Week 7 – D-MER Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex


I want to start with a hearty thank you, to my readers.  I checked back after a very hectic bunch of days…and saw that there was a day not too long ago where I had more than 130 views in one day.  It wasn’t even a day that I had written anything!  Color me surprised.  Pleasantly!  🙂  So again, I humbly thank you all.

So as of tomorrow, Zoe will be 7 weeks old.

Update on the breastfeeding front:

Still frustrated at times, don’t get me wrong.  I want to continue being as honest as I can.  And there are times when I feel downright angry.  Or guilty for being frustrated.  Any number of negative feelings a person can have…I probably have had them.

However, I have found that there might have been a reason for the particular bad times, which seemed to not last very long at all.  (And I’m talking minutes versus hours.)

This is called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, or D-MER. According to D-MER.org, “Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex is a condition affecting lactating women that is characterized by an abrupt dysphoria, or negative emotions, that occur just before milk release and continuing not more than a few minutes.” This is a physiological response (not a psychological response) that appears to be tied to a sudden decrease in the brain chemical dopamine immediately before milk let-down.

Please see this website for the rest of the information: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/d-mer/

Upon simply reading the above cited paragraph, I felt intensely better about what I was going through.  There is a reason.  And because I know that it’s a physiological thing versus a psychological thing, I can work through those periods a lot better, and a lot quicker.

And yes, even in general, whether or not I’ve had decent sleep…I get frustrated.  That’s to be expected, and I can tell myself this when I’m of a far more rational state of mind.  Too bad I can’t convince myself of it when I’m being emotional.  But hey…that’s how things work.

The constant flux of the chemicals in the brain that keep us feeling like ourselves, is completely out of whack when we’re pregnant, and nursing.  It’s going through a far more roller-coaster-like ride than it does for most non-clinically diagnosed people out there/us when we’re not pregnant and not breastfeeding.

The things that are causing the use and depletion of those chemicals are greater, and sometimes far more random than what we experienced before pregnancy and breastfeeding.  But it will pass!  It always does!  Sometimes it hits us when we don’t want it to.  Hell, it always hits us when we don’t want it to.  But our bodies are wonderful things and it will replenish itself.

The biggest thing is to not allow ourselves to fall victim to the negative thoughts, the negative feelings, and let it drag us down.  We are fully capable of breastfeeding, and breastfeeding well!  It’s a rare case where the body literally can’t do what it was meant to do!

There are ways to work with your body.  Many of which I’m learning.  The psychological ones I’m re-learning, and expect to re-learn many times to come for the rest of my life (patience, being one of them!).

One of the things I’m re-learning…is that it is perfectly OK to feel!  It’s perfectly ok to have emotions.  Even if they aren’t happy, fuzzy rainbows and bunnies coming out of your arse.  This is real life, people.  That stuff doesn’t exist for anyone and their emotions.  So…stop thinking that that’s how things have to be.  You aren’t a bad person, a bad parent, a bad friend, for having emotions.  And don’t let anyone try to convince you that you are.

Yes, we will get frustrated.  Yes, we will get annoyed.  Yes, we will be tired.  Yes, we will snap.  Yes, we will have mood swings.  Yes, it will seem inconvenient.  Yes, we won’t be able to do the things we used to.  Yes, we have to form new routines.  (Big key…routine is incredibly good for baby.)  Yes, we have to get used to doing things in far less time than we used to.  Yes, we may not be able to go pee when we want to, either.  Yes, there will be good days, and yes there will be bad days.

But it’s all worth it.  Things will calm down…and they will blow up again for a few days.  But progressively, things will get better overall.  The feedings won’t be so hard.  They won’t be all the time.  You will be able to get up and do things again.  I know that it can feel as if you’re glued to a chair or the couch.  I certainly feel that way…a lot.  But I’m trying to focus on the growing success of my breastfeeding, and the times I’ve managed to get up and work on my personal routine, as well as a routine for both of us.  That routine will be easier as they get bigger, and need to feed less often.  The growth spurts will come, but not as often as the months go on.

I know things are hard.  They are.  I know they will be hard.  But they will get sometimes easier.  There is always a way to change what it is that isn’t working into something that does!

I feel like there’s more to say on this right now, but it’s not coming to me.  As it does I’ll make more posts.  🙂

‘Til then, Toodles!

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Mary

Wife, student, new first time mother. Crafter and creator. Animal enthusiast. I had a miscarriage in March 2011. But we tried again. March, 2012 was the birth of my first child. Off and on I have been dabbling with small business, trying to get it off the ground since, every so often changing direction.

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