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POLL: Do You Feel: depressive feelings/hollow feeling in stomach when breastfeeding?

Poll Results: Do you experience depressive Feelings or a hollow feeling in your stomach when breastfeeding?

 
  • 25% (69)
    Yes
  • 74% (206)
    No
275 Total Votes  
post #1 of 102
Thread Starter 
www.d-mer.org

Dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER) is something that has been discussed here before on several other threads when it was nameless, but I wanted to bring it up again for a couple reasons:

-For new mamas
-To bring attention to the new website
-Becuase we discovered the mechanism and treatment for D-MER

To sum it up, it kinda feels like this:
"What I was experiencing, about 10-15 times a day, was a sickening hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. There would be a strong aversion to food. I wouldn’t feel sad, but I would feel “icky and yucky” and pretty hopeless and melancholy. I sometimes would feel down right suicidal for a passing moment. It was a feeling I seemed to have associated with strong feelings of worry and guilt in the past, because when I first started experiencing the sensation I kept searching for what I was feeling guilty or worried about. It turns out there was nothing; it was just that same sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach that I had experienced in the past for other reasons. It would last for about one to two minutes every time, which sounds very brief, but it was so overwhelming that it would grab my attention from nearly anything I was doing. I would end up needing to focus my way through it, nearly like I needed to for a contraction during labor. The rest of the day I would be fine, in fact sometimes I was great. "

Other mothers use some of these words to describe it:

67% of mother experience a hollow feeling in their stomach

55% have feeling of anxiety

55% feels like there is something in the pit of their stomach

50% have feelings of depression

47% experience sadness

44% of mothers feel hopelessness

44% describe it with “yuckiness”

44% have general “negative” emotions

41% say it’s an “ickyness”

41% experience a feeling of dread

35% have an urge to “get away”

38% experience irritability

29% experience a sense of guilt or shame

29% feel tearful

23% feel nauseous

23% of mothers say the feeling is familiar of the past

23% feel panic

20% of feelings of aggression

17% suffer a loss of appetite

14% have suicidal thoughts

14% feel homesickness like feelings

I have been doing some research on this topic (which is different then just the intense thirst or the plain nausea some mothers get while breastfeeding) and I want to see possibly what percentage of mothers suffer from dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER)- hence the poll. It's very unofficial, but it's a start.


Thanks all for your poll votes and for any additional comments you might have to add, to keep this bumped up for awhile!
post #2 of 102
Yes, I do, and I think "hopeless" is a good way to describe the feeling. Mine only lasts 5-10 seconds, but during that time I do feel like nothing will ever be right or good again.

Thanks for posting this. I think it's a good thing for first-time mamas to be aware of.
post #3 of 102
I've never heard of this before, and it surprises me that some mamas experience this. What I experience with letdown is exactly the opposite-- I get a cozy, drowsy feeling that feels just like how I feel when I crawl into my bed after a long day.
post #4 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I've never heard of this before, and it surprises me that some mamas experience this. What I experience with letdown is exactly the opposite-- I get a cozy, drowsy feeling that feels just like how I feel when I crawl into my bed after a long day.
Gee, thanks, rub it in!

Actually I had those "normal" sensations with let down with my first two children, but this one has been totally different. As one mother described it to me, "like a reverse orgasm. It was like I experienced every possible negative and positive emotion all at once, and it was overwhelming and not exactly pleasant."
post #5 of 102
Out of my last 10 doula clients, I had one who experienced this. She just pushed through it and it got better after a few months.
post #6 of 102
I do feel "hollow" but I associate it with the hollowness I feel when I'm really thirsty...which of course makes no sense to anyone but me but it's the only way to describe it.
post #7 of 102
Quote:
I do feel "hollow" but I associate it with the hollowness I feel when I'm really thirsty...which of course makes no sense to anyone but me but it's the only way to describe it.
Nope makes sense to me too. I use to get his feeling a first and yep ITA
post #8 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoomaYula View Post
Out of my last 10 doula clients, I had one who experienced this. She just pushed through it and it got better after a few months.
That's interesting, did you ask your other 9 clients if they experienced this by chance? Or are you going on the fact that they didn't mention it? It would be helpful to know as I try to figure out the numbers...
post #9 of 102
Interesting. I wrote a post about this years ago and got no responses, so I assumed I was just weird. Mine only lasted a few seconds and as the kids got older it went away. I like the "reverse orgasm" description.
post #10 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bethla View Post
Interesting. I wrote a post about this years ago and got no responses, so I assumed I was just weird. Mine only lasted a few seconds and as the kids got older it went away. I like the "reverse orgasm" description.
Do you have a link to the post by chance? There are several other threads about them....

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post #11 of 102
ah doula, your baby is so completely adorable! I generally think babies are pretty dang cute but yours is something special!
post #12 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
ah doula, your baby is so completely adorable! I generally think babies are pretty dang cute but yours is something special!
Oh your too sweet! She is so much older now, I need to update my sig!! Here's is an recent one!! I clicked on your pics and your kids...WOW those eyes!!
post #13 of 102
nursing makes me queezy. it was really bad at the beginning, i would gag sometimes when my son latched on. now he is almost 2 and i still get a wave of nausea when i let down, especially if i have just eaten, but nothing like before. never made me feel sad or depressed, but i have heard of that... hormones are funny things.
post #14 of 102
Oh wow. Thank you for posting this. I was seriously starting to think something was wrong with me.
I'm not too sure about the depressive feelings but I certainly get the nausea even now that my nursling is 2.
We had latch problems at the beginning which lasted for 3 months so I'm not sure if the hollow feeling was because of that too.
Bf-ing for me isn't really a pleasant experience and it's only been lately that I get to have a few warm fuzzies every now and then. Especially if DS is being extra loving.
post #15 of 102
Thread Starter 
Bump for the new week!
post #16 of 102
When I first started nursing I had such intense rushes of euphoria I sometimes had to catch my breath. When my periods returned at about 10 weeks, I changed to where I had sad feelings when I nursed including thoughts that it would be bad to harm myself because ds needed me. Those thoughts are not so intense now but I do get the hollow dehydrated feeling.
post #17 of 102
I voted no, but I do often get a terribly thirsty feeling when DD begins nursing. This was much worse during the first six months or so, bad enough that I had to always make sure to keep a big glass of water handy when feeding her, or I would have to inetrrupt her to go get one! I just figured that it was my body's way of reminding me to stay hydrated. No depressive or queezy feelings ever, but also not the calming or relaxing feelings some people are reporting.
post #18 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkMtnsMama View Post
I voted no, but I do often get a terribly thirsty feeling when DD begins nursing. This was much worse during the first six months or so, bad enough that I had to always make sure to keep a big glass of water handy when feeding her, or I would have to inetrrupt her to go get one! I just figured that it was my body's way of reminding me to stay hydrated. No depressive or queezy feelings ever, but also not the calming or relaxing feelings some people are reporting.
Yes, the intense thirst and the nausea some people report separately seem to be a different unrelated thing.
post #19 of 102
Thread Starter 
I have been talking to un-named lactation guru today and she was thinking about the cause beiong connected to precipitous birth. I know I had one, but what about you other women with D-MER (depressive milk ejection reflex) Did you guys have long slow or normal labor and births? Or precipitous births? (defined as a labor that lasts less than three hours.)
post #20 of 102
Interesting. I experience those hopeless feelings, but not linked to breastfeeding. In the early days I would have strong sleepiness and thirst. All throughout my life intense feelings of elation were associated with thirst for me, and I once wondered if it was significant that anti-depressants lead to dry mouth, but I didn't get euphoria with breastfeeding thirst.

Nursing an older child, latching on has sometimes produced intense feelings of panic, feeling entrapped and needing to fight my way out. I would induce muscle cramps or invoke a sensation elsewhere in my body to help calm that response. Or sometimes I'd just end the nursing session. But I imagine that is unrelated as well.

Are the depressive episodes while nursing worse at certain times of the day for those of you who experience them?
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