Motherhood is an exciting time. For some, it can also be a a bit of a struggle. There’s an experience that some nursing moms go through and it’s called feeling ‘touched-out’.
For breastfeeding moms, feeling touched-out means you constantly feel that you’ve already had enough physical contact for the day. As such, you don’t want anybody getting close to you or laying a hand (or even a finger) on you, even your baby, at least temporarily. Many moms find this type of emotion highly overwhelming and difficult to deal with on their own and sometimes may want to rely on medication or therapy.
Overcoming the Touched-Out Syndrome
Some simple tips can help you cope with and overcome the so-called touched-out syndrome. These include:
- Schedule some “Me” time every day.
Taking care of an infant may seem like an endless loop of nursing, diaper changing, and putting the baby to sleep. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to be caught in this tiring cycle. If you’re already on the brink of feeling extremely touched-out, you need to find ways to be physically alone even for just several minutes. This can mean having a cup of coffee or some snacks in the kitchen, taking a shower, or simply watching your favorite soap on TV.
Whatever you want or feel the need to do so that you can regain some freedom or personal space, do it. The more time you have for yourself and away from your child, the more you’ll miss your baby and his touch. And when you do, you’ll look forward to being with and nursing your baby more willingly.
2. Get help
You won’t be able to get some “me” time if no one will look after your baby while you’re enjoying your temporary freedom. You need to be certain that your child is in safe hands while you’re out or away from your baby so that you can have a worry-free “time-out.”
This means you may have to consider getting a babysitter for an hour or two every day. Your spouse or partner can even help you out. You can also ask a family member, friend, or neighbor to take care of the baby while you shop, go out for a walk or take a long bath.
3. Use your baby’s nap time wisely
If you can’t find a temporary babysitter, make the most of your child’s nap times. While your baby is asleep, read a book, listen to your favorite music, exercise, or even learn or practice yoga. Don’t use this time to do some chores. Use this free time to relax and reclaim your personal freedom so that you can be open to physical and emotional intimacy again later on.
4. Don’t keep your feelings bottled up
When you start feeling touched-out, it’s not just your baby who will suffer. Your spouse or partner, friends, loved ones, and relatives may also bear the brunt of your emotions. Keep in mind that if you keep your negative emotions to yourself, you will soon start feeling jealous, resentful, and angry towards others who are enjoying a life free of obligations and responsibilities.
Talking to your loved ones and friends and telling them exactly how you feel will help them understand what you’re going through. They will also find it easier to help you out. Your spouse or partner, in particular, will need to know every emotional upheaval you’re feeling so that small spats or misunderstandings won’t turn into huge fights and bigger problems.
5. Consult a doctor or a breastfeeding specialist
Lastly, if you’re starting to feel that you’re nursing your baby too much, it may be time to see your doctor or a breastfeeding specialist. This is because some babies who want to be fed a lot may have some health issues. Constant breastfeeding can be a sign of reflux, undersupply or oversupply, food sensitivities, or other nursing issues that need to be addressed by a professional.
If there is an underlying issue behind the constant nursing and this is addressed properly, your baby may slow down a little on breastfeeding and therefore lessen your touched-out feeling.
Let’s face it, a newborn baby can easily take over your life. But by finding some time for yourself and getting the support you need, you’ll still have some control and find that happiness and satisfaction that being a mom is all about.
At 16, Merril Bainbridge began her career in the Australian fashion industry. In her early 20’s she left to launch a successful Pop Music career which saw her at the top of the US Music Charts. Retiring to start a family, she found a new purpose helping breastfeeding women with her fashion label, Peachymama.
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