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Breastfeeding Moms Breastfeeding Moms

Is something wrong wIth me?

Posted by on Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM
  • 6 Replies
Is it normal for me to have depressing thoughts only while bfing? It's so strange because I love bfing and the closeness I feel with my daughter. We worked really hard to get past the first few weeks of her not gaining weight, dr encouraging formula (thanks to you ladies I didnt give in and things have been great). She's 4 wks now and I finally feel confident with bfing, so why would I be feeling this way? The thoughts come and go very quickly and only when I sit down to bf. its so weird, like a few seconds before my milk letdown I get this overwhelming feeling of sadness. It last for a minute or two then goes away. Then I feel horrible for having bad thoughts. Is something wrong with me? I have no other signs of ppd and other than being sleep deprived I feel great. Anybody know what could be going on? I really don't want to speak to my ob about this, drs are so quick to medicate for every little problem.
by on Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:27 AM
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Replies (1-6):
mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:31 AM
Google D-MER. You aren't alone and you aren't crazy. I'm mobile but I'm sure great links will follow here.
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mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:34 AM
D-mer.org is an entire website for moms with this issue.
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mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:36 AM
From aforementioned site:

MECHANISM OF D-MER
The Mechanism of Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex:
What Causes It


D-MER has been linked to an inappropriate drop in dopamine that occurs whenever milk is released. In a mother with D-MER at the time of letdown dopamine falls inappropriately, causing negative feelings. All of the suggestions made for treating D-MER are based on the belief that transiently inadequate dopamine is responsible.

Milk release itself isn't caused by dopamine dropping; it's caused by oxytocin rising. In D-MER, the MER (milk ejection reflex) is a result of rising oxytocin (needed to move the milk out of the breast) but the D (dysphoria) is a result of inappropriately falling dopamine. Dopamine gets involved because it inhibits prolactin (which is what makes the milk) so dopamine levels need to drop for prolactin levels to rise in order to make more milk. Normally, dopamine drops properly and breastfeeding mothers never knew it even happened, in D-MER mothers however, it doesn't drop properly and causes an instant and brief wave of  a negative emotional reaction that lasts until the dopamine levels restabilize after prolactin has begun it's rise. 

D-MER follows the same pattern as any other reflex. You can tell yourself your knee isn't going to jerk when you hit it... but it does, just as much the hundredth time as it does the first, and it stops as soon as the stimulus stops. The D-MER reflex involves e-motion rather than motion because a hormone shift is triggered instead of having a muscle nerve triggered. D-MER is physiological, not psychological. It is hormones, not past experience or repressed memories, that cause it. 
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LKRA
by Platinum Member on Sep. 5, 2012 at 8:40 AM
*nods* Hormones. D-MER.
aehanrahan
by Group Mod - Amy on Sep. 5, 2012 at 9:43 AM
Yep! This.

Quoting LKRA:

*nods* Hormones. D-MER.
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AMartin81
by Member on Sep. 5, 2012 at 9:57 AM
Such a relief!!! I was getting worried. But now that I'm reading it explains exactly whats happening to me. So good to know! Thanks again ladies!!!
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