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Thread: sadness after breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    1

    Default sadness after breastfeeding

    After I nurse I sometimes feel this wave of sadness. I have no problems with latching, he's growing like a weed, and for the most part breastfeeding is not painful. The sadness isn't related to any pain or discomfort. I probably feel the sadness a couple of times a week, and it's usually related to marathon feeding (feeding from 45 min to 1 hr) sessions. I'm pretty sure it's related to some hormonal change.


    The little sir is 1 month old.

    The only articles I've seen shows how breastfeeding can help alleviate PPD, but I'm wondering if there are any cases of the opposite.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    2,539

    Default Re: sadness after breastfeeding

    It sounds like he is a happy baby! Great job mama! You mentioned you notice it when he has the marathon feeds (which I know can be exhausting) that could also play a factor. Is there someone that can give you a hand and hold the baby so you can shower, or get a cat nap in? I know that has helped me to just take a breath. The Oxytocin that is released is supposed to relax us and it's called the "love hormone" and helps with bonding. You could also be experiencing the baby blues (which happens to about 50-80% of us).

    You can ask your MD to check your thyroid. Are you having anything else accompany the sadness? Thoughts of harming yourself or your family?
    Postpartum depression can begin anytime within the first year after birth and occures in about 10% of new mothers, so if you are having any signs of PPD, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider.

    Hang in there I think the first couple of months were the most challenging

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    6,959

    Default Re: sadness after breastfeeding

    So I was reading this interesting article about the effects of the hormone, Oxytocin being released in your blood when you experience a let down of milk. As well as nausea, headaches, and anxiety, depression and other symptoms can occur. Now I am not saying it isn't the early onset of ppd like ppl said, I'm just saying that its worth reading this (put a link for you ) article- specially when you think about how hormones really do run the breast feeding mothers life.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: sadness after breastfeeding

    My thoughts on this . . . .

    I don't think breastfeeding causes PPD. I had PPD, and I think I would have had it whether or not I was nursing. Breastfeeding, though, helped me hang in there and stay with my family. If I had not been nursing, I would have abandoned DH and DS #1.

    However, the hormonal changes that occur are significant, and they do run your life to some extent, like the PP said.

    That said, what you describe, to me, sounds more like baby blues, which is a little bit of depression that comes and goes. It's more typical to have that in the first 2-3 weeks PP, but maybe a month it's too far out there for baby blues. The long nursing session could accentuate what you are feeling because nursing is tough the first few weeks -- you gotta watch the baby, nursing laying down may be difficult, it might take forever and you're tired, whatever, even with a good latch and no pain.

    Something that occured to me, but I have no documentation for it is that perhaps the sad feeling post-long session is due to coming off the oxytocin "high" that nursing brings on. Dunno though.

    So, what I would do is try to get some extra rest. If he's settling in for a long session, or a growth spurt, try to lay down to nurse and side-lying nursing is the best! Taking care of yourself helps both of you through the first few months.

    If it continues or worsens, though, you need to find some help. Support, medication and counseling are all options.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    206

    Default Re: sadness after breastfeeding

    I had PPD. I don't know if it was related to nursing. I also had marathon sessions with my LO (1 hour). It was exchausting and while i was nursing i had the opportunity to think, so i was thinking too bad things. A lot of times i thought of leaving, abandoning the child. I agre that if i wasn;t nursing so that i HAD to be with my LO i would have left. Somehow after 2 months this feeling was decreasing. think that now your hormones are like crazy, you need to rest, you have to EAT WELL.
    Good luck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    1,107

    Default Re: sadness after breastfeeding

    I'm glad I read this although the feelings I have are kinda different. When it's dinner time and after I serve children then dh and then prepare myself a plate usually 9 out of 10 times my lo will want to nurse, so as she nurses I eat and when this happens this feeling of disgust comes over me like I'm this 500 pound obese whale and I kinda lose my appetite. Anyone else have this particular feeling? It's only when I eat and nurse her at the same time though. If I just nurse I don't have this feeling. Weird huh?
    My name is Rosie and I'm a mother to 3 girls and 2 boys

    My girls:Janessa 10.30.93, Reanna 03.25.99 and Mylee 09.20.06
    My sons, Isaiah 07.16.97 and Shawn 09.12.08


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: sadness after breastfeeding

    hugs to all strong women in this forum! sometimes it can really be difficult both emotionally and physically. I didn't experience PPD, except for the occassional crying with no reason. I don't have any immediate family living close to us (my parents are in the Philippines, brother is in FL, other relatives in cA... we're in VA) that i do feel alone at times. I guess what helped me is focusing more on the goodness of life --- being blessed with beautiful children, having a supportive husband, and friends that offer assistance instead of the difficult situation i'm experiencing.

    What we, ladies, are experiencing is definitely difficult. nursing, taking care of household chores, taking care of other children. Wejust need to learn how to accept our new responsibilities and take it in a positive light. As what they say..."this, too, shall pass.."

    I will include everyone in my prayers.

    Gabe and Jacob's Nanay

    Gabe born on September 07, 2004

    Jacob born on May 29, 2007

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