Breastfeeding aversion is not a well known phenomenon but we know many mothers struggle with it. I'm starting this podcast to explore all the research and mothers own stories about it and in this intro I question whether feminism has left breastfeeding mothers behind. I certainly felt so.
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Self reflection is hard if we are not willing to be honest with ourselves and how we are experiencing motherhood. This episode considers why honest consideration of our thoughts, feelings and actions can help us step out of the denial phase and deal with the root of our negative emotions.
In this episode I cover what the most commonly mentioned self reported symptoms of aversion are - by mothers who struggle with the experience themselves. We then look at some of the main differentiating factors with aversion, post natal depression and dysphoric milk ejection reflex so that you can understand when you need to seek screening and proper assessment from a health care practitioner when breastfeeding appears to be triggering particular negative emotions and intrusive thoughts.
Lack of support, criticism and shame for breastfeeding in society can be some of the external factors that can contribute to symptoms of aversion arising, alongside hormonal changes in breastfeeding mothers. This episode ends with considering how practising mindfulness can address the thought patterns that lead to negative emotions arising.
This episode looks mainly at biological causes and corresponding steps to help alleviate aversion. We look at nurslings who are under 12 months old and nurslings over 12 months old and how this is relevant to aversion being a natural biological trigger to start the weaning process. We then go onto consider the hormones and sensitivities around post natal menstruation and how this can mean you experience aversion, and what to do about it.
I cover the main findings from my research and the themes pulled from the hundreds of mothers that responded to the anonymous survey questionnaire on emotions when breastfeeding. Including the description of the phenomenon of aversion, onset, severity and duration of the experience as written by mothers own words.
We have considered birth trauma and our lives in society as women before we became mothers. In this episode I discuss breastfeeding challenges and nursling behaviours as a contributing factor to aversion- especially when the reality doesn't meet our expectations.
This episode considers the effect that our previous lives at school and work have on our experience of motherhood, and breastfeeding. Where do the negative feelings that are associated with 'loss' of our old lives go? Can anger and agitation when being stuck breastfeeding be linked to our habits and expectations that we created prior to motherhood?
This short podcast posits that there is plenty of research to show that birth trauma can affect maternal mental health, breastfeeding post birth and bonding with your child. Thinking about the start of your journey with each and any child, can you see any connection? Any unsolved emotions from childbirth or the early months? Some mothers find it helpful to get their medical notes and do a birth de-brief which is offered by many maternity wards in hospitals in the UK. Others do a 're-birthing' experience to try to have the experience they wanted in birth in order to try to heal the wounds.