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Thread: help with negative feelings

  1. #1

    Unhappy help with negative feelings

    Background: My first daughter had lots of latch troubles and after help from friends and lactation consultants, I still had so much trouble that I ended up giving up after 4 weeks. It made me all the more determined to exclusivly breastfeed my next baby.

    I just had baby #2 2 weeks ago. She latched nicely right from the start. I had a bit of pain and shallow latch problems when my milk fully came in, but a lactation councelor friend helped me with that. Now she can nurse quite well and I've gotten past the pain- it even slightly tickles when she feeds now.

    What I haven't gotten past is the severe negative feelings with letdown and while she's feeding. I'm very sensitive in the breast area and also very shy, but I was determined to get over that and do what's best for my baby. However, I feel extremely depressed and anxious with letdown and nursing. It's ONLY during letdown and nursing, and I don't fully fit the post partum depression symptoms. I also have a hollow, almost queasy/nauseous, feeling in my stomach when nursing and a very strong irritated type feeling (almost like what you get when you hear nails scratching down a chalkboard). When I feed her all I can think about is that I can't wait until it's over, sometimes to the point where I really want to take her off before she's done so that I don't go crazy. I can't seem to bond with her when nursing, and afterwards I just want to hand her over to my husband while I recover from those feelings. It's probably hormone related, but it's only gotten worse, not better. I ended up letting my husband give her a bottle a couple of days ago because I couldn't stop crying long enough to pick her up and feed her. I immediately felt a rush of relief knowing she was fed and happy without me having to have those feelings, but I feel so selfish if I think about wanting to formula feed because I know she needs breastmilk, not formula. I found myself almost wishing I'd get an infection or have some sort of problem to blame so I didn't feel selfish not wanting to breastfeed her.

    I spoke with a nurse and nutritionist (not certified lactation consultants, but lactivists at least) today about it, and they didn't know how to help me except to tell me that it might be ppd and to speak with my doctor who is likely to recommend mild anti-anxiety meds or something. I don't want to be on medication and I'm afraid of side effects or becoming dependent on them.
    There's no LLL anywhere close to where I live, so I got online to see if anyone else has ever had anything similar to what I'm going through or anything to say about it. I love my girls so much and want to be the best mom for them, but the negative feelings with breastfeeding is driving me crazy. I want the best for them (my toddler even eats healthy, organic foods), and breastmilk is the perfect food for my baby. However I feel like it's either give her breastmilk and be upset, depressed, and sick feeling or give her a bottle and enjoy her and just be determined to be the best mom to her in other ways.

    Sorry this is so long, I just would like some (non-medicated) help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Your baby is still so new and the part that we all forget is that your body is still healing and learning. Many moms have similar symptoms, I myself feel the sudden lack of interest in eating almost nausea. I also get the insane thirst and a heady, exhausted feeling. However it does subside. You just need to give it time. That being said it does sound as though you might be dealing with some PPD, which I do not have any experience with. Hopefully some mamas with that experience will chime in soon. But please know that what you are going through is perfectly natural and you are not alone. If you take it day by day it does get better. You can do this, give yourself time.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Wow, that totally sounds like dysphoric mill ejection reflex. That's hormonal, I think. See www.d-mer.org Sorry can't link from my phone.

    ETA I think it often gets better as time goes on. My friend had it and it did for her in a couple months. she went on to nurse past a year very happily.
    Last edited by @llli*ooky; May 20th, 2011 at 09:59 PM.
    Mom to Taiga born 6/2010

    Pocket cloth diapers. Baby led solids. Full-time working mom. I my DH, DD, kitty Dr. Benway, and my working border collie Odin!
    BF for 1 year and she and I still love it !!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*ooky View Post
    Wow, that totally sounds like dysphoric mill ejection reflex. That's hormonal, I think. See www.d-mer.org Sorry can't link from my phone.

    ETA I think it often gets better as time goes on. My friend had it and it did for her in a couple months. she went on to nurse past a year very happily.
    I didn't experience this, but just wanted you to know you are not alone in having these feelings during let-down I hope the information ooky gave you is helpful.

    Jeanne (my middle name IRL)

    Mommy to two girls (M & M), born Sept. '07 and Sept. '09

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Denver, Co.

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    The tickle you are describing also sounds like the way my let down feels.

    I had similar (but not as severe) feelings while pumping. I hope the info the PP provided you is helpful.

    It sounds really hard, and I'm really sorry. I wish it could be easier for you.

    What I can tell you is that you are doing right by your baby by nursing. But the feelings sound really hard to deal with. Is there anything you can do while nursing to take your mind off the feelings - like watching TV or something? I know it's not the best, but maybe it would distract you enough to help.

    I hope it eases up. I feel like I saw a link that one of the moderators posted here about it. I will look and try to find it for you.

    ETA: Ah, ha! Here it is! http://forums.llli.org:80/showthread.php?t=95832

    You are not alone, mama. Hang in there and keep talking with us. We will listen and support you regardless as to what you decide. Let us know how else we can support you. What you are feeling is real - very real. Hang in there.
    Last edited by @llli*yoginimama; May 20th, 2011 at 11:06 PM.

    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    I am recovering from PPD. DD is 16 months now and we are still nursing. I, too, had severe nausea when nursing for the first month or so. I, too, was very very emotional when nursing. It was very difficult. Hormones are really intense during the letdown and it can come on quick ... just like a giant wave.

    This may not be the case for you, but it was for me ... but I had serious vulnerability and loss of control issues when it came to having a letdown. I just had a very difficult time with being upset about milk coming out of my body and the sensation it gave me. It was INTENSELY personal and intimate and to have that with such a vulnerable child at my breast was just completely overwhelming. The actual act of nursing became an emotional trigger. I hear this is a bit common with those that have suffered some forms of abuse.

    I had some serious PPD symptoms as well that I won't elaborate on right now, but I want to let you know that DD, DH and I got through it and we are MUCH stronger as a result. I also had a psychotherapist that met weekly with me. Medication isn't always necessary so use, if you must, as a last resort.

    Here is what worked for us:

    POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: Talk kindly to yourself. You would be amazed at the power of repeating a positive phrase to yourself when you are deeply upset. For example when you have a letdown and start to get upset you can say something to yourself like: "I love you and I love me. This is good for us both." or "I am a good mother." "We are doing a great job." or my favorite that I used during labor "I am bigger than my fear." That one applies in many situations.

    LIGHT EXERCISE: It helps with your stabilizing your endorphins. Go on a walk, get some sun. Stretch out.

    TALK TALK TALK: Tell at least one person everyday how you are feeling.

    I wish you the best with your new little one. Please know that you are not alone.
    Last edited by @llli*lovepickles; May 20th, 2011 at 11:39 PM.
    being a SAHM to DD born 12/09

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Orange County, CA

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Let us know if anything from the d-mer website posted above sounds familiar. When mine was at its worst I would burst into tears a minute before having a letdown, or have anxiety, feel depressed, hollow, nauseous, etc. It has gotten better as LO has grown I think in part because my supply has evened out a bit and I'm not having as many letdowns during each feed and in between.

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.

  8. #8

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Thank you all for your help. D-MER definately sounds like what I'm going through. I first came across it with my first baby (though with other troubles, I didn't pay much attention to D-MER), and I read it again just recently. I match the symptoms except that the feelings linger even after letdown while I'm nursing, but I think that's because I'm so anxious about the next letdown. If she nurses more than 10 or so minutes (and sometimes she's nursed for 2 hours), I feel an uncontrollable urge to pull her off.
    It doesn't seem fair to my girls- my newborn seems to get frustrated when the nursing sessions are at the worst for me and my toddler is doing everything she can to get my attention and try to make me happy.
    My husband and parents want the baby to get breastmilk, but they hate seeing me like this so bad that they're saying to just give her formula (organic at least, but it's still not perfect).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Have you spoken to your dr. about treatments? Were you able to find help with it when you had your first?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: help with negative feelings

    Wow must be an opposite reaction to the oxytocin you release when nursing. I hope there is a treatment option for you mama. Speak to your doctor about it.
    FTM to Abigail Dell 03/18/2011
    we are FINALLY a fully breastmilk baby (after 14 weeks of struggling!)
    Om nom nom

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