Firstly, what a brilliant and attention-grabbing name for a book on breastfeeding! Straight away we know we’re not in for a fuzzy ‘isn’t breastfeeding just wonderful?’ type of book.
As an international speaker and campaigner, the book’s author Zainab Yate is an expert on breastfeeding aversion and agitation. And now she’s written ‘When Breastfeeding Sucks’, a book that examines this specialist topic. She is out to raise awareness of breastfeeding aversion as she is a mother who suffered from it.
What is Breastfeeding Aversion?
According to Zainab’s website: Breastfeeding / Nursing Aversion & Agitation (BAA) is a phenomenon whereby breastfeeding / pumping mothers experience negative emotions triggered whilst breastfeeding, these include anger, rage, agitation, and irritability. Women also struggle with an ‘overwhelming urge to de-latch’, and often a skin itching sensation. BAA or ‘aversion’ can be experienced by any breastfeeding (or even pumping) person, at any stage of their feeding journey, and it varies in onset, severity, and duration.
“Breastfeeding aversion is not a well-known phenomenon but we know many mothers struggle with it.”Zainab Yate
To launch the book, Zainab hosted a Facebook live video where she explained what breastfeeding aversion and agitation is. She read extracts from the book, answered questions, and spoke emotively about her subject matter.
Judging from the reactions and comments from those listening to the live stream, her work has had a positive impact. As Zainab says, suffering from aversion is not easy to talk about. Having a negative experience with breastfeeding can be very unsettling and distressing as it’s not something mothers expect to happen. However, just by having a term to describe the condition is benefiting women. It can help them come to terms with their issues and seek help.
About the book
Published on 3 September 2020, the book is available in paperback and as an ebook.
Many mothers and those who support them do not know that they can experience negative emotions associated with breastfeeding. In modern society breastfeeding is often used – problematically – to exemplify myths about motherhood and maternal love and is bound up with ideas of what makes a ‘good mother’. In this context nursing aversion and agitation – intense, distressing feelings that are experienced by the mother during breastfeeding – can be both unexpected and hugely upsetting, particularly when women may have already overcome significant challenges in order to breastfeed.
In When Breastfeeding Sucks Zainab Yate examines what we know about this poorly understood aspect of infant feeding, in a carefully researched discussion that will be valuable for individual mothers who may be suffering, and the breastfeeding supporters who work to support them.
To find out more about breastfeeding aversion you can buy the book, or visit Zainab’s website. You can also check out her podcast where she talks about matters around breastfeeding aversion and motherhood.
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