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Thread: depressed feeling while nursing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    30

    Default depressed feeling while nursing

    This morning at a playgroup my girls and I attend, I was asked by a friend, who is nursing her three month old, if I ever experienced feeling depressed while nursing or pumping. She indicated that her whole body just feels in a depressive state while nursing and it's even worse while pumping.

    I personally have not, but was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and if so, was there any options for resolution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    I've heard of this -- it seems to be a biochemical response to the hormonal process of letdown. I remember a couple of threads on these boards on this topic several months back.

    I'm not sure there is a "cure," and I'm not sure this is widely recognized even by lactation experts. If your friend has a history of depression or seems to be affected by this reaction to the point that it is impacting her quality of life, I would urge her to discuss it with her doctor and with a good IBCLC. There are anti-depressant meds that are safe while nursing, and many moms have found that they help a great deal with PPD -- although again, I've not heard whether they are a useful tool in dealing with this particular situation.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    8,591

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    I wouldn't necessarily say that I felt depressed while nursing, but in the first 4-6 weeks I definitely felt extremely tired when I nursed. I was tired, indeed, but while nursing I could barely keep my eyes open, and sometimes I just succumbed. The doctor told me that was the bodies way of helping me to letdown, but it was soooo extreme. I was later diagnosed with ppd and have been taking anti-depressents. Things are much brighter since!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    Yes I get this too, has got better over time. Would echo getting help if it's "taking over" and generally getting lots of support from people who care, trying to take it easy, napping whenever possible, trying to eat lots of nourishing stuff, getting out in the fresh air and telling herself she's doing a fab job!
    Hope she feels better soon.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
    Posts
    17,469

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    This did happen to me. It was a sense of melencholy that was quite overwhelming (More so while pumping but still present while nursing).I tried to seek help or at least find an explanation without much luck. For me it eventually passed. LIike the excruciating "makes me want to swear and stomp my feet at the same time but I can't becaue I don't want to startle my newborn"pain of latching in the beginning. This depressed feeling showed up oround 4 wks and dissapaited around 11-12 weeks. It was a little scary but it happened when I started but was usually gone before the session was over. (Back then he always ate for at least 20min) but it usually lasted the whole time I pumped. (I am always done with that in under 15). So I feel her pain. Literally. Tell her to stick with it. This too shall pass.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    I heard that your body actually releses a chemical/hormone called relaxin, or something similar, when you nurse. Anyone else heard of this?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    43

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    I also had a strange almost depressed feeling when nursing in the beginning with my ds. It was almost a sick feeling, but passed shortly after letdown. I also got it with pumping, but I no longer have it now (ds is 5mo). I was curious to know if anyone else had felt it, so its nice to know.
    For me, it kind of tapered and went away, haven't felt it for probably a month or more. Hopefully it will pass for her too!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    I also kind of experienced depressed feeling.But I think its mostly during intial 4-6 weeks when I did'nt have much energy and I was very tired.
    My baby is 5 months old and I no longer feel it.
    Thanks
    Mangai

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    1,073

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    Yes, msteen76, I've also heard of relaxin. The L&D nurse was explaining it to me during my first nursing session at the hospital. I STILL feel tired sometimes (usually the last feeding before bed) & dd is 4 1/2 months now. I guess it's another hormone us ladies have. Doesn't make me feel depressed, only really, really tired. When it happens I just sleep while she nurses. We don't co-sleep so sometimes it's been a truly hysterical picture on my couch!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    8,591

    Default Re: depressed feeling while nursing

    Relaxin is what the nurses told me it was too--must be the one!

    Erin
    Wife to a grizzly
    Mama to my little deer (12/05) my loving bear cub (9/07--), and our little tiger (3/22/10)
    Born by one c-section and 2 amazing VBACs


    Miles in 2012: 350.5/900 (Actual Miles Ran: 189)
    Miles in 2011: 708.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 509)
    Miles in 2010: 800.5 (Actual Miles Ran: 620)

    January Miles: 37.5/75
    February Miles: 59/75
    March Miles: 42.5/60
    April Miles: 64
    May Miles: 41/70
    June Miles: 59
    July Miles: 39.5

    227.5 miles on my new shoes
    338 miles on my old shoes

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