Dear Loving Milk Maid: Can Nursing Help Veterans Cope With The Rough Days?

Dear Loving Milk Maid,

I recently have developed a curiosity in learning more about ANR. I have attempted to discuss this topic with my wife, but she has no interest in participating. As a combat veteran, I would be interested to know if this would help me when I’m having a rough day.

This is a wonderful question, and, as a former military wife, one that is very close to my heart. Over the past year-and-a-half, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with many veterans and their wives to openly discuss the positive benefits that adult nursing has provided to those suffering from PTSD; they have all agreed that suckling, either with or without the addition of lactation has indeed helped them cope with the difficult moments.

As time passes, more and more research is being conducted on the natural health benefits of breastfeeding, for the nursing woman and her partner, and more studies are being done for veterans and others who suffer from life-altering experiences. About a year ago, following a great deal of research, I discovered that the hormone oxytocin, which is released in high quantities through suckling and other forms of touch, is now considered as being highly therapeutic. As a matter of fact, several oxytocin studies have now reached the stage of clinical trials, which test the effectiveness and safety of a substance before it can become an approved drug with promising findings. You can read the complete article by clicking HERE.  

Around the same time, I spoke to a woman who was utilizing nursing as a form of therapy for her husband, and her story can be found by clicking THIS LINK.

From a personal standpoint, I have seen the positive effects that nursing has had on my own husband’s state of mind and well-being over the past 16 years. As a former Marine and combat veteran who now works in a different “high-pressure” field, Mr. S feels that nursing centers and balances him, and that suckling is an outlet for potential stress. As we consider many factors in our life as a nursing couple, we now feel that breastfeeding not only allowed him to better cope with life as an Active Duty Marine, but has possibly helped to prevent the symptoms of PTSD.

When asked for his thoughts on this, Mr. S shared the following:

“Yes, I believe that, in many cases, nursing does help with the coping and healing processes; however, this is going to depend on the particular vet. PTSD is triggered by a lot of different things, and there really isn’t one known standard therapy for the condition. If the vet is okay with the closeness and skin to skin contact, nursing is definitely a great therapy, and I’d suggest trying it. I always take a lot of comfort in lying close to you, being held, and feeling your fingers stroke my hair. It’s all good.”

Thank you again for the question. I hope this helps!

Loving Milk Maid

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  1. MrsDB says:

    In my experience, nursing is not only beneficial to the one suckling, but it has benefits for the partner being suckled. I have problems with depression and anxiety. Since we started our ANR, I find that I have fewer mood swings. When my husband sees that cloud coming over me, he’ll ask if I want to nurse. I find it calming and relaxing. I still participate in my regular therapy, but nursing is a way to help bridge the gap when things are a little more stressful than usual. I’d like to see a study on the benefits of ANR as a therapy for mood disorders.

    • Loving Milk Maid says:

      I completely agree! I know from personal experience that nursing is just as beneficial and therapeutic for me as it is for Mr. S. There are actually several studies regarding the benefits more “traditional” breastfeeding provides for the nursing woman who suffers from various depressive disorders (including postpartum depression and PTSD related to childbirth), and while none are specifically linked to adult nursing, I truly believe that the findings apply to EVERYONE who chooses to nurse–even if your recipient just happens to be a “big” person instead of a “little” person.

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