Thanks everyone for all of the kind, very non-judgmental advice about breastfeeding. I love your comments and hope you will continue to leave them!! I’ve had to figure out what’s best for me and my family and have decided it’s breast we move on.
I began weaning my baby last week and am officially done breast feeding. I fear that my last post on the topic led people to believe that I wanted to quit breast feeding simply because I felt it was making me fat. Being fat doesn’t stop me from doing much, including break dancing and running around nude, so why should it stop me from breast feeding? There were some more pressing issues like not having enough milk (I felt like I was feeding all day every day and baby still wasn’t happy), and most important: my brain chemistry. At the very beginning of each feeding, both pumping and nursing, I would get this sick, horrible, sad, sinking feeling in my stomach and it would last up to five minutes. I thought there was something wrong with me, like maybe I had intimacy issues. I asked the all-knowing Google for some answers by typing “Sadness while breastfeeding” and came up with this: I suffer from something called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (D-MER). It is an involuntary phenomenon that causes an unusual drop in dopamine during let-down and is characterized by extreme negative feelings similar to depression.
I still have bouts of guilt about stopping—I am known to beat myself up over these things but I must say I have felt an immense lift in my mood ever since I began weaning. And my husband and older daughter have noticed too. My little Ally is behaving better because she senses a new calm about me, and my husband is happy to see that I am happy. Cause when Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, right? I have to give myself some credit though—I went this far—almost 11 weeks. I simply gave up with my first daughter after three weeks. I’ll probably just get better and better, breastfeed longer and longer with each child. So by the time I have number 17, I’ll just drive to the kindergarten and lift up my shirt at snack time.