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Anxiety when bfing!

(27 Posts)
HoweyWoloWizard Wed 14-Oct-15 08:55:29

My ds is ebf since birth 20 weeks ago. It was hard at first as you'd expect and I suffered a lot of anxious feelings when I was feeding him. My dh thought the feelings were associated with milk let down. Then it stopped happening and I was fine. However in the last week or so it's started again. I feel waves of anxiety in my stomach when bfing and even when I'm not sometimes. Is this normal? A sign to stop? Tia

Wishful80smontage Wed 14-Oct-15 09:01:13

I would have a chat with the Hv or dr- if you are feeling anxious at other times too.
Do you think it could be to do with other things rather than the feeding itself? In the early days with dd I felt slightly on edge as I sat there feeding looking at everything else that needed doing but once I realised that the feeding itself was an important job I took the pressure off myself and enjoyed it.
Do you go to any bf support groups/baby groups they are really helpful.

caravanista13 Wed 14-Oct-15 09:12:33

This is a recognised condition - Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, or D-MER. I don't have any personal experience of it, but worth talking to your HV.

HoweyWoloWizard Wed 14-Oct-15 09:13:28

I am worrying about weaning onto solids a lot lately as I've no idea how to do it. Ive signed up to a local weaning class for next month though. I just keep getting these unexpected pangs of pure panic in my stomach. I don't usually get to full panic attack stage anymore as I did when he was first born. But this keeps happening. Maybe I do need to see Dr sad. I thought it was maybe some hormonal mechanism to do with milk production or letdown.

HoweyWoloWizard Wed 14-Oct-15 09:14:16

Cara that's really interesting I'll look it up right now

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-15 10:55:57

There is a website dedicated to D-Mer.

From what you say, it would be worth sharing the info with your HV and GP. It's not certain this is what it is. There may be other things going on related to more general anxiety, but they could exist alongside D-Mer. Anxiety that comes separate to breastfeeding is not D-Mer.

Have you had anxiety and/or panic attacks before ie pre-baby?

Hope you can find good help - my understanding is that anxiety can be improved massively. A certain amount goes with parenting territory, of course, but what you are describing sounds really difficult to cope with sad sad

cashewnutty Wed 14-Oct-15 11:01:59

When i was breastfeeding my first DD it made me feel really low and blue when i was feeding. I was fine in between but the actual act of feeding made me feel awful. I didn't breast feed her for long and fed my next 2 for very short periods as it made me feel so awful. This was over 20 years ago and no one ever gave me an explanation for it. D-mer, having had a read about it, makes lots of sense to me now.

HoweyWoloWizard Wed 14-Oct-15 12:45:44

Tiktok, thanks for your message. I have had anxiety problems and panic attacks before. Maybe dmer has started as well and has exacerbated the pre existent anxiety. Quite honestly I'm always feeling on edge and full of dread. Id feel like a right moaner if I go and see a dr about it though, some people have real problems and me getting a bit panicky sometimes is hardly worth wasting a gp appt for.

Cashew sounds like you had the same thing, albeit with a sad feeling instead of an anxious feeling.

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-15 13:13:33

If you won't seek help for your own sake - and anxiety is real and is a real problem and is not moaning at all - then do think about the fact that it's important for your baby to have a mum in good emotional and mental health....at least speak to the HV and see what help is on offer. It is absolutely not good to live with this indefinitely, and it does affect children, even babies sad

Being on edge and having a feeling of dread is not normal, and is a horrible way to live.

You deserve better smile

HoweyWoloWizard Wed 14-Oct-15 17:09:45

Thank you tiktok. Ok you might have a point. I've been slowly turning into a hermit. This might give you a smile - on the day after mn was hacked and swatted, I had a massive panic attack and thought people were 'coming for me' and locked myself and the baby in the house with the curtains closed and cried all day. Nearly lost my marbles that day that's for sure. I laugh at it now, but maybe this is getting worse sad.

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-15 19:03:20

Aw, Howey, I'm not smiling at that, and you shouldn't be laughing, either....it's not remotely funny sad sad

Please get help - is there anyone you are close to you can share these feelings with? If they care, they will urge you to see a doctor.

I hope you will.

HoweyWoloWizard Wed 14-Oct-15 19:12:01

My dh knows. He doesn't think it's too bad though. What would a Dr do for anxiety? I'm scared they will medicate me and I can't bf anymore. Thank you so much for your concern and validating these feelings

sandy30 Wed 14-Oct-15 19:57:09

Hi Howey, I'm sorry you're feeling like this. I have a history of problems with anxiety which spiked when my DS was born. If it seemed medication would help, there are some which can be taken safely while breastfeeding. There are also talking treatments.

I know it varies by region, but there is usually some sort of specialist pernatal mental health service which might see you pretty fast and can help you access talking treatments in a way that is practical with a new baby. (For example, I had a psychiatric nurse come to my house and do a kind of counselling with me that, unlike the CBT I'd previously had, required no work between appointments.)

If medication does come up as an option, I've found that some GPs tend to have a kneejerk 'no' response when a woman is breastfeeding. Please get them to seek advice from a perinatal psychiatrist and/or to check out a database called LactMed, as there is actually quite a lot you can usually safely take.

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-15 21:20:38

Honey, everything Sandy says is right.

Please don't let fear of meds stop you. There are safe and effective options and in any case meds may not be better than cbt or other talking therapies.

Perhaps tell your Dh about how bad it is? I wonder if you minimise, like you have done here?

tiktok Wed 14-Oct-15 21:22:42

Howey, not honey, sorry!!

FifiFerusha Wed 14-Oct-15 21:34:58

When I had DD I suffered a lot of anxiety problems which I won't go into but I was prescribed citalopram and I was breastfeeding and no problems encountered.This with councilling did make a difference. Seeking help and support was a vital step that I took, there is so much out there to make it better. .remember that. I really hope you seek advice soon. Good luck x x

Ps I also experienced d-mer with DD and in the first 6 weeks of feeding DS. Maybe something triggers it in some people.

Peaceloveandpartyrings Wed 14-Oct-15 22:59:03

Wow can I just hijack and say thanks to whoever posted about D-MER. I have a 10mo and have always had a strange anxious sensation that I might burst into tears every time I feed him or express, and have never figured out what it was. Glad to see it's a "thing" and not just me!

HoweyWoloWizard Thu 15-Oct-15 11:09:57

Hi sandy, thanks for your message. It's really helpful. Actually, I've been inspired on this thread to sort myself out, for the baby. I'm scared he will learn to be anxious like me!

Tiktok, you can call me honey if you want grin. I definitely do minimise, I could easily become agoraphobic so I best get sorted.

Fifi thanks for the post. I'm glad getting help made you feel better.

Peace glad I'm not alone smile.

tiktok Thu 15-Oct-15 11:41:43

Howey, so glad you are going to get yourself some help.

It's absolutely the case that many people with mental/emotional health issues see parenthood as the spur to change things. It is possible to live an apparently 'normal' life with sometimes serious issues, to struggle through, and to pretend all is well when behind closed doors it certainly isn't. But then a baby comes along and you just cannot - it's not fair or right for a baby to grow up like this, and untreated problems can have a serious effect on babies and children. We know this from the research - untreated illness increases the risks of emotional and behavioural problems in children as they grow, right up into adulthood.

Good luck - there is good help out there, but first step is to acknowledge that you need it, and not to minimise.

Freezingwinter Thu 15-Oct-15 15:48:48

Awww bless you! I hope you are ok. If you do end up taking medications you can email Wendy from the breastfeeding network, she is a pharmacist and can tell you what's safe and what's not. I have been feeling anxious too, I suppose our hormones are all over the place, have your periods came back yet? I felt better once mine started. Please don't worry about weaning, it'll be fine!

HoweyWoloWizard Fri 16-Oct-15 21:08:53

Last thing I need is baby turning out like me sad. Thanks tiktok. You've been a great help.

Freezing, thanks for the advice! I had a period, then went on cerazette and they stopped, now have an implant and have had a very light period all week.

I'm just so tired and I want to give up bf but ds wouldn't be pleased.

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Mon 19-Oct-15 17:39:52

Sorry to jump in but oh my goodness I am so relieved to hear that I'm not going nuts! I didn't know that DMER was a thing and haven't been able to understand why I get so sad while feeding my 11 week old baby. I thought maybe I was getting post natal depression as the feeling of hopelessness when I feed him is so intense but I was so confused because I feel absolutely fine the rest of the time. It all makes sense now!

sandy30 Mon 19-Oct-15 23:11:01

Glad it was useful, Howey. Best of luck! x

HoweyWoloWizard Tue 20-Oct-15 18:49:02

Just to tell you all, since reading about dmer I've felt much better as I know it's just hormonal and not psychological. And I've had a little more sleep recently so feeling tonnes better! Thanks for all your help everyone.

Lorelai, firstly you have an excellent username! Secondly I'm glad you found this thread and can feel less alone smile.

tiktok Wed 21-Oct-15 05:43:06

Howey, glad you feel better. You may have dmer, but from your other posts you have anxiety, too, and it sounds severe. Please don't lump it all under dmer.

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