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Thread: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

  1. #1

    Default Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    There's an interesting article in the new issue of Breastfeeding Today about dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER).

    It's essentially where a mother suddenly feels depressed, sad, anxious, guilty, or otherwise bad and icky just as let-down occurs.

    It sounds like this is something that hasn't been studied or described before. The article is an interview with an LLL Leader/IBCLC and a mother who experienced D-MER about what it is and their theories about how it occurs.

    I'm curious about how prevalent it is. I know that I've felt overwhelming emotions at let-down, but they've generally been loving and happy feelings, fortunately, though I can relate to the feeling like "homesickness" that's described in the article. Sort of good, but with an edge of sadness to it.

    Have you ever experienced D-MER?
    Karen
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    Bumping this thread after doing a search for "dysphoric." I'm pretty sure I am experiencing some form of this. I've noticed that about a minute before I have a letdown, I get this overwhelming feeling of sadness to where I am almost crying. Then I feel the letdown happen, and the feeling fades. I notice it much more in between feedings than I do when I am actively nursing and have a letdown. I read on the web site mentioned in this article, d-mer.org, that it can also be associated with an oversupply, as you are more likely to experience spontaneous letdowns throughout the day with OS. I do think I have an OS in one breast and I have frequent letdowns in between feedings, and at least three during each nursing session.
    Karen

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    11/09
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    There was another mama who posted here a while back who asked about this, too. I'll see if I can find her thread.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    I get terrible anxiety right at letdown, but only during the day, not at night. Like, I mean it doesn't wake me up. And its faded as my letdown has decreased in intensity and the babies have gotten older. I never put 2 and 2 together, really, until now.

    Erin
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*moose View Post
    I get terrible anxiety right at letdown, but only during the day, not at night. Like, I mean it doesn't wake me up. And its faded as my letdown has decreased in intensity and the babies have gotten older. I never put 2 and 2 together, really, until now.
    Mine is better in the middle of the night, but really bad in the evening. I am trying to remember if I had this with Kaitlyn, but I think I had more of a generalized anxiety with her, and nursing only gave me the quiet time to think of how vulnerable she was and all the scary things that could happen.
    Karen

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    11/09
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    We have called it the "Letdown Blues" here over the years. Both me and Lyn have suffered from it and spoken about it here.

    Way too lazy for formula

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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    We have called it the "Letdown Blues" here over the years. Both me and Lyn have suffered from it and spoken about it here.
    I think I saw that in an old thread... I'll have to look again.
    Karen

    Proud mama to
    Kaitlyn Ann 12/23/07 - 7 lbs., 15 oz.
    11/09
    Jackson Thomas 1/16/11 - 9 lbs., 3 oz.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    This is interesting. I feel twitchy (for lack of a better word) when I pump and let down. Sometimes I feel anxious and like I could crawl out of my skin. I thought maybe pumping just was more intense or something. I actually feel relieved once the letdown occurs. But then it ramps up again, as I generally have 3-4 letdowns per pumping session. I've never noticed it while nursing.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*yoginimama View Post
    This is interesting. I feel twitchy (for lack of a better word) when I pump and let down. Sometimes I feel anxious and like I could crawl out of my skin. I thought maybe pumping just was more intense or something. I actually feel relieved once the letdown occurs. But then it ramps up again, as I generally have 3-4 letdowns per pumping session. I've never noticed it while nursing.
    I only ever experienced it WHILE pumping. Never with the baby.

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Dysphoric milk ejection reflex

    Pumping, indeed, sucks.

    Christine
    Baby Girl Born 2/17/10 to her two mommies
    BF from day one. I looked up one day and realized I'm nursing a toddler!

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