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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>I can't decide where to put this thread!  I am on the verge of starting on anti-depressant because I just don't know what else to do.  It's a long story, but I'll shorten it by saying that I am wondering if the fact that I'm still BF my 19mo is causing my hormones to react so severely that it's triggered PMDD or something similar.  I've used NFP and charted my cycles since before my first pregnancy, and I can say confidently that my worst times are directly related to my cycle- the build up before ovulation to right after AF starts.  I was thinking that I should try to wean my 19mo before I start on anti-depressants... I'm scared of taking them and I wonder if weaning might be a more natural place to start.</p>
 

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<p>I experience the same cycle/hormone-related mood problem. It's pretty severe to the point where I'll feel like a completely different person for about 1 week out of the month and have ridiculously high levels of anxiety and depression. I've experienced this for years and my endocrinologist said the only way to treat it would be to A) be on birth control or B) take an anti-depressant -- both of which she said I cannot do while breastfeeding. I've been breastfeeding just shy of 3 months and I want to continue for at least 1 year but ideally 2 years. I feel like I'm putting my life on hold to nourish my baby because I'm not able to function well anymore, whereas I've been med-free for several years and was able to get by alright for a while there. Now it's just too much to manage with just therapy alone. I'm just going to keep trucking along until I'm at a point where I feel that I'm ready to wean my baby and explore the options to improve my mood, but I really think if you're ready to wean your baby then go for it! 19 months of breastfeeding is a huge accomplishment. I say go for it and start on the antidepressant if that's what you feel will really help you. I have been really against myself taking meds for a long time because they didn't agree with me in the past, but I think it's important to do what helps a person function best, and I have a feeling meds will be necessary to help me be the best mother I can be during the early years where I need all the energy I can get.</p>
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<p>Good luck to you!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>Thanks for your response!  I don't know what I'm going to do still.  Of course, I'm feeling good right now- last week was my horrible week so it's easy to be desperate for a solution then and think I'm completely fine now!  I called a therapist and talked with her a bit on the phone, I'm excited to go learn some coping mechanisms but it's going to cost me $50 per session, and I don't think I could afford to do that more than once or twice a month. :-/  This is so frustrating. </p>
 

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<p>how do you guys know it is related to breastfeeding? I'm sorry, I dont know much about this, but am dealing with some issues myself. Do you know of any material about bfing and mood issues?</p>
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<p>I have some thyroid problems and just found out I am a bit low on some vitamins/nutrients. I am also still bfing my 22mo. dd.</p>
<p>I would really hate to wean, and I'm not sure that I would, but I have definitely noticed a lot of problems during my cycle, especially the week before af. </p>
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<p>I just don't know how I could know that it is bfing and not thryoid/diet, or circumstances. (I've charted before but havent been recently, maybe I should start again). It's hard to compare before and after DD, so many circumstances changed, (and thyroid meds), which might be causing my depression/anxiety. I did have a lot of pp anxiety/instrusive thoughts, but that lessened after 6 mos or so. Last few months pms has been terrible in terms of mood issues.</p>
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<p>I think my problems are probably with my thyroid since all other times in my life I've had depression it was mostly problems there. I've been researching a lot about that, but unfortunately haven't found too many helpful drs - they just wanna put me on antidepressants. (I'm also not in the US). I got my gyno to run more tests and found I'm low in iron/ferritin.</p>
<p>Ugh, too many factors... </p>
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<p>Bfing being the issue now never crossed my mind... until I saw this thread. I know it can cause issues when exclusively bfing babies in the beginning, but I didn't think it would have much affect when baby was older and after af came back???</p>
 

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<p>Well in my case, my mood problems aren't caused by breastfeeding. I've had the mood problems related to hormonal fluctuations in my menstrual cycle for years, <em>way</em> before ever having a baby. I probably should've clarified my suggestion to the OP about weaning. I wasn't suggesting she wean her baby just because she suspects the breastfeeding is causing her symptoms. I was suggesting she wean before going on antidepressants - if she's choosing to try them out. I personally wouldn't take antidepressants while breastfeeding, and my doctor told me she doesn't allow her patients to do it either.</p>
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<p>I have hypothyroidism, <strong>slmommy</strong>. Do you know what your TSH level is? My doctor increased my medication to lower my TSH level close to a 1, and I've felt better in many ways with my thyroid being closer to hyper than hypo now. Being on the low end of hormones has never been good for me.</p>
 

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<p>yeah, I also have hypo (hashis), birdhappy85... I've been reading Stop the Thyroid Madness site and really want to try dessicated thyroid, but unfortunately it's not available in the country I'm living. There are a lot of issues for people who just take synthroid (or whatever other synthetic t4), and continue to feel slightly hypo, and/or have depression. </p>
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<p>I'm amazed (and frustrated!!) about how many biological things can affect mood... It's just like a never ending list of possibilities, especially when you already have some problems, like thyroid. I guess I will pretend and hope nursing has no big impact because I want to continue for some time still. I just wonder how it would even be possible to know if it were...</p>
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<p>I'm sorry I dont really have anything to add booyah716. Personally I'm trying to figure out my issues and triggers and it would be helpful if I started charting again probably... I guess if you know patterns and problems, at least that's a heads up, although still so hard to deal with when you have those days...</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
<p>Slmommy, my "baby" is almost 20 months (hard to believe!).  With all three of my kids I've gotten my cycle back at less than 12 weeks PP, despite doing everything "right" to try to keep it away.  I've been charting my cycle for over 8 years, so I'm pretty familiar with things!  That being said, the reason I'm just now wondering if it's BF related because the very first time I had an anxiety attack was when I night weaned my first child.  Since BF creates serotonin, my conclusion was that I'm having less serotonin in my body to relax and calm me.  Now- this is ALL my theory!  I haven't read about this, and my primary care dr. certainly doesn't know about any of this, lol.  He did check my thyroid and iron then, but everything was normal.</p>
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<p>Now, this is the longest I've nursed a baby, and my cycles are still sort of wacky.  I just wonder if they're still wacky because I'm BF, maybe my body won't have regular cycles until I stop?  It's different for everybody, I just don't know what to think for me since I've been pg or BF since April 2006!  I'm desperately trying to figure out how to help myself since I really don't want to go on Zoloft, but I have to change something else.</p>
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<p>Oddly, my LO started to wean himself last week.  We were exposed to chicken pox on Monday though so I'm not encouraging him to wean, if he gets it I'd rather nurse him through it.  So, after we have CP I'll most likely try to wean...</p>
 

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<p>Weaning actually caused a major hormone drop for me and a major depressive episode (one of the worst I've ever had). You shouldn't have to wean to start taking meds. Check out <a href="http://neonatal.ama.ttuhsc.edu/cgi-bin/discus/discus.cgi?pg=topics&access=guest" target="_blank">Dr. Hale's</a> breastfeeding and medication manual to find something compatible. </p>
 
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