Breastfeeding and ppd? - Mothering Forums
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
sbrinton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Near Seattle
Posts: 1,168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am struggling with some degree of postpartum depression and anxiety. My youngest son is 11 months old. We have two older boys as well, ages 2.5 and nearly 5 years.

I've had days or weeks that felt like ppd after each of my pregnancies, but usually before I was ready to ask for help, I began to feel better. This time was more or less the same, except over the last three months our family has been going through an insane amount of stress.

We've had a few hard years, but we've always been able to get through things because of our faith and a really supportive church community. But in the last few months, some really hypocritical church leaders have started lying about our family and have basically kicked us out of the church. I feel like the stress of this - along with just being depleted and tired after the last 6 years of being constantly pregnant and breastfeeding - have pushed me "over the edge". I don't know if there is a physical or hormonal component too.

Is there some sort of correlation between breastfeeding and ppd? Would stopping breastfeeding make things better?
sbrinton is offline  
#2 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 10:21 PM
 
sstripp2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 69
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think there is a correlation. From what I understand, breastfeeding can actually help the symptoms. Stopping breastfeeding suddenly can definitely contribute to a worsening of symptoms.
sstripp2020 is offline  
#3 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 10:22 PM
 
goodygumdrops's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,801
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, there is no correlation between breastfeeding and ppd. If you feel like your; suffering I would recommend speaking to a trusted physician and consider trying some medication. There are several medications that are safe to take while nursing. I have Thomas Hale's Medications book, so if you need any help with this just pm me.

As for feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from bfing for so long, I think it's perfectly legitimate for you to consider weaning. However, since your babe isn't quite a year, I recommend creating some bfing boundaries and giving it a couple weeks of trying a medication before fully weaning. I have been right where you are(except I was nursing for two years) and I just felt exhausted and my body just was exhausted but I think it was more to do with the anxiety and depression than the breastfeeding. Now, I kinda wish I could still nurse my 2.5 year old but we've weaned several months ago.

I hope you find some peace soon.

"Breastfeeding is a robust, biologically stable activity so central to our evolutionary identity that it names the class of animals to which we belong" (Breastfeeding Atlas, Third Edition)
goodygumdrops is offline  
#4 of 13 Old 10-14-2009, 11:12 PM
 
rizzosanders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 26
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am so sorry you are going through this. Please keep breastfeeding, there are medications out there that are safe to take and can really help, should you be so inclined. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family- you can do this!
rizzosanders is offline  
#5 of 13 Old 10-15-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,017
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(((hugs))) to you. It sounds like you're under an insane amount of stress. I would highly advise you to talk to someone about what you're going through. Medication may well help you. If you're exhausted from breastfeeding and need a break, that's okay. You're not a bad mom for stopping. If continuing is what you want to do, there are meds you can safely take while nursing, esp now that baby's older.

Bottom line, you should seek out help. There's no reason to suffer in silence; it can get better. Promise.

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
#6 of 13 Old 10-18-2009, 09:44 AM
 
vanessab23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ditto what the other PPs said....and I would just add that I would probably do this order: find a therapist/health care professional, discuss option of meds if you want that, start meds and only then think about weaning...not because I want to guilt you into BFing longer, but (1) the drop in hormones from weaning would not help you right now! and (2) because if you decide on meds and they work, you may regret that you weaned.

just my two cents-- HUGS!!!

Miles (December 2005) Pascual (March 2009). P's was my beautiful home waterbirth that healed me from my M's birth. natural birth, midwifery, postpartum depression, babywearing, breastfeeding.
vanessab23 is offline  
#7 of 13 Old 10-18-2009, 12:34 PM
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,017
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OP: How are you doing?

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
#8 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
sbrinton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Near Seattle
Posts: 1,168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am hanging in there. I did see my doctor last week and we figured out my iron and vitamin D levels are very low. So I've started taking more of these along with fish oil. I'm also trying to get more sleep, although that has been very difficult.

It's not that our kids don't sleep, it's that my husband and I are so behind on so many things, we have too much to do in the evenings and so we stay up a couple hours to late almost every night. And then wake up late. And arrive late to everything. Which is a cycle that drives me crazy.

I think I do need help, but this is what I'm struggling with. I really, really don't want to go through being diagnosed again as having depression. Our insurance is awesome - 100% coverage for diagnosed mental illness - but I don't want the diagnoses because of what it could mean for the future. We want to adopt someday and some countries look at depression very negatively. I just want to be able to get through this on our own.

But our marriage is suffering at this point. For many reasons.

I am still breastfeeding. Interesting to hear that weaning can make it worse. I guess I'm probably just tired of breastfeeding because it has been such a long season in my life. I love my son and I do really enjoy breastfeeding him, but it's just been a LONG time of someone always wanting something from me. And of me not really having what I need.

How have your husbands or partner's dealt with this? I feel like I keep asking my husband for help and he thinks that it means I want him to do one thing to help right now (drive the kids to school one day, or come home from work early another). I don't understand why he won't figure out the bigger picture, that something more needs to change.
sbrinton is offline  
#9 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 01:55 PM
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,017
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbrinton View Post
I am hanging in there. I did see my doctor last week and we figured out my iron and vitamin D levels are very low. So I've started taking more of these along with fish oil. I'm also trying to get more sleep, although that has been very difficult.
I'm glad to hear you were able to find a biological reason for some of the exhaustion you're feeling. I hope this helps you out!

Quote:
It's not that our kids don't sleep, it's that my husband and I are so behind on so many things, we have too much to do in the evenings and so we stay up a couple hours to late almost every night. And then wake up late. And arrive late to everything. Which is a cycle that drives me crazy.
I have spent a lot of time in this cycle, and I find it's directly related to my mental health. Not that one causes the other, but rather they are definitely correlated. I really, really know this feeling. ((Hugs))

Quote:
I think I do need help, but this is what I'm struggling with. I really, really don't want to go through being diagnosed again as having depression. Our insurance is awesome - 100% coverage for diagnosed mental illness - but I don't want the diagnoses because of what it could mean for the future. We want to adopt someday and some countries look at depression very negatively. I just want to be able to get through this on our own.

But our marriage is suffering at this point. For many reasons.
Right now. Deal with right now. Tomorrow has it's own troubles, but you have a husband and a family who need you right now. I think this may be part of the depression/anxiety too. When I first had ppd, I swore it would kill my son to stop nursing. And I couldn't take medicine because that would ruin him for life. I painted myself into a corner and snowed myself. It took a dear friend of mine, a therapist, to snap some sense into me. I "let" myself take care of me and trust what everyone else said about the meds, and it helped. A lot can be done by that anxiety, a lot of bad. You said it all right here: you acknowledge you believe you need help and your marriage is suffering. If you have good insurance, get the help you need. Don't worry about tomorrow. I'm not saying you're suicidal, but if you ever got to that point, there wouldn't be an adoption at all. I think sw's would be more open to knowing you acknowledge needing help and accept it rather than refuse. FWIW, I am a licensed foster mom who was taking Zoloft during our licensing process. I was terrified when they required a letter from my doc stating I wasn't a harm to a child, but it's who I am: I can't change that. Everything worked out fine; we were licensed w/o any trouble. You need to take care of you today for the kids you already have.


Quote:
How have your husbands or partner's dealt with this? I feel like I keep asking my husband for help and he thinks that it means I want him to do one thing to help right now (drive the kids to school one day, or come home from work early another). I don't understand why he won't figure out the bigger picture, that something more needs to change.
What do you need him to do? What's the "something more?" I know how you're feeling; I shoved my husband away and pulled him close all at once during my down times. But I think it's promising that he's trying; he sees a problem, and he's offering solutions. He's doing what he knows/believes to help. Can you have a heart-to-heart with him and pin-point things that will help?

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I know the feeling so well, feeling mad and angry and sad and frustrated and then guilty - all at once. Not happy in your own head. I think a therapist would help, maybe meds if they feel it is in order. I promise I'm not trying to attack you in this post, just that I know what you're going through. Take it one step at a time, one day at a time. Accept the help you need now...tomorrow has it's own problems, but you have to be healthy enough to handle them when they come.

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
#10 of 13 Old 10-19-2009, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
sbrinton's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Near Seattle
Posts: 1,168
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
What I "need" from my husband is a commitment to do more than come home an hour early from work here and there. We have had a crazy couple of years and I think we need to take some time off, hire someone to watch the kids, and just catch up. We're behind on finances, the garage is a disaster, the house is not babyproofed...and these things make every day hard.

I kind of think that needs to be the first step. Even before we can fit counseling in our lives...I could make an appointment to see a counselor, but we have nothing to do with the kids. Childcare is a HUGE struggle for us. If I use my precious few hours of grandma babysitting each week for counseling, it would make everything else harder.
sbrinton is offline  
#11 of 13 Old 10-26-2009, 06:39 PM
 
Gale Force's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Nestled in the Sierras
Posts: 5,010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm excited that you discovered those deficiencies. You should feel a noticeable difference probably by now if you started on supplements right away. Maybe your next step will be more clear when you have even a bit of energy for it.

Amanda

Amanda Rose, author, Rebuild From Depression: A Nutrient Guide. Don't miss this opportunity to build a business telling friends about probiotic foods and grass fed meats: Beyond Organic Review.

Gale Force is offline  
#12 of 13 Old 11-01-2009, 11:38 PM
 
njkarin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 29
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm really sorry you are going through this right now. I hope you can find the help you need--it is so important to talk to someone and it can help you through all the issues you are dealing with, PPD and beyond.

As to the breastfeeding aspect, it is an extremely personal choice. I can only tell you that when I had PPD, I was nursing my son but I felt so much pressure to continue that it just added to my stresses (I felt like I would be harming him in some way if I stopped--that [I]certainly[I] was not helpful). Once I weaned him I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders, I had my body to myself again and it was a turning point in my recovery. My son is healthy and happy and well attached and I enjoyed feeding with with a bottle! Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
njkarin is offline  
#13 of 13 Old 11-02-2009, 09:05 PM
 
caro113's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Reinholds, PA
Posts: 1,191
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstripp2020 View Post
I think there is a correlation. From what I understand, breastfeeding can actually help the symptoms. Stopping breastfeeding suddenly can definitely contribute to a worsening of symptoms.


This happened with me. Getting out a bottle (of ebm) made me feel even worse than I already did. Nursing was definitely a huge comfort for me.

Me with my baby girl Maeleigh (Oct 08) and My (step) baby girl Whren (May 05) in Heaven with her mommy .. And introducing our little JuneBug (June 10) We heard the !!!
caro113 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off