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Is depression normal during breastfeeding?

I have been breastfeeding for a little over a month now and am hating it. Not because it hurts, but because with ever session of nursing I become more and more depressed about it. I love everything about being a new mom and am happy at all times, except during breastfeeding. The moment I get my little one latched I want to just cry. It started off just being an awkward feeling, but now I seem to just look down at my son while he's eating I blame him for this feeling, even though I doubt it is even remotely his fault. I feel more like there is something wrong with ME! I have considered multiple times just switching to formula but everyone seems so against it and I want what is best for my little one. I have attempted pumping, but I have failed at three different pumps by producing only a measly quarter of an ounce between both breasts in a session! Is this normal to resent breastfeeding or is something wrong with me???


Asked by Anonymous at 4:00 AM on Nov. 18, 2009 in Babies (0-12 months)

This question is closed.
Answers (12)
  • Everyone is giving you great advice- definitely talk to a doctor or lactation specialist. It does seem like this could be hormone related since it only happens when nursing. And if you end up having to switch to formula know that you tried your hardest at breast feeding. Your son needs a happy mama as much as he needs anything else. Nursing should be a special time for you both so if you can't get to a better place after seeking professional help then maybe it wasn't meant to be. Your son will still have the benefits of nursing this long, and you will be happier. Breast feeding is great if it works for you and your son but you have to look at the whole picture sometimes. Good luck!

    Answer by MaryMW at 12:02 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Might be PPD google it and also talk to your OB.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:16 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Your body releases different hormones when you nurse, so even though you are feeling ok the rest of the time, it sounds like those hormones are triggering symptoms of post-partum depression. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way - it is something that happens to a lot of women and is NOT your fault. Talk to your OB - they can help!

    Answer by TiffanyMarie80 at 4:47 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • i think its important to talk to your doc. theres nothing wrong with you. pp is correct the hormone that is releasing must be having a negative effect on your emotions. PM me if you need to talk ever, good luck honey

    Answer by DomoniqueWS at 5:44 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Did you secretly want a daughter instead? I've heard this can happen if mom doesn't get the sex baby she'd prefer. Whatever the case, I feel wretched for you. I am totally pro-breastfeeding and long term too. BUT, YOU matter! The best thing you can do for your son is be the best and happiest mother you can. If that means switching to formula then I'm tempted to say wholeheartedly for you to do that right now. My only reservation is if you would ideally prefer to nurse him you can have a backlash depression due to the guilt of stopping it. Complicated aren't we! So, PLEASE, get some counselling. Go to you doctor. You have postnatal depression and need and deserve help. I was utterly depressed with my first (he was a son and I wanted a girl. Seems daft now as he and I are so close. He's adorable!). I delayed and delayed asking for help. When I finally did though, it was WONDERFUL! with love, JES xxx

    Answer by CosyMama at 6:47 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Look up Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. Sounds like a possibility to me. It is very rare, but some women feel intense dispair or depression as the milk lets down. You should really find a good BF friendly doctor or an IBCLC that can refer you to one to help you out with this. Hang in there Momma!

    Answer by ArmyMom2oneboy at 7:59 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Talk to a lactation consultant-if you post this in a breastfeding group there might be a couple there or just women who went through the same thing as you. Are you eating and resting enough? Still taking prenatal vitamins? The first month can be diificult and what your feeling is a normal feeling to go through. Since having the baby are you staying in more? Might want to look at your vitamin D levels-if you need to supplement get vitamin D3.

    Whatever you do-do something. Get help and I hope you are feeling better in no time. *hugs*

    Answer by Loa1002 at 9:09 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • I felt the same way, and I didn't get any help. I stopped BF at 7 months and I was happy ever since! I loved being able to give my son my milk, but man was I happy to quit.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:58 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • It's probably PPD and it's totally normal. It has to do with all the hormones in your body going crazy, coupled with sleep deprivation and getting used to a new baby and new routine. I went through it with my second. Talk to your doctor and your lactation consultant. You're not alone and you're not going crazy. It will get better, but you need to get help. Hang in there!!

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 10:01 AM on Nov. 18, 2009

  • Talking to a doctor probably isn't going to help. Call a LLL Leader or lactation consultant. Most lactation consultants charge for their services, LLL Leaders are free. If there is no LLL near you then you can call LLLI.

    Just talking with someone once may help. You may have some psychological issues about your breasts. You may have PPD and can tune it out most of the time but when you have to hold still to breastfeed it all comes crashing down. The lactation hormones may be so intense for you that you don't know how to deal with the feelings. has really good breastfeeding discussion boards with LLL Leaders, LCs and doulas.

    Answer by Gailll at 10:02 AM on Nov. 18, 2009