Breastfeeding is often referred to as a kind and affectionate experience. Its myriad benefits have been discussed countless times. From providing a baby with the right nutrition to supporting his immune system and promoting cognitive development, breastmilk is an undefeated contender. For the mother’s part, breastfeeding facilitates a faster and easier recovery from childbirth and helps them bond better with their baby. That being said, breastfeeding is undeniably a mom’s best decision, isn’t it? Ask yourself again. it is? What if breastfeeding doesn’t make mom feel the best? What if ‘priceless’ baby food is costing the mother too much on her part?

The world has always looked at breastfeeding through rose-tinted glasses. Now is the time to shatter the glass and look ahead.

Feeding The Beast

While most moms-to-be share a warm breastfeeding experience with some stinging and biting during the trip, some can’t help but feel sad about it. Breastfeeding the latter group fills them with negative emotions. They get a whiff of non-conformist feelings just before weaning down their milk. These mothers suffer from dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER).

To begin with, D-MER is a physiological response and not a psychological response. This means it is a physiological reflex and has nothing to do with the mother’s mind or her feelings towards her child. D-MER is a condition in which a mother experiences a range of negative emotions, ranging from mild to severe, when her milk is ‘waste’. She may feel sad, hopeless, angry, irritable, depressed, or indulge in self-loathing. In extreme cases, symptoms may include panic, anxiety, paranoia, fear or suicidal thoughts. These symptoms begin within a few seconds and can last up to 10 minutes. Some women experience D-MER for the first few days, some for a few weeks or months, while for some it lasts for the entire lactation period.

Understanding D-MER

Experts link the D-MER to an abnormal drop in oxytocin levels. Yes, it’s the samelove hormone‘ Which helps a mother bond with her child! Oxytocin is released almost immediately as milk is released (sucked in or pumped out by the baby) and released in short pulses for the first few minutes before prolactin takes over. It inhibits oxytocin release ‘happy hormone’ dopamine. In normal cases, dopamine falls in a regulated manner, but in women with D-MER, it drops more rapidly than normal, causing a short wave of negative emotions. However, once prolactin replaces oxytocin and thus the effect of D-MER is reduced, dopamine levels return to normal.

Unfortunately, there is no formal diagnosis for D-MER which also states that there is no approved drug to treat it yet. However, often, simply admitting that someone is experiencing D-MER makes it easier to endure. Talking to a lactation specialist can also be helpful. There are also some coping techniques that may work favorably for troubled moms-to-be.

D-MER. compete with

We understand how distressing it can be for a mother who makes the best decision for her child and then realizes she has D-MER. We just want to let you know that you are not alone. around 9 percent of nursing mothers D-mer. are suffering from, There is nothing that you could have done wrong to do it and this situation has nothing to do with how you feel about your child.

Here are some ways you can reduce the effects of D-MERs.

1. Skin-to-Skin Contact

The dysphoric milk ejection reflex is also stimulated by a stress hormone called cortisol. Skin-to-skin contact lowers cortisol levels and stabilizes the heart rate which helps counteract negative feedback with positive emotions.

2. Mindfulness

Mindfulness helps with breathing and focusing on yourself in the moment. It turns discomfort into perspective, especially when they know it’s only a matter of minutes. Deep breathing, chanting mantras or meditating can relieve stress and overcome negative thoughts.

3. ABC Technique

The ABC technique is all about the D – distractions. Choose a wide range of things and/or objects such as food, cars or actors and create an alphabetical list in your mind. For example, a food list would be something like apple, burger, cake etc. If the anxiety returns when you reach ‘z’, start over with a new range.

4. Relaxation Methods

Try calming your mind by soaking your feet in warm water or listening to music. Reading can also help distract some people, while for some, talking on the phone takes their mind off the process of breastfeeding.

5. Supported Environments

Being around our friends and family helps us feel better in general. Thus, a supportive environment with loved ones who understand the situation can help a person deal with distressing feelings.

With D-MER as an example, we realize that how a mother chooses to feed her child can affect their mental health. Breastfeeding can have a positive or negative impact on mental health. For example, mothers who feel negative emotions while breastfeeding their babies are often to blame. Likewise, meeting breastfeeding goals can make them feel great, but struggling to keep up with the supply in terms of a growth spurt can create self-doubt. Breastfeeding also has a complex relationship with postpartum depression.

postpartum depression

Postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of depression that parents face after the birth of their child. Look at it this way, while the symptoms of D-MER are limited to reduced milk production, the symptoms of PPD tend to be persistent and last longer than the baby blues.

Baby blues are brief periods after childbirth where the mother experiences sadness, anxiety and mood swings and feels overwhelmed by everything around her. It is experienced by around 80 percent of mothers but thankfully does not last more than 2 weeks. If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, it is likely that someone is suffering from PPD.

While some symptoms of PPD are similar to those of depression, some are centered around the child.

Symptoms of PPD

  • serious mood
  • anxiety and irritability
  • inexplicable crying and sadness
  • change in appetite
  • trouble sleeping or insomnia
  • fatigue
  • feeling helpless or worthless
  • feeling unattached or unconnected to the child
  • Lack of interest in the child’s affairs
  • feeling away from friends and family
  • suicidal thoughts
  • Harmful feelings towards the baby or self

Postpartum depression is a serious health condition and can be caused by a number of reasons such as past trauma, distance from spouse, hormonal imbalance, fears related to the health of the newborn, etc. It is closely linked to maternal intent and ability to breastfeed. Well. According to one study, mothers who wanted and could have the lowest rates of PPD, while those who wanted to breastfeed but were not able to have the highest. Postpartum depression can also contribute to a mother deciding to stop breastfeeding earlier than she plans to trap herself in a negative loop.

As in the case of D-MER, a mother suffering from PPD should be aware that it is not her fault. To understand this depression better, read this article on the causes of postpartum depression, its effects and ways to deal with it.

Feeling Tits?

Motherhood is supposed to be synonymous with joy and all good, but now is the time for us to accept that it is only a half-truth. As seen above, it can and does take a toll on one’s mental health. The time has come for us to make amends. Now is the time for us to let the mother decide whether breastfeeding is really the pleasurable experience she’s been told about. Now is the time for us to tell her how she feels when she breastfeeds. Now is the time for us to stop speaking for him and listen to his story instead. The time has come for us not to talk about what should be but focus on what is.

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