Breastfeeding after Sexual Abuse

In Canada, it has been estimated that half of all women have been sexually abused as children.

Not all women who have been abused, will have emotional struggles during labour, vaginal exams or whilst breastfeeding. Everyone deals with their past in a different way.

A Previously Abused Mother might be Struggling with

  • Depression and stress.
  • Increased sensitivity to pain. 
  • May struggle with substance abuse. 
  • May struggle with eating disorders. 
  • May have sleeping disorders. 
  • Risky sexual behaviour. 
  • Low self esteem and trust issues. 
  • Hostility towards others. 
  • May socially isolate themselves. 

Suggestions for More Comfortable Feedings

What is normal? Many women experience sexual pleasure from breastfeeding, this is due to the physical stimulation of the nipples. This is a common and physiologically normal response.

If you would like to breastfeed, but are struggling with any of these issues, due to past traumatic experiences, I suggest you see a psychologist who can help you deal better with your specific issues.

In the end, what really matters, is that your baby has a happy mommy. If breastfeeding means that you will be miserable, decide to rather give your baby donor breast milk or formula, if donor milk is not available.

Breastfeeding after Sexual Abuse
The Research

Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page on breastfeeding after sexual abuse

- Postpartum depression

- Breastfeeding weaning

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