So many nights when I was up at 4am in the morning in tears desperately googling trying to find someone, anyone who felt like I did, I pretty much came up with nothing. So I am sharing my story so that if there are others out there they can feel like they aren’t alone. There is a lot of talk nowadays about children with sensory processing disorders but there is little acknowledgement of adults who were born before the days of diagnosis. Mostly we were just regarded as difficult. I remember as a kid that grocery shops would make feel dizzy and ill, they were bright, and cold and overwhelming.

Jump forward and as an adult most of my sensory issues are in my skin. I have crazy sensitive skin. Holding onto something cold is agony. When I am sick my skin prickles like its being jabbed by millions of little needles… and ahem…. sex… well it’s a fine line, my skin can get so over sensitised that I can no longer bear to be touched at all, even sheets or clothes hurt at that point. But I didn’t realise how much this would have an affect on breastfeeding.

You know that feeling you get when nails a scratched down a chalk board. Thats how breast feeding made me feel. It felt like millions of ants were crawling all over my skin every time I attached. I can’t even express how awful it was. But there is so much pressure on women to breastfeed otherwise they are poisoning their babies so I stuck at it. And it sent me into a very dark place. So there I would be at 4am googling, so mad at myself for feeling this way, why wasn’t it the magical experience everyone described??? I was always so touch overloaded during these periods that I struggled, clothes hurt, my husband couldn’t touch me at all, even hold my hand because it hurt. And yet when I looked for info or support it just wasn’t around. There isn’t a lot of talk about it, some of the darker sides to breastfeeding and I think its a mistake as it makes women feel desperately alone. And I think breastfeeding is beautiful, I look at pictures of mothers breastfeeding and it is the most beautiful thing in the world, but then the thought of breastfeeding myself makes me shudder and feel ill. I hope that we can begin to talk about the good and the bad and support women through both so they don’t have to go through the darkness alone like I felt I did.

Posted anonymously, 8th October 2015

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  • Thank you for sharing. I truly hated breastfeeding, I forced myself to do it because I thought my son would be better for it. Actually, in hindsight, it was detrimental to me being able to bond with him. None of my “mom” friends shared my experience. I spent many nights feeling like a failure and the worst kind of person. I doubted whether I’d ever bond with my son because these moments that were supposed to imbue me with love filled me with dread and anxiety. I read about moms who were pregnant and breastfeeding simultaneously that would feel overtouched, but no first timers, like myself. My son is 5 and while his sensory processing issues are slightly different than my own, I recognize the same behaviors I experienced as a child. Both my son and I will be working with an occupational therapist to help us learn strategies to deal and overcome the daily difficulties that go hand in hand with living with sensory processing issues.
    We put so much pressure on ourselves as moms and often, we forget/ignore our own health to care for our families. We really need to remember that our mental health is equally as important as the development of our babies!


  • I know this post is old but I can’t help myself. For 22 years I’ve lived with guilt and shame from having been unable to tolerate the sensation of breastfeeding. The few people I’ve mentioned it to over the years have been horrified or disgusted – like I didn’t love my son enough. Thank you for sharing your story. At least someone “gets it”.


  • My breast milk has gone dry but my son still insist. I’ve tried get him to try other things and supplement, but he just wails and reaches down my shirt. Since its gone away I get these same feelings. “like nails on a chalkboard” completely uncomfortable to the point of tears. I’ve never had many sensory issues. I’m glad I found this and know I’m not alone.


  • Thankyou for sharing your story…
    It must be extremely isolating feeling the way you do because not a lot of people would experience these types of issues…
    What I can say is that you are brave, you are wonderful and don’t push yourself to do something that causes you great pain just because the masses say you have to…
    May you be able to find some relief from your discomforts and symptoms.


  • yeah wow i can’t imagine what every day must be like when you loved one’s embrace makes you want to scream!


  • I think that’s what makes MoMs such a great site. I get to learn of so many things I’ve never known about before. I hope you find someone on here that can empathise with you. It sounds truly dreadful :(


  • I am so sorry. Breast feeding is not for everyone.


  • What a difficult time you had. Thank you for sharing your story


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