Nursing Aversion (Breastfeeding Agitation)

Nursing aversion, also known as breastfeeding aversion, is a negative emotion such as anxiety that a women can get if nursing while pregnant, tandem nursing, or nursing an older child.

It can vary in severity from person to person and can range from simply not enjoying nursing any more to a severe need to get away.  Some have described it as a creepy crawly feeling, some as a grating feeling and some have felt so severe that they want to push the child away. 

Nursing aversion is a very normal experience and mothers need to know that these negative emotions in no way reflect the way the mother feels about their child or even about breastfeeding.  While it can be uncomfortable to talk about, it's important to note that nursing aversion can also be accompanied by feelings of sexual arousal. If you have ever experienced this you may have felt ashamed, angry and guilty. However, you are not alone.

So how can you cope with nursing aversion?  Take some time to focus on yourself.  Make sure you are eating healthy, drinking lots and lots of water, getting adequate sleep (I know that's nearly impossible, but try!)  You may need to take a break from nursing and that is okay!  Some mothers have found it helpful, when the agitation begins, to walk away for 5-10 minutes and try nursing again after a break.

If you would like to continue nursing through pregnancy and go on to tandem nurse, I highly recommend the book ADVENTURES IN TANDEM NURSING, by Hilary Flower to help you on your journey.

If you feel like you are experiencing symptoms of nursing aversion or breastfeeding agitation but you are not pregnant and your child is not older, please read our article on Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER).

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About Coffee and Wine Mom

Maddi Casey is a muscle car driving, hard working mama who is obsessed with football and good beer. She has two beautiful baby girls and loving husband. Writing is a passion, hobby and sometimes career of hers at She is also passionate about animals, nature and entrepreneurship.
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