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Post-lactation depression

(7 Posts)
AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 08-Oct-12 11:19:35

Does anyone else get this?

OK, I just made the term up - but it happens every time.

As soon as I start dropping breastfeeds, my general mood nose-dives. I become weepy. I react very badly and disproportionally to other carers 'messing up' the feeds (e.g. by giving the baby two bottles rather than the agreed one), or if the baby gets poorly. I often start with a pragmatic resolution of 'time to move on from breastfeeding' - and then desperately back-pedal and clutch on to the maximum amount of breastfeeding. In the course of this, I don't care about the impact on the baby's sleep, the drain on my time, the disruption to other family members (who are fully supportive), the expense & drama involved or advice from health professionals. Most of all - I accept the impact on my mental health - since I feel fine while I fully bf and fine when I'm fully weaned - but the transition puts me into a relentless gut-feeling of panic - and my refusal to let go means that the transition lasts for months.

I presume it's hormonal. Knowing the fights I've fought to feed my babies, I certainly don't feel guilt. Just wondered if it was common.

AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 08-Oct-12 14:21:09


vallinnapod Mon 08-Oct-12 15:07:32

YES!! Although I only have one DS. When I started weaning I also started dropping BFs and moving over to formula. I was teary, thought I was a hideous mum. I got totally bogged down with making bottle, cleaning bottles, making food, 'feeding' food, clearing food. I lived for the middle of the night BFs confused It lasted for about a week or so. I also had no issue with interrupted nights sleep whilst BF but find it very hard now and again put this down to hormones.

I dropped feeds because DS had the attention span of a gnat. He would feed for 30 seconds max during the day and then guzzle all night. It is my biggest regret not to have just gone with it as opposed to switching over to formula (which he did without the bat of an eyelid).

Next time (if I am so lucky). I will BF at whatever time suits (as is so easy to say now!)

AnnIonicIsoTronic Mon 08-Oct-12 19:19:44

grin I thought it was going to be just me!

AngelDog Mon 08-Oct-12 21:09:37

I've read that bf'ing increases your levels of serotonin (the 'happy hormone') which is why it can have such a big effect. Plus it releases lots of oxytocin, so reducing feeds reduces oxytocin levels.

Aethelfleda Wed 10-Oct-12 19:02:41

If's very common to get "the blues" when stopping BFing. Prolactin is the "happy blissed out feeding mum" hormone that releases at the start of every feed to cause milk letdown, , so when you're shutting down BFing its levels drop. Some people hardly seem to notice, others (like me each time I've stopped!!) spend a good week or two buried in the Kleeenex. Fortunately as with all these things it passes and your hormones steady out. So it's completely normal, and not just you!

Aethelfleda Wed 10-Oct-12 19:03:54

(plus what angel said with the other hornones).

Isn't it great being a mum?!?!

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