have claustrophobia, there are people who can't stand being in places with a lot of people, there are people who can't see the blood because they faint ... when some of that happens they start to feel a pressure in their chest, a crazy desire to run away of it and a imperative need to stop noticing that feeling. Well, the agitation of breastfeeding would be something like that. The mother feels that way when her son sucks, wants to separate him, needs to separate, wants to avoid him, but he hates feeling that way because he is his son, what he loves most.

It's something that women have a hard time explaining, because feel shame. It is very hard to say that you reject your son, that you do not want me to come to ask for your chest and that when you finally give it to him you are only thinking of taking it away as it is. The reality is that there is no reason to be ashamed, the contradiction appears but it is not such, because it is an animal feeling, it is generated by the body, not the mind. It is not a rejection created by the conscious mind, but quite the opposite, it is born from the bowels. It is not pain, it is not that the child hurts. In fact, many mothers say that I wish it were pain, because the pain can be endured.

Who suffers it and why

As we have said, it usually happens in mothers of older children and it seems that there is more when there is a pregnancy, when breastfeeding is already done in tandem and sometimes it happens when the woman has the period or is ovulating.

The cause of the appearance of breastfeeding agitation is not clear, but seeing the times when it usually occurs it seems that hormones can be quite related.

The mother wants, but cannot

The strongest thing is that the mother wants to breastfeed. He is his son, he has been breastfeeding for a long time and the last thing he wants is to tell him that "I don't give you more tit"precisely because many children feel rejection and cry inconsolably. The mother wants to give her, but she can't because it is a feeling that dominates reason. A sweat and discomfort that runs throughout the body.

It may happen only in some shots, it seems that it bothers more at night and in many cases the sensation disappears with time. At other times it does not disappear and the mother ends up stopping breastfeeding.

What can be done?

  • A woman who is suffering the agitation of breastfeeding needs, more than anything, someone who knows what he is talking about. Someone who understands his words and his feelings and explains that what is wrong with him is normal, that he is not a bad mother for feeling what he feels, precisely because it is not a construct of his reasoning, but a primary sensation generated by his body, Against his will. Once the mother and her environment understand what happens it can be easier to cope with it.
  • The next thing that can be done is to try to identify which are the shots in which it happens, or which are the shots in which the sensation is more unbearable, to try to limit or eliminate them. You can try to sleep the child in another way, if they are for the day try to entertain the child with other things so that he does not ask for breast, look for other ways to be together, etc.
  • Waiting is another possibility. It's hard, but if the mother wants to continue breastfeeding can wait because it is usually something that happens temporarily. If it appears in pregnancy, at birth the baby usually disappears. If it happens the days of ovulation or the rule, it is usually solved by passing these periods.
  • Also, and although it seems strange, you have to check the position of the child when breastfeeding. Some children do not breastfeed like when they were young and stay more with the nipple, clenching something more with the teeth and holding the chest, in short, in a way that still generates more rejection. It can be solved a little by explaining to them that they should open their mouths more, hitting them more to the mother's body so that she does not stay with only the nipple, etc.
  • Finally, and no less important, talk to the child. We have said that it usually happens when children are older, so being involved are the first to know. Explain what happens, what he feels, what he wants despite it and that has nothing to do with a rejection, so he doesn't feel that Mom doesn't want to be with him. Maybe thanks to that, take less time or try to even fall asleep without your chest hugging mom.
  • If in the end nothing works, if in the end there is no solution, if the rejection ends up making the mother prefer to wean, it is clear that It is the best solution for both. Breastfeeding is a matter of two and owes something spoiled and that they want to do mother and child. If only one of them enjoys and the other person suffers the unspeakable there is no reason to continue with it. In such cases, a respectful weaning, talking with the child, leaving him gradually and looking for alternatives to minimize suffering seems the most logical solution.