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Thread: Breastfeeding and PMS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    138

    Default Breastfeeding and PMS

    OK, I've figured out that the times when I struggle most with breastfeeding are when I'm having PMS, or at least my period is close to starting. I got my period back four months after she was born. When this happens, I get extra sensitive, sore, irritable. I get angry easily, and these are times when breastfeeding to me feels...disgusting. (I know that breastfeeding is not disgusting. These are not rational thoughts). She also seems to struggle with breastfeeding more during these times, too, perhaps because she senses my unhappiness.

    I'm not really sure how to deal with PMS at all actually. I had it as an adolescent, and then I didn't have it as an adult until I was trying to conceive and I think that was more due to my frustrations with trying to get pregnant than anything else. Once I started college, I was on hormonal birth control for 12 years, so I didn't really have PMS, then I went off of HBC for several years before TTC and I never experienced anything that felt like PMS during those years. If I did it was so mild that I just chalked it up to an unrelated mood fluctuation.

    So I'm experiencing this, and I don't really know how to deal with it, and it's really making breastfeeding very unhappy for me. I've gone back and forth as to how long I want to breastfeed vs how long I can realistically do it. I've thought of doing it until she's at least two, but I don't know if I can go through this 17 more times.

    How do you deal with BFing and PMS? Does anyone else have to deal with this?
    Last edited by @llli*tallmadre; November 16th, 2012 at 10:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and PMS

    I'm not really going through what you're going through, but know that there are occasional nursing sessions that I don't find as enjoyable as others. During these times I will typically think back to one of the nursing sessions that made me feel warm, connected, and wrapped up in my son so I remember that this is something so special that I can't just throw out because of one unpleasurable experience. Obviously, yours is PMS related so you will get it more frequently, but do you think something like this would help? Trying to savor how much you love breastfeeding during the other times of the month...? If this wouldn't work for you, I hope someone else is able to provide you with some helpful advice!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    168

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and PMS

    I'm on my second period since LO was born and am finding that it is 1) very different from my pre-baby periods and 2)impacting on breastfeeding.

    From what I understand nipple soreness is a very common problem during menstruation. I have read that evening primrose (one capsule/day) can help with this. I haven't tried this yet, but think I will.

    I also understand that you can experience a temporary dip in supply and/or the milk can change taste in the few days before your period or the first few days of your period. So, this might account for baby's fussiness. Certainly, we seem to have a supply issue for these few days but based on my last period, it quickly resolved once my period eased off. I've read that calcium WITH magnesium (up to 1500mg/750mg) is helpful for this--and we will be doing this for sure the next time around.

    With regards to the other problems you are experiencing, I suspect some of that may be normal but if you are experiencing it so significantly and it is bothering you, perhaps it would be worth seeing your GP or OBGYN to discuss your concerns? Maybe if your nipples weren't so sore and your baby wasn't fussing (i.e., you try the evening primrose and calcium/magnesium or another way to temporarily boost supply), the irritability would decrease?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and PMS

    alilwest,

    I have tried thinking about the times that I have had enjoyable breastfeeding experiences. It just still doesn't really work. I think it would be easier if it were one rough feeding here and there, but it's every feeding for several days, and that's a hard thing to look forward to.

    evolving,

    I will look into evening primrose. Thanks. My supply seems ok, or at least if it does lessen, it goes right back up to normal, but I'll see about the calcium w/ magnesium, too.

    Talking to my ob/gyn might be a good idea. I'll try the things you suggested and see what happens. I have to go back to the gyn for a pap in January, so I might be able to bring it up then.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,176

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and PMS

    You might want to try eliminating caffeine from your diet. My MIL, who is a CNM, swears that it can help with bad PMS. Of course, it means not only giving up coffee and tea but also chocolate...
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and PMS

    I do already drink very little caffeine because I am highly susceptible to UTIs and not having caffeine is about the only thing that's ever really worked. I only drink decaf coffee, adn I do drink some iced tea but that's not even every day. I don't drink soda, so my occasional iced tea is kind of my own personal vice. I can see about getting rid of that, too, though.

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