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Thread: Decrease in feeding and maternal mood changes

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    51

    Default Decrease in feeding and maternal mood changes

    So this is my third little nursling, he is currently 18 months old. We are going to practice baby lead weaning, as of now he still nurses frequently but he is beginning to drop several feedings. He certainly nurses more than my other kiddos at this age- but nothing abnormal. We will stop when we are both ready.

    My issue arises with when I start weaning or dropping feedings my mental health seems to suffer. My feelings are amplified- I am more anxious at times, I am sadder at times, I am more self conscious. I can function in daily life easily- I'm just more sad.

    This has happened with each child when I weaned or started the process. It's like my "baby blues" have been stalled until now. I went to a therapist last time because my mother had postpartum issues she never dealt with or acknowledged, and I didn't want that for myself or family. In all honesty, therapy was not really helpful- the feelings just passed eventually.

    Has anyone ever had this experience while weaning? What did you do? I've heard fish oil helps regulate mood- anyone try that before?

    Thanks y'all!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: Decrease in feeding and maternal mood changes

    It is common for moms to feel sadness or other unpleasant feelings when their child weans or as they wean. Hormonally of course the moms body is changing as milk production lessons, and she also looses the (usually) pleasant and relaxing hormonal rush that occurs while a child nurses. So hormonal changes accounts to some degree for such feelings. Such feelings are also probably caused by the sadness/fear/worry that every transition as your child ages can bring. After all why is it so common for moms cry as their kids go off to their first day of kindergarten...or college? We will miss them, and also we tend to worry at such times, often beyond what is rational- but these feelings are not irrational, they are normal and have been programed into us over hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. I recently talked to a friend who is experiencing pain as her 14 year old son "drifts away' from her since starting high school. She compared the feelings to what she felt when he was weaning, and that made perfect sense to me.

    I think it makes sense that talk therapy is not going to help much in alleviating your mood in such a case. Talk therapy is not going to change your hormone balance, and it is not going to cure natural and normal feelings that we have because of our normally intense feelings about protecting our children by keeping them in close proximity to us. But having someone sympathetic to talk to can often help one get through times of such feelings. If your feelings are so intense you think you need more help coping with them, a therapy technique that teaches coping mechanisms (cognitive behavioral therapy) might be more effective. Also exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep etc. helps a great deal with being able to cope with anxiety and depression.

    Personally I have had post partum anxiety with all my kids, it was usually later onset (between 6 and 24 months) and it took until after my third, when I had some scary panic attacks, I realized what was going on and I asked my doctor for something I could take when I felt overwhelmed or a panic attack coming on. She gave me a very low dose opioid and that worked well because I could take it only when needed, meaning that at my worst I took it maybe 3 times a week and only for a few weeks. Of course not everyone is going to need or want something like that! I only mention it because it is a not a common solution. Usually if a prescription med is suggested for this type of mood issue it is a SSRI such as Prozac, which are usually long term meds- basically an adult taking an SSRI for mood disorder is probably going to always need to take it. (Younger people can be treated with those meds temporarily in many cases.) I did not want that, not only because I knew my 'problem' was almost certainly going to be short term and alleviate within several months, but also I do not have a good history with SSRIs so I was glad my doctor was willing to try something else for me.

    Fish oil does appear to help with mood stabilization in some small studies, probably due to the benefit of high Omega-3? I am pretty sure there is a (suspected) hormonal benefit too so I think fish oil is definitely something to look into for this kind of thing. But there is not any consensus on it's effectiveness. On the other hand, taken properly and with a safe and a reliable product, I do not know of a drawback to fish oil. More on this: https://www.webmd.com/depression/fea...t-depression#2 and http://www.livestrong.com/article/53...mens-hormones/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    51

    Default Re: Decrease in feeding and maternal mood changes

    Thank you for that info! It was very informative.

    I think I'm going to try Omegas and go from there.

    At my local health food/homeopathic store (I know the family who owns it and they are truly knowledgeable people who have owned the store for generations.) I was told to try St John's Wort. I have read conflicting information about St. John's Wort and its side effects. Plus I'm not sure about it while breastfeeding.

    Anyone on here try that for mild depression or anxiety???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Decrease in feeding and maternal mood changes

    I have also experienced a lot of mood swings and sadness, anxiety, etc. that were not readily explainable other than being due to changes in nursing. My littlest one is 16 months now and I have had days like that the last few months. It seems it is just something that has to run its course. I have no experience with St. John's Wort. I did want to just let you know that you are not alone, though I am sure it is more difficult and pronounced for some moms than others.

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