Breastfeeding After Sexual Assault
*Trigger Warning* ⚠️ . . .
It is possible. I spoke to my beautiful friend Priscilla (@thekidswillrevolt) who was kind and brave enough to share her experience in order to help other women who want to breastfeed but have also experienced sexual trauma. I cannot thank her enough.
“I needed to breastfeed for her. This was my plan. But second place I was in was each time I fed her it hurt (not only because of her lip tie and tongue tie) but I think there was this sensation I hated and it was tough navigating physical feeling of being uncomfortable and not wanting the sensation and the fact that I was nourishing her. I didn’t feel good, but I knew it was what she needed. A lot of push and pull. It was tough to have equanimity for the situation and be gentle with myself and my thoughts.
I had tried pumping after I passed my due date to try to induce labor a few times. And right before I put those flanges on my breast I would always have these awful thoughts. Like “this is gonna suck. This is not going to be pleasant. I’m going to hate this aren’t I?”
And it did suck. I had a physical feeling of disgust. But I did it and I sat through it. Same thing when I was breastfeeding Baby. And I hated myself for feeling that way but even more I hated that I even was in a position that I felt that way because of my trauma. I would have to take a few breath every time I put her to my breast. I know an LC who had a sexual trauma and she couldn’t even look at her baby because it would also creep her out and make her feel disgusted with herself. So it’s a very real thing.
I did have thoughts of having to formula feed her because I doubted my ability to be able to get through the pain. I think mentally I knew I could push through it if I had enough support - People listening to me and validating that it hurt which led to many people telling me it shouldn’t hurt, but it will tug a bit. After being open and talking about my trauma with lactation consultants, I felt validated and not alone. I was able to find comfort in other women. Especially ones that wanted to listen to me and help me on my journey.”