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Hormonal changes/anxiety with weaning

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Long time reader, first time poster here...

 

My 13.5 month old seems to be weaning himself, *sigh*. Since I stopped pumping at work and transition to cow's milk during the day my supply has, naturally, dwindled to very little but we still nurse first thing in the morning in bed together, and before bedtime. Sometimes he still gets excited, but the duration of the sessions is either very short (falls asleep) or very long (probably not getting anything) and if for some reason we have to skip one, he doesn't really care.

 

But *I* care. I don't feel ready to let this go yet. I've heard that hormonal shifts with weaning can cause havoc, but the last three days I have been absolutely leveled with anxiety. Shaking, nausea, muscle aches, panicky and racing thoughts, hopelessness and despair. The psychological feelings don't seem related to nursing specifically, but rather a whole range of issues, real and imagined - I hate my job, my marriage isn't good, I'm missing my child growing up, we aren't doing the best for our son, the world is a horrible place, he isn't happy, is daycare good enough, how will he live as an adult on a planet with 7 billion other people, will he have clean water, etc. There haven't been any real changes at home to blame this on.

 

Has anyone else experienced this, or is it just an unfortunate situation of timing? I'm starting to feel a little bit crazy, but if it's just hormones and it will pass, that may helpful to know. I've always been prone to anxiety, but I don't know how many more days of us I can handle!

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

Perhaps I should add that I am not, repeat, NOT, pregnant!

post #3 of 9

I don't know how much advice I have, but I'm in a similar situation (DD pretty much weaned herself at almost 18 months - its been a week of no-nursing now). She only nursed once to twice a day for a very short period of time (unless she fell asleep nursing), sometimes not nursing at all.

 

I've been feeling a little down lately, a little more anxious and irritable. I should have no reason to feel this way (life is good, we just got back from a wonderful mini-vacation), but ever since my breasts started to feel a little full (which took 5 days of not nursing), I've felt this way.

 

I work as an obstetrical nurse, so when I was at work yesterday I asked the lactation consultant about what to expect in terms of hormonal crash from weaning. She said that its dependend upon how much the baby/toddler was nursing and your natural sensitivity to hormone changes. She said that I shouldn't expect a huge crash. I had a friend who weaned her son at 7 months (who was a boobaholic) so she could take a certain pain medication for a condition she had, and ended up in such a downward spiral that she needed to be put on antidepressants. But she has also been on antidepressants BEFORE her pregnancy, so she has a natural tendency for that.

 

I don't know if this helps, but since I'm going through the same thing I wanted to respond. I know its only been like 2 days that I've been feeling this way, but I feel better this morning. I hope you start feeling better too.

post #4 of 9

Its been a few weeks since your original post so I hope you are feeling better. I was going to post something similar to your question. My son is three and a half and was fully weaned about a month ago. He was a voracious nurser right up to a couple months ago when he decided he was too big for milk. But over the last week I have had tremendous anxiety, shaky legs, racing heart, emotional, and even some cramping and pelvic discomfort. I was starting to think I was having some health issues, but I am thinking it might be related to weaning. I would love to hear how you are doing and certainly if anyone else has had these experiences. 

 

 


Edited by sparrowheart - 12/10/11 at 12:40pm
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi ladies ... well, we're a few weeks out from weaning and I think things are improving. Still having some anxiety and some symptoms similar to what Sparrowheart described. The anxiety is worst at times when we used to nurse, I'm still prone to breaking into tears over the absoloute littlest thing, and the physical stuff tends to blindside me. But overall, I do feel a bit better. The cause is something of a chicken and egg mystery - did a hormone shift trigger the mental and physical meltdowns, or was I so miserable over the weaning that it started to manifest physically? A little of both? Either way, it was a perfect storm and I wish I'd known what I was in for ahead of time - most of the weaning information I came across dealt with the physical aspects of the process, not the emotional s***show I found myself embroiled in.

 

I want to say thank you to both of you for responding to me; it means the world to know that I'm not the only one who had these problems. I'd planned to keep nursing for at least another few months, but nature and my son had other plans.

 

I hope you both are feeling better too, and if things are still tough, maybe it helps to know that you're not alone.

 

Oh, and I got my first PP period this morning ... wonderful irked.gif

post #6 of 9

I'm bumping to say I'm glad to read this. My 15 month old just self-weaned- after about a week of very short or missed feedings where he wouldn't nurse at all or would suck once and bite- and I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I had hoped to nurse him at least until 2, but he was having none of it. I'm 7 or 8 days out now and starting to feel a little better. I also feel anxious and find myself worrying/planning, and have had tears well up at odd times. I hope it gets better for everyone soon!

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin77 View Post

I'm bumping to say I'm glad to read this. My 15 month old just self-weaned- after about a week of very short or missed feedings where he wouldn't nurse at all or would suck once and bite- and I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. I had hoped to nurse him at least until 2, but he was having none of it. I'm 7 or 8 days out now and starting to feel a little better. I also feel anxious and find myself worrying/planning, and have had tears well up at odd times. I hope it gets better for everyone soon!


hug2.gif Oh Mama, I'd be devastated if that happened to my little guy!

 

With such a short time to full weaning (1 week) it sounds like you could be experiencing a nursing strike. If you want him to continue nursing it may be possible. This is a good link (although aimed at younger babies), as is this one.

 

post #8 of 9

I actually brought him back from a nursing strike that lasted a whole month when he was four months old, so I know what's involved. This seems different to me, and although I'm disappointed, the timing is not too terrible, as I am starting work next week and I won't be as stressed about rushing home and can let my husband put him to bed. I'm just glad to hear other people seem to be feeling better and I'm not alone.

post #9 of 9

I am incredibly relieved to read these posts!  I don't consider myself a stressed person, but life is certainly busy.  I weaned baby at 13 months, as there wasn't much nursing going on. It seemed the right time for us and was very much the same as with our first baby.

 

However, I think in light of being a ft working mom, who'd rather be home, then traveling two days with kids for thanksgiving visit, along with weaning and regular craziness, lack of sleep, I also got my period.  Now I am one of those women that keeps regular after a baby. I got no reprieve after either child.  At any rate, just as we were sitting down to eat dinner, I started to feel very nervous, rapid heartbeat, and a feeling of wanting to get out.  I went for a walk to try and burn the adrenLized  feeling.  Baby still wanted me, toddler still wanting me, and just totally overwhelmed and trapped feeling.  I couldn't eat thanksgiving dinner, despite how I had looked forward to the time off and with family for months.  So frustrating to feel this way, esp when nothing immediately stressful provoked it.  It sort of felt sudden. Perfect storm, like the first post said.

 

The next few nights I couldn't eat much, didn't sleep well, which is so not me, other than the kids interrupting sleep, and ended up crying most of the 11 hr drive back home.  We sat down to  eat at the hotel mid trip, and the kids fidgeting all over the table, no real relaxing time while at the family, and I thought I was going to pass out I felt so sick and worn out. Everything is always a rush, just eating or going to the bathroom before a kid interrupts or cries out can be grating on the nerves.

 

Everything felt like it had crashed at once.  Like I said, life is busy, but now I must give up the things that I enjoy in order to prevent another meltdown.  I was taking online courses, and now can't.  I am trying not to be bitter about being the breadwinner, feeling like I missed out on another baby, all my time at an unfulfilling job. I went to my GP and he ran basic blood tests and thyroid tests.  Perfect health, but I cried in his office because I felt so not myself.  Everything is good, but I felt horrible.

 

Now I try meditating five minutes daily.  I wake up early to have a few minutes almost to myself.  I hate work, but try to convince myself I like it so I won't feel so untrue tomyself and cause another panic attack.  I am going to see myob/gyn next month, because now I am starting to be afraid I will panic or pass out, this episode was so awful!  I don't want tolet this take me over and unable to travel and kill my confidence.

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