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Ask an Expert: Nursing Aversion

***Ask an Expert is a blog feature hosted by a team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). Once a month each IBCLC randomly chooses a question from The Badass Breastfeeder Facebook wall and provides their response on the blog.

By Wendy Wisner, IBCLC

Fan Question:

“How do you overcome nursing aversion? I’m 10 weeks pregnant, and when I’m exhausted and my 16 month old nurses, I cringe.  I want to throw up, my skin crawls.  I end up crying.  It’s so uncomfortable.  I don’t want to quit nursing, but I’m about to because this is miserable!”

Nursing aversion is something many moms experience when they nurse during pregnancy.  Whether it’s from your changing hormones, change in milk volume (a drop in supply is normal during pregnancy), fatigue, or emotions about it all, it is very understandable that the nursing dynamic would change during pregnancy.

What to do?  First, maybe knowing that it’s normal will help some.  Also know that it does get better for some women after the hormonal onslaught and fatigue of the first trimester.  Some women find that the physical discomfort starts to get better when they start to produce colostrum (around the start of the third trimester).

Make sure you are taking good care of yourself.  Eat well, stay hydrated, make napping or sleeping in (when you can) a priority.  While nursing, try deep breathing, meditation, or distraction to get your mind off it.   Some mothers sneak in a book, a little online time on their phones or computers — whatever works at redirecting your thoughts.

It’s certainly ok to set limits with your daughter.  Some moms will allow their child to nurse to the length of a familiar song, then stop (the ABC’s and Wheels on the Bus are good ones!).  Others find counting helps.  Both help your child measure time and know what to expect.  If you limit nursing times, offer extra snacks and extra cuddles!

It helps also to take things day by day, since there are constant changes during pregnancy.  Be gentle with yourself and with your child.  You are just at the beginning of learning to care for yourself and both of your kids.  You will find your balance.

unnamedWendy Wisner is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), writer, and mother of two amazing boys.  In addition to her work with breastfeeding moms, she has published two books of poems, and a handful of articles about mothering and breastfeeding.  She blogs at www.nursememama.com.


  1. Wish I had been more informed on this subject when I was pg with my second! Stopped nursing my 10 month old when I was 10 weeks pregnant! Besides the fact that everyone and their mother was telling me that I couldn’t/shouldn’t breastfeed while pregnant I was also mega tired, nipples were super sore and baby was not liking the change in milk quantity/taste. Wish I could go back and re-make that decision with the knowledge I have now! Keep nursing, mamas! You won’t regret it!

  2. I have severe nursing aversion!!! its driving me nuts! we only nurse twice a day and I feel even tho I know I’m wrong that I make no milk so there’s no point in him nursing. I am looking for things to help. I feel like I’m insane and a bad mom. I love my son and don’t want to cause any psychological damage but sometimes I have to just pass him over to dad in the middle of a feeding and he just cries and it tears me up so I take him back and the cycle begins again. I also get so irritated I can’t have any noise no one talking…even the sound of my daughter sucking on her binkie just drive a me bezurk !!! I don’t know what to do! this has been going on for weeks and I am 22 almost 23 weeks pregnant!!!! no info I’ve found has been of help! 🙁 I’m afraid I won’t want to nurse the new baby!!! if ANYONE has any help please email me!!! :'( thank you!

    • I have nursing aversion with my toddler but not with my infant. Set boundaries with your toddler and disract yourself while nursing. Abby the badass has an amazing article I just finished reading that made me feel a whole lot better

    • It’s really hard to let go of worrying. I think everyone is so concerned with nursing (I know I was) we forget what it is supposed to do for our children. To feed and bond with them. I pumped and nurse (off tap as my husband says) lol when my nursing aversion gets very bad I can start pulling out my hair (literally) horrible headache, and even puke. So I have a comfort/ distraction plan. If nursing, I stop and switch to the bottle, pumping I switch to the hand pump so I can move around. And I have a drawer of either books and snacks or something else to soothe me. Worried about bonding comfort my son? I let him snuggle my naked or not naked breasts but am sure to keep a passie in his mouth. Trimming nails and offering him something to hold helps a great deal too.

  3. Muffins em normalmente não levam cobertura ou recheio
    – embora possam – já os cupcakes são populares justamente pela cobertura.


  1. […] is part of the reason helps, I think. If it’s just a menstrual cycle thing, it will pass. Here is an article I wrote about dealing with those feelings while pregnant. Either way, breathing […]

  2. […] is part of the reason helps, I think. If it’s just a menstrual cycle thing, it will pass. Here is an article I wrote about dealing with those feelings while pregnant. Either way, breathing […]

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