9 answers

Stopped Breastfeeding - Raging Hormones

I stopped breastfeeding approximately 1 1/2 weeks ago my daughter and I am an emotional wreck! Am I mourning? What do hormones have to do with it all? Help! How long does this go on?

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So What Happened?™

Thanks for the feedback - nice to know I"m not alone and it's normal. I am already starting to feel a little bit better and hope things will continue to even out. It's sad especially when you know it's your last child!

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It kind of depends on how long you nursed and how old your baby is. Regardless of the age of your baby, your hormones will be out of whack, your hair might start falling out, you may have stronger PMS and different periods than you did before. If you quit within 6 mos of having the baby or aren't sleeping well, I blame just recovery hormones. It took a good 14 months for me to return to the normally even keeled person I was before I had my non-sleeping first child. The duration of hormonal wackiness for me seems to be related to how long I nursed - i.e. my hormones are out of whack, still, after having stopped nursing 8 months ago with my second child who I nursed for 2 years. I'm not super emotional, but I do have real emotional swings, PMS symptoms and headaches that I never had before. I stopped nursing my first child at 14 months and it took about 3 months for my hormones to get back to normal. Those three months I had heavy PMS. again, I hadn't suffered from this before. So... you might talk to your OB. In the Bay Area, they'd send you to an eastern medical specialist for herbal teas to help get things back to normal.

Best of luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi--Your feelings are most likely related to a drop in prolactin that happens when you stop nursing. Prolactin is a great, feel-good "drug" for mom! You should even out within a few weeks. There is some explanation and some tips on this link that may be helpful: http://kellymom.com/bf/weaning/weaning_mom.html

OMG - i just want to let you know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!!! i know a lot of women who are went or are going through the same thing. i think i had more "postpartum" depression when i quit breastfeeding than after the birth. this is more common than we think, and the worse part is i had no idea it was coming. no one warned me, no one talks about it - maybe there should be more info/research out there regarding MAJOR hormonal changes going on in our bodies during the weaning period and what a loop it throws us for! hormones play a HUGE factor in everything regarding baby, especially breastfeeding, hang in there, things do get better. and if you have to treat this time like you did the postpartum period then by all means do so, your body is going through alot of changes right now. good luck, and congrats on your beautiful girls!

Well, did you stop cold turkey or did you gradually wean your selves off it?

You may want to consider going back to nursing, but only before bed time. And then in six months weaning off it. Also find other feel good cuddly things to do with your daughter. It'll ease the emotional pain.

Totally normal. Your hormones are on a roller coaster ride. Not to worry, all will be well soon. Take Vitamin B and exercise. Keep your to do list small and limit your schedule to only those activities that are necessary so your stress levels don't spike to high. One more thing, let your husband know that you apologize for being short of patience and that it's only temporary while the hormones wreak havoc on your body and you'll need him to be patient with you while you go through this period.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I am trying to wean (my son/ 14 mos.) and have been dealing with depression for several months. It could help to explain it. I never thought about the fact that your hormones change so much after the nursing period and that could cause emotional stress. I want to wean so I can take an antidepressant. I think being a working mom is so hard!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you can hang in there. Best of luck to you. Stay strong! Try to take a break now and then if you can. Hopefully, your daughter will be over it soon too!

Ahhh...the hormonal changes of breastfeeding. When I stopped breastfeeding my son after a year, my face looked like a pizza, no exaggerating. I decided to go to the dermatologist for the first time in my life, and he almost laughed at me when I asked what was causing the breakout. He asked if I had any idea what my body was going through now that I stopped breastfeeding. Of course, I didn't even think about the fact that it is hormones that cause the milk in the first place.
I am sure that a bit of the emotional issue is based on the attachment. But, just like every beautiful part of pregnancy (vomitting, exhaustion, headaches, etc) hormones are the culprit. I'm sure in a few more weeks, you will be all sorted out again. You may just need to have a bit extra snuggle time with your little angel to fill the void of the body contact that is lost at the conclusion of breastfeeding.
Hang it there!
P.S. I am about to give birth to my second son, any day now. So, I am really looking forward to the fun beginning of breastfeeding when my nipples will crack and bleed! :)
But, we wouldn't have it any other way!

uggh, the worst, I had it with both my kids, I went into a dark depression, but I also have a history of depression, so mine might be more exaggerated. I think it was at least 3 weeks until I started feeling half way normal again. I don't know the science behind it but I know your hormones in your body are different when you're breastfeeding and readjust when you quit. The first time around it took me awhile to realize what it was, at least this time I could recognize it and know there was an end in sight.
Blessings & strength to you!
K.

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