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Effective Lifestyle Changes
Please Note
This is not to be considered medical advice, d-mer.org is not endorsing the use of any of these things, but they are options you can discuss with your health care provider. We urge you to thoroughly research any of the options mentioned on this site. If you do decide to try one of the following suggestions, dmer.org would be very interested in hearing your results.
Distraction
All D-MER mothers seem to agree, D-MER is better if something distracting is going on while they nurse. TV, reading, talking on the phone, and surfing the internet are all good options. If none of those thing are readily available then mental distraction tricks can be used. Say your multiplication tables in your mind, say the alphabet backwards, plan a dinner party in you head, try to remember the words to an old lullaby while you sing for your baby.

Water Intake
Not drinking enough can make D-MER worse for some mothers, and some mothers describe their D-MER as a "deep hollow thirst" possibly because the anti diuretic hormone, vasopressin is involved. And since your stomach might be churning with every letdown drinking enough can be hard. Keep water near you all day and even though we are told not to keep track of water intake or force fluids, now is the time to negate that advice and make sure you are getting about 75-125 ounces a day. One mother's solution: keep a 24 ounce cup handy and fill it 5 times throughout the day. An important step to try is "guzzling" about 5-8 ounces before sitting down to nurse. Don't give this up too quickly; it can take several days for your body to catch-up. So bottom line, stay hydrated.

Sleep
Lack of sleep can aggravate D-MER to no end. It is very important that a mother with D-MER gets as much sleep as possible. Do you ever feel like your D-MER reminds you of the times you have been so exhausted, emotionally and physical at the same time, so much so that you could have cried? So tired that you felt it in the pit of your stomach, so tired that it emotionally hurt to still be awake? D-MER CAN feel like that, so don't let yourself get that way to begin with because D-MER will just take you down further.  As much as you can, make sleep a priority.

Exercise
Studies have found that exercise increases both your dopamine levels and the number of dopamine receptors in your brain. Work out regularly and aim to do it in the morning to try and stimulated dopamine production before you face your day.

Caffeine
Caffeine does increase dopamine levels, but mothers have also reported worse symptoms when going over board, more than 150 mg a day. This may becuase an overload on caffeine can cause an anxious irritable feeling. If you want to use caffeine as an option, try drinking half a cup of coffee or soda 2-4 times a day, throughout the day. Less is more in this case. All in all it does seem that each mother may react differently regarding caffeine use and D-MER. Find which solution works best for you.

Solitude
Some mothers find being in the close proximity of others to be even more irritating or upsetting when experiencing D-MER. Whether it's becuase you can't tolerate your older kids climbing all over you during it, or becuase you feel that they whole world can see right through you, it's OK to want to nurse alone. When suffering from D-MER is not necessarily the time to be a nurse anywhere and everywhere lactivist. If being alone is easier while you nurse, then make that happen as much as possible.

Orgasm
Some mothers feel that D-MER is worse after orgasm, which raises prolactin and lowers dopamine, for varying amounts time.

Stress
There are two kinds of stress, eustress and distress. The kind that sends you out of control with fight or flight kind of symptoms (distress) and the kind that focuses you and takes all your energy to get through in a calm manner and enhances function (eustress.)

Here is mother-kind of example: You get three kids loaded into the car, to the grocery store, out of the grocery store with a weeks worth of food and under budget and home again without a single outburst or elevated heart rate. Was it stressful? You bet, but it wasn't out of control. D-MER is easier to manage under this kind of eustress, mostly because it focuses and distracts you.

Another example: You are trying to type an email to your supervisor at work concerning an important manner and you have been interrupted five times by an uninvited parade of three small children marching through your living room as well as the phone ringing and the UPS man at the door, all while your husband is proposing dinner plans to you. You can't form a single thought and suddenly D-MER hits and you burst out in a frustrated rage. D-MER is always harder to get through under this kind of distress.

Downtime and Bonding Time
Mothers with D-MER go through their day dreading breastfeeding their baby, which they do about 12 times a day or more. Schedule downtime for yourself at the end of the day, after the baby is asleep. Choose something you look forward to, something rewarding, that can focus you throughout your day. "If I get through this, I get to _____ once the day is through." This could be a special snack, time for a hobby, a book you never have time to read, a chick flick, etc.

Secondly as a result of D-MER most of the time spent with your child is spent feeling rather horrid. Even if a mother doesn't direct these feeling towards her baby, it can be hard to bond while nursing. Find time each day to spend some significant time enjoying your baby in another manner. You will feel refreshed and will be less likely to feel resentful, disengaged or unattached to your child over time. Don't beat yourself up over a lack of bonding through breastfeeding, even mothers without D-MER don't always feel that breastfeeding is their top bonding experience. Though you may feel like you are missing out on something special, it's not your fault and you can make up for it in other ways; babywearing is a great one.