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Anyone else think breastfeeding has made them feel strange/anxious/depressed?

(14 Posts)
wellamI1981 Mon 13-Jun-11 18:39:25

I suppose this post is best aimed towards second time breastfeeders. Since DC was born I've suffered badly with anxiety - derealizaton/depersonalisation, panic attacks from out of the blue, thinking about death a lot, feeling overwhelmed etc etc. Yes - a barrell of laughs! I have a hunch that breastfeeding hormones could be contributing. Any opinions appreciated.

wellamI1981 Mon 13-Jun-11 18:39:57

DC is ten weeks old.

WoTmania Mon 13-Jun-11 18:47:02

Did you feel like this first time round? I'm assuming from your post that this is your second child.
This isn't something I've experienced with any of my 3 DC. Have you got a sympathetic GP who you could talk to. This sounds more like PND, I can't see it being the 'BF hormones'.

debbie1412 Mon 13-Jun-11 18:50:05

Im sure breast feeding is certainly an issue, but i would go and see your gp just to have a chat just to see if she thinks it may be pnd. I bf my ds for 7 months reluctantly for the last 3 as he would not take a bottle. the whole 7 months i had pangs of very highs and very lows every day was different. i was certainly anxious but i think thats normal with new baby. You look at life different and that knocks you off how you normally think. Tiredness was a huge factor to me i just wanted to run away somedays just so i could rest. I think the death thoughts are also common because you have this fear having to avoid it at all cost lol, else who would love your baby.
It all sounds very normal of a hormonal BF mother x

mamsnet Mon 13-Jun-11 18:53:02

I BF both mine and am surrounded by BF mothers. I'm afraid I've never heard anything other than happy chemicals coming in with the milk. BF relaxes baby and mother, in normal circumstances.
You need to get yourself to a doctor. And don't get fobbed off.

tiktok Mon 13-Jun-11 18:54:37

It's not normal, wellamI, and you're right to be concerned.

debbie - death thoughts happen to everyone from time to time, and the feeling of fear your baby will be left alone is horrible, and not uncommon, but the OP has panic attacks and suffers from anxiety.....not normal sad I agree, a chat with GP would be a good first step.

wellamI1981 Mon 13-Jun-11 21:42:14

Hi all. Thanks for your responses - it's my first baby.

TruthSweet Mon 13-Jun-11 23:11:39

wellamI - It sounds like you are having a rough time at the moment. A first baby does bring huge changes to it's parents life but you should have to feel like this and not have any support to work through/resolve these feelings.

Does the feelings/disassociation happen as you are feeding (with letdown perhaps) or is it unconnected with feeding times?

There is a physiological condition (i.e. body not mind) called D-MER that can cause very low mood/thoughts while bfing but they are limited to the actual feed time itself or when letdown is happening (even if the letdown is happening in a breastpad). There is nothing to say though that D-MER and PND/PND-OCD/PNA can't co-exist. There are management strategies here

If the thoughts/feelings are happening outside of feeding times/unconnected with milk letdowns then it may be seeing your GP/HV to get an Edinburgh Scale done to see if you might have a Post-Natal Illness (Depression/OCD/Anxiety). Lots of mums get PNI and it's surprisingly common but not a lot of mums talk about it. I had PND-OCD and was surprised that once I opened up about it at a mum/baby group that there were quite a few other mums who had had PND and even one who had PND-OCD just like me!

There is nothing to be worried about in seeing your GP. If you have a large practice or you are not sure of who is best to see you could always ask your HV if there is a Gp who is particularly sensitive to mums in the post-natal period.

I'm not diagnosing any condition via the internet though, I just thought you might find it reassuring that you are not alone in having these kinds of thoughts and that there are a few reasons/conditions that explain them so you know that definitely it's not just you who is feeling this way.

BooyHoo Mon 13-Jun-11 23:13:02

yes. my depression was most certainly linked to BFing. i bfed for 20 months and can't belive how much better things have been since i stopped.

SayItLoud Mon 13-Jun-11 23:19:24

I think my low/stressed/anger feelings were linked to breastfeeding, although I loved it, and those feelings lessened hugely each time I stopped. I stopped feeding ds2 at 16 months just a couple of weeks ago, and already I am much more myself than I have been since before his birth. It makes me sad that this is the case, as in every other way I and they got so much from the breastfeeding experience.

winnybella Mon 13-Jun-11 23:28:42

I think that you need to go to see a doctor-it sounds like a PND.

Otoh I have to say that I have almost stopped bf DD who's 2.5 yo and I've been feeling much more energetic and like myself but this could be to do with the fact that I am not bound to her and the house through bf plus perhaps less vitamins etc are used for milk and so more is left for my body confused

Now there is something...don't remember what it's called, but basically it's a brief feeling of the utmost depression/panic when your baby latches on and it concerns quite a few women-something to do with hormones etc-I had that for the first few months but then it went away. The rest of the bf would be ok iyswim, just this first 10 seconds or so would be weird.

But feeling like you described non-stop is not normal and imo cannot be explained physiologically by bf-get thee to a GP.

wellamI1981 Tue 14-Jun-11 19:25:37

Thanks for all your thoughtful responses. I have been to the GP today and he has diagnosed PND and strongly recommended ADs, which has scared me. The side effects look outrageous. I have a second counselling session next week (after initial screening session) so hoping to hold out till then and reexamine how I feel then.

reikizen Tue 14-Jun-11 19:29:04

so glad you took the first step wellamI. Counselling sounds like a great idea. Good luck

WoTmania Tue 14-Jun-11 19:57:08

sounds like you're taking positive steps smileI hope everything improves for you soon.

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