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Thread: Weaning & Hormones?

  1. #1

    Default Weaning & Hormones?

    After 2 years and 2 months of nursing, I completely weaned my son a month ago at the very beginning of my period. We were down to only one nursing at night so it was a very gradual process. Didn't think anything of it until 2 days after Christmas when I started feeling extreme nausea. I had gotten my period (totally normal as always) and this nausea started on the 7th day of my cycle and continued for 5 solid days. It felt as if I was pregnant, but there is seriously no chance of that and per doctor's orders, I took the test anyway - negative. For 3 days it was just constant all day long. For the next 2, I had severe diarrhea. Everyone I talk to says it's something I ate or a bug. I've had food poisoning and plenty of bugs, and this was neither. My OBGYN and family doctor both felt it's neither as well, but they didn't offer me much info as to what might be going on.

    I'm an engineer and very exacting. I track everything. I know I ovulate very late in the cycle and I knew I was not pregnant. My question is whether or not hormones could be causing this. Around the 7th day is when estrogen levels start climbing and I know that after weaning, prolactin is produced - not sure if this all is due to hormones balancing themselves out.

    Will be getting bloodwork done to rule out serious problems, but wanted to see if anyone has some good info on what your hormones do after weaning. It seems many moms complain of nausea after weaning, but not a whole lot of details about the "why" to be found anywhere.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning & Hormones?

    It's an interesting question, and I did some poking around on Google Scholar looking for articles addressing this phenomenon, but didn't find anything relevant. Since post-weaning nausea unrelated to pregnancy seems to be uncommon, and not particularly debilitating, I suspect that no-one has ever taken a particularly close look at it.

    I think your hypothesis that this is all a matter of your hormones rebalancing themselves as prolactin production drops is a good one. I know that my first postpartum cycles have been more whacko (for lack of a better word) than average- the ups are more intense, the lows are worse, and my period itself... Yuck.

    But on the other hand, it seems like the potential for this to be some sort of nasty tummy bug is there, too. I know you feel like you ruled it out, but the progression from nausea to diarrhea is kind of classic tummy bug. Just sayin'.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Northern Cal.

    Default Re: Weaning & Hormones?

    I still haven't completely weaned Joe, but when he cut back drastically, I had some pretty intense mood swings. It was pretty remarkable. Of course, there are other possible reasons for mood swings, but I think the hormones played a part.

    I didn't have any nausea, though. And stomach bugs do come in all diff't varieties, so each one is unique, right?

    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Weaning & Hormones?

    Thanks for the comments so far. I forgot to mention one sort of key point, which is why the doctors were pointing to doing a pregnancy test in the midst of all the stomach bugs going around - the only thing I could stand the mere thought of were "juicy fruits" - e.g., pineapple, pears, apples, oranges etc. Coincidentally, juicy fruits and fruit juices were the only foods I could tolerate during the first trimester pregnancy nausea. This was really the main reason I didn't think bug or food poisoning. Most people don't run to cut up a pineapple when they are hit with the Norovirus. Also, the nausea was so intense that it was debilitating. I literally sat sort of propped up unable to move for the first 3 days. I guess my fear is - if this is some sort of hormonal imbalance - is it going to happen next month? Other posts I've read on the topic of nausea after breastfeeding seem to often indicate an ongoing thing for a few months. Ultimately, I was hoping to be able to find some sort of homeopathic or herbal type of relief to help balance things out a little more quickly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Weaning & Hormones?

    If this is hormone related, it should smooth over as time goes on. A lot of moms find that their first postpartum cycle is awful, but the next one is somewhat better and the one after that is better still.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Weaning & Hormones?

    Maybe try ginger for the nausea? Just a thought...
    Marley & Emily 9-24-10
    (Done as of 5-23-12)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Default Re: Weaning & Hormones?

    My first postpartum period was like that too. Terrible nausea (as in I had to be laying down otherwise I'd puke; totally new to me since I didn't even have morning sickness during pregnancy), and diarrhea too. It lasted a couple days... I don't remember how long exactly.

    As I had a bout of diarrhea due to bacterial infection postpartum -- I made sure to take probiotics, drink kefir as possible. That helped regulate things...

    And my mom gave me this ginger syrup (basically liquid ginger in concentrate) -- that I took for the nausea. It did help. The only other thing I could do was try to keep from becoming dehydrated.... and sleep it off.

    My OB agreed it was my system just getting back into the swing of things, and that it was likely due to hormonal stuff. I know it's not the exact same situation.... but figured it might be helpful to you
    3/2011 {EBF to 6mos, now BF and BLS, CD, EC'ing since 5mos - in underwear at 11mos, and babywearing}
    Babywearing International has chapters - see if there's one near you... most have lending libraries!

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