Day Six | Touched Out and Keepin' On
Breastfeeding has always seemed like the natural thing to do for Mary. Between the increased health benefits for both mom and baby and the fact that it helps your bond grow stronger the decision to breastfeed was a simple one. She has three kiddos and has nursed all of them.
Breastfeeding has now become so much of her definition of what a mother is in the beginning years. Part of her identity as a mother. So, when her newest little (now two) contracted an infection in her mouth within the first days of life, she became scared.
By the time Clair was 2 days old, it plain hurt Clair to latch at all. As much as they would try, she just couldn’t stay latched through the pain of her infection resulting in her losing a lot of weight. Mary began to really worry. With Clair not able to latch, and stimulate her nipples, her milk was not coming in, and now her baby was losing weight. “I was terrified I was going to fail but reached out to a friend who nursed and she brought fresh milk over while Claire’s doctor gave us a prescription for ointment to fix the infection.
It was hard to wait everything out but once the infection was gone and she was able to get her milk to come in, their journey has been mostly uneventful since.
Nursing has become a completely natural part of her household. This allows her other kiddos to not think anything about it when it is time to nurse. One really sweet thing they will do is bring her water while she sits. The thing she currently loves the most about nursing is the excuse to slow down, sit down and simply snuggle and hold her children while they nurse.
That doesn’t mean that things do not get difficult at times, in ways many of us do not talk about. One of these difficulties is Clair’s idea that twiddling with her nipple while she nurses is fun. It can be so aggravating and down right frustrating when they just won’t stop this behavior.
As she gets older, it has become slightly more difficult in the fact that Clair can be more demanding to get the milk, even on days that Mary really just needs a little time to relax or be by herself for a moment.
This can really add to the feeling of being touched out. Being “touched out” is the feeling that you have been touched too much. When this feeling occurs, even clothes touching your skin can feel like too much. It is a really hard emotion for many people to talk about because they don’t know how to put it into words or that they feel guilty for not wanting anyone to touch them, including their baby or their partner.
Most moms only talk about being touched out when their littles and still small – usually under 6 months – when they are cluster feeding. But the reality is that this feeling can come at any time for a myriad of reasons. “I have a difficult time reconciling not wanting to wean and wanting not to be touched some evenings.”
Her best advice to other mamas is to buy a pretty bra that fits your new figure, so that on days that you are not by your littles you can feel pretty. It is something little that she does that really helps her be nice to herself.
I would love to document your journey through photos and words. If you are interested, in any kind of motherhood session (even if you want to keep it private) contact me so we can get started.