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Thread: post-partum depression?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    651

    Default post-partum depression?

    I'm a first time mom breastfeeding a 6 week old. Over the past couple of weeks I've noticed that whenever he latches on and begins to nurse I get this overwhelming feeling of either axiety, weepiness, or feel just plain depressed! It only seems bad when I'm nursing and usually goes away by the end of the feeding...but it makes things difficult for both of us as I sometimes try to push feedings off because I'm having a hard time. Anyone with this same problem?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    Oh, that sounds hard to bear. I'm sorry you're getting these unpleasant feelings associated with nursing.

    I have read that some women have unusual reactions to the oxytocin surge that accompanies letdown. They may get a severe headache, or as in your case, they may have sudden anxiety or depression. This all strikes me as particularly unfair, really, because for most moms, the oxytocin is calming or mellowing, one of the best "fringe benefits" of nursing so frequently.

    I don't know if there is enough research on this kind of reaction to completely understand how it happens or how best to treat it. It may help you to think of those bad feelings as "just" biochemical, and to know that they will come and then go predictably. But if it is interfering with your breastfeeding relationship or with the rest of your life (and I can hardly imagine that it would NOT interfere), then I would urge you to talk with a LLL Leader, an IBCLC, and/or your doctor. There may be some underlying depression or anxiety going on which the nursing biochemistry is intensifying, and if this is so, then the common treatments for PPD may be very helpful.

    Do be warned that this phenomenon of painful or negative responses to oxytocin is rare enough that many health care providers and even breastfeeding specialists may never have heard of it. Don't let that make you feel "crazy," okay? It just means you may have to educate your care providers and persist in seeking professional help and treatment.

    In the meantime, big hugs to you, and I sincerely hope that you are feeling better soon.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    651

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    Thank you so much for your kind words and great advice. It helps to know that this could be a normal response to a chemical in my let down. For now I will hug my little man, take a deep breath and try to think of other things during the first several minutes of nursing. I really don't want to turn to pills or medication and because I only feel this way during nursing, I think I'll be able to get through this. Thank you. ...well off to nurse my screaming boy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    10

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    I sort of feel the same way. I'm pretty sure I'm having some PPD issues, I had them with #1 too. For me at least part of it is my nursing sessions are the only time I get to sit down and relax a little. Otherwise I'm running around like a crazy woman trying to keep my almost 2 yr old happy, my baby happy and making sure that the house doesn't explode (you know laundry, dishes, dinner, cleaning, ect). No time to think about anything else or dwell on it at all. I've had hormonal issues my whole life, don't know if the same is true for you but I've always had bad PMS and not reacted well to hormone fluctuations.

    But you are not alone. I'm here feeling the same way too which in turn makes me feel even more guilty. Bad cycle.

    Are you taking the minipill by chance? I saw my OB yesterday for the 6wk postpartum checkup and mentioned the baby blues and she said that micronor (the minipill) can make PPD worse. Just a random thing to throw in just in case.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2006
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    651

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    I'm so glad to hear that I'm not alone. Luckily I haven't had any severe hormonal issues...I did deal with some depression several years back when my father was killed in a plane crash...but other than that, I've been pretty average I suppose. Also, I am not taking the minipill (not sure what that is), so hopefully I'm not doing anything to make PPD worse. Well, gotta run, little one wants to eat again! Thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    1

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    The exact same thing happened to me while breastfeeding my daughter. I'm about to give birth to my second child and I was searching the web on information on this subject and found NOTHING!! Its good to hear that I'm not imagining this strange reaction to let-down.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    3,900

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    There is a thread about this very topic here:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/vbullet...hlight=letdown

    You might also wish to read this web page (not a LLL resource):
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/nausea-bf.html

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    41

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    Up until the last 2 weeks ago everytime i sat down to feed my DD i was in tears and i couldnt understand why - i thought i was loosing the plot, i just wanted to give up b'f'ing as it was the answer to the problem but my partner kept at me and wouldnt let my 'give-up' I found when ever i fed DD my heart would pound and i would want to cry and would feel sad/lost/sick and depressed (i've suffered depression before and recognise the signs) Its not soo bad now - DD's 12wks and i dont feel that way much now - i read when i feed DD now - i think its a great distraction to how i feel...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    16

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    When I start a nursing session, I too have an unusual symptom. I feel nauseated for about 10 to 15 seconds. This sometimes happens when I'm not breastfeeding but during let-down.
    Luckily, it goes away as quickly as the symptom shows itself. Although it is not the symptom of depression, it seems to follow the same pattern.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    651

    Default Re: post-partum depression?

    My ds is now 2months and a week and nursing keeps getting better every day... I finally talked to my midwife and she suggested that I take fish oil tablets...she said they can help with ppd...who knew?! They're great and I can tell if I forget to take them! Plus they're all natural and good for you.

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