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Considerations of Sensory Sensitivities of Adult Women on the Autism Spectrum During Lactation

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Abstract

Introduction

Medical conditions that are known to have signs and symptoms of atypical sensory reactivity may present particular challenges during lactation and breastfeeding as a daily activity.

Problem

There is limited information about the experiences and needs of breastfeeding women with autism spectrum conditions. Those on the autism spectrum have key patterned behaviors of atypical sensory reactivity to tactile, visual, auditory, olfactory, proprioceptive, and vestibular stimuli as well as a strong need for movement, sameness, and predictability which can be experienced when engaging in any daily activity.

Discussion

Observations in clinical practice indicate that unique, heightened sensory experiences occur for some women on the autism spectrum in response to the typical sensory stimuli of breastfeeding, but are largely unexplored in the lactation literature.

Conclusion

This article seeks to increase the visibility of atypical sensory reactivity in lactation and proposes the inclusion of autism spectrum conditions and sensory sensitivities in the lactation intake process.

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