Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Breastfeeding and Homesick

I've heard lots of people talk about the emotions and bonding that goes into breastfeeding. I remember one friend saying that you won't want to give it up. I think I had high expectations for fun, happy times breastfeeding, but lately it's started feeling different than a few weeks ago.

This might be too much information for some people, so if you're like, "Gross!! Feeding a little human from your boobies!!!" Then just skip this post. 

Right when Daisy was born, I was super engorged for a few weeks. I had lots of problems with leaking and almost got mastitis at one point. I probably should have been pumping and freezing, but I was afraid my supply would never level-out if I did that. I managed to get a small freezer supply, but very carefully. 

Last week I leveled-out, and I'm basically making just enough for Daisy, now. Whew!

Now I only let-down when it's her feeding time. I've felt the milk come in during the let-down all along, but now, in addition to the physical feeling, I get this emotional wash of homesickness. 

It's like I wish I was her, all naive in the comfort of my mom's arms. I long for security and safety, but I'm the one that has to give it now. It's a feeling of sadness and unrest. It feels like I need to get away and go back to the place where I was ignorant and child-like and only worried about what toys I'd play with today. It's like I want Zane to say, "I'll take care of you. Don't worry about anything."

As soon as I stop feeling the milk come in, the emotions go away too, but it's pretty icky.

I talked to my mom about it, and she said she had the same feeling when she breastfed us. I looked it up, and it's called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, or D-MER. Here's the wikipedia link. I also read through d-mer.org and learned a lot. It's pretty interesting.

Every time I learn something new about pregnancy and motherhood, I think, "Wow! There's still so much I don't know!!"

Luckily, I'm only feeling a mildly depressed, homesick feeling. Some women have it much stronger and even wean early because of it. Everything I've read says that foods that raise dopamine levels help. I'm already regularly eating a lot of them, but I might try incorporating some more!

The human body is just crazy!
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