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Quotes From Mothers

Quotes have been taken from earlier message board posts and correspondences from women with D-MER. These real life experiences help other mothers know that they are not alone and help show the magnitude at which women are being affected. Because of the magnitude of threads and posts regarding D-MER we can not continue to add quotes to this page. But we encouraged people to add their own to the guestbook. Continuing to hear from mothers personally and on the site helps keep the investigation and research of D-MER a high priority.It is important to note that many of the quotes report additional physical symptoms, which, aside from a hollow feeling in the stomach, are unrelated to D-MER.

"What I was experiencing was a sickening hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach along with a strong aversion to food. I wouldn't feel sad, but I would feel "icky and yucky" and pretty hopeless and melancholic. It was a feeling that I associated with strong feelings of worry in the past and I kept searching for what I was feeling worried about. It would turn out that there was nothing; it was just that same sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It would last for about one to two minutes each time, which sounds brief, but it was so overwhelming that it would grab my attention from anything I was doing and I would end up needing to focus my way through it, nearly like I needed to for a contraction during labor. There were even occasions where it caused such a severe emotional reaction that just for a passing moment I would sometimes even feel suicidal. Then it would pass and until the next letdown of milk I would be fine."

"It feels like my world is about to end. It feels like a sick feeling in my stomach and i get a guilty lonely feeling as well. i feel extremely sad and depressed and then 30 seconds later my milk lets down and the feeling is gone until my milk lets down again. when it happens i want to disappear, i don't like being around anyone when it happens."

"It's anxiety that floods your mind. Guilt that overwhelms you. Fear that you're the only one who's ever gone through this. Nausea from the worry. Pin-prickling pain that never eases up. Most of all, D-MER made me feel alone." "The best word I can think of to describe it is dread. It was like a hollowness inside, but also like a rock in my stomach; I felt afraid, like I wanted to run away from something; I felt hopeless, like nothing would ever be OK again. Then the milk would let down and it would all fade away...."

"For me it ranged from mild irritation to intense feelings of rage and anger. I, at times, bit or scratched myself . I would gather myself and bottle feed in these instances."

"For me, D-MER is a rush of emotions that comes with let-down making me feel bad about myself and uncomfortable in my own skin."

"D-MER, to me, feels like an emotional let down before "the" let down. I feel very self-conscience and that everyone can knows it."

"I still get the intense thirst almost every time, the feelings of extreme annoyance and being stuck and just o god not again leave me alone have gone, now I get these awful visions when I'm nursing standing because there's no place to sit in a restroom or something awkward of dropping the makes me sick and anxious for the feeding to end, it's really intense and hard to shake off for a while after."

"It's a a sudden wave of nausea that I have experienced when something worrying has occurred...feeling sick in the pit of my stomach"

"It feels like little bouts of depression and sorrow. They are short, but inevitable, and go away about halfway through the feeding."

"It's like a longing for something unattainable. A feeling of homesickness/anxiety/troubledness. An overwhelming anxiety."

"I get a wave of disgust...a sort of dread...that washes over me. I distinctly feel that if i never ate ever again, that would be just fine by me. It is not nausea though. But I do recognize the feeling...I've often said that stress makes me feel sick to my stomach throughout my life and it is similar to that now that I think about it. It is only a wave, and it goes away quickly. "

"Yucky. A sudden rush of "my life is horrible", & I think of everything that is wrong & stressing me out in the past or coming up."

"With my first few children, D-MER felt more like a dark cloud of doom would pass over me during nursing, it was very "depressive" in tone. I also felt very thirsty. With this last baby it seems much more anxious - like that feeling you get when you just miss being in an accident or something. I still feel thirsty."

"It feels horrible! Like something has a grip on me and I can't shake it off. I want to run away from the feeling, yet embracing it for what it is and accepting that it will come but be only brief has enabled it to lessen some, or at least my perception of it's discomfort to lessen some."

"I feel tense and high-strung. I hate noises of any kind. I hate being touched. I want to be left alone. Once I can tell that Baby is latched and nursing well, I relax."

"It's a dark feeling washes over me, it makes me feel like something bad is about to happen, i feel like I have to get away from everyone and everything. i feel scared, alone, like I'm doing something wrong, tense like it's about to hurt (breastfeeding has never hurt, have had no other problems), feels like an intuition sort of feeling which was confusing early on because it was like I *knew* something was going to happen but it never did. It felt dark and cold inside of me."

"It feels just miserable. I just want to stop breastfeeding because I know I will feel better when it ends. Its a deep nagging empty feeling in my stomach and I just want the entire world to end. I feel empty and hopeless. I want it to end and I feel angry towards my child. I want my body back. I just want to put her down and walk away."

"It is like physical and emotional nausea. There's lots of bleak and anxious feelings to be digested but I can't make it go either way."

"It feels like feelings of extreme tiredness, lack of interest in anything, lack of motivation. I feel depressed and lethargic. It lasts about 15-30 seconds or so and ends by the time that I feel the tingling of the milk in my breasts. I usually try to focus on something else or breathe deeply or drink something to take my mind off it. As the nursing goes on, if I have more letdowns, I have the same feelings but on a much smaller scale."

"It makes me feel bleak. Hopeless. Desolate. And weirdly temporary -- black to white in the space of 30 seconds."

"Just as I would put my son to my breast I would feel a terrible surge of anxiety. I would be nauseated and my heart would speed up. Usually by the time I'd gotten through asking myself why I felt that way, it would just subside and then I would be fine. I was not experiencing any anxiety or depression outside of that. As a matter of fact, I think my postpartum experience was remarkably happy and stress free. My husband was with me for my entire maternity leave and we had a wonderful time."

It is a very upsetting feeling in stomach. I feel like I just want to get the baby off me (or husband in cases of foreplay) and feel trapped because the baby needs to continue to nurse.

"It is an emotional disconnect from my body; out of body experience; hollowness; guilt in the pit of my stomach."

"It's like a panic attack - short of breath, chest pain, feelings of dread."

"I feel a 'black cloud' feeling, a feeling of being a bad mother, a feeling of worthlessness"

"I have a short wave of emotion that comes over me. Causing me to feel nostalgic. I have also felt "used" at times while experiencing D-MER"

"Awful feeling of anxiety wash over you and like you can't breath as if your neck was being restricted and then a knot in the stomach from worrying. I had to focus and zone out to get away from the feeling."

"It feels like an "empty" feeling in my stomach. I think the expression "homesickness" is a good way of putting it, a sudden, small wash of emotion. Sort of sad and lovely and sentimental all mixed into one. It's not entirely negative for me. At other, less common times it's like mild anxiety, the kind you'd have if you were late home for the babysitter."

"I feel anxiety, heavy gut, worried, disgusted, mentally and physically uncomfortable when I experience D-MER."

"It is like instant panic. Going from fine, latching on and then feeling like I can't take it, I don't want to hold the baby much less feed him, I wanted to run away and leave. I had to fight the urge to do so, once he had been eating for a few minutes I would notice I was calm and much more myself."

"It felt like an overwhelming surge of anger, panic and frustration directed at my baby. It was a global feeling, but since he was in close proximity, it was easy to feel that it was towards him."

"It feels like an intense hesitation, the feeling that it's not fair that I have to go through yet another feeding. It's sadness and anxiety and guilt all at once"

"It was like I was all alone, I would usually start to cry while feeding. a hollow pit in the bottom of my stomach at just about every feeding - especially when I first started breastfeeding and it was really bad right before weaning (at 5 weeks b/c I had to go back to work)"

"I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness. But there is not a specific direction for that sadness. Tears well up in my eyes even. It is a very strange sensation!"

"It is like what I imagine depression would feel like. Takes over me, have to stop and close my eyes and tell myself I can get through it and that it will pass. Feel like I can't go on. "

"It's an anxiety, the same feeling I had in school when I felt overwhelmed with schoolwork. Drinking water and making a list seems to help."

"Homesick" is the best way I can describe it. Just very sad and uncomfortable. Like I just wanted my mom! Happened all the time, sort of felt like waves of it would come on throughout the day. It made me feel horrible that I felt this way every time my son cried or made noise, or even when I thought about him. I had no idea it had to do with the letdown reflex, but now it makes perfect sense!"

"A feeling of anxiety, deep sadness, wanting out of my life, wanting it all to end. But sometimes more mild, and just a sense of sadness and feeling blue. Then it would pass and I would feel normal again. Sometimes it was very intense and I didn't think I could go on with life, I just wanted to get away."

"It's that butterfly feeling in the pit of my stomach like before going on stage or going on a first date. It's similar to feeling the newness of being in love or being nervous and homesick."

I"t feels like a wave hits. like being washed over with a dreary, depressing day where everything is blah. it;s like going from white to black, then the feeling dissipates"

"Typically, I experience a horrid feeling of numbed panic and dread about 30 seconds before my milk lets down. I now can predict ejection just because I feel like such utter crap immediately before. It's not exactly a physical sensation, but the emotional weight is so oppressive it can feel like a metaphorical weight pushing me down. Usually, the feeling goes away after a few minutes of nursing my almost 3-month-old. I won't discontinue nursing, but while I'm experiencing the horrible feelings, the thought of quitting crosses my mind. I also toyed with the thought of going on anti-depressants, but so far I've not pursued that. For the record, I did not experience this with my first son."

"I had no idea that this was a common thing! I've had that every time I breastfeed! But I didn't experience it with my other 2 kids, just my 3rd, who's 4 months old now. I expect to feel a totally hollow, nauseas & weirdly depressed feeling for about 1 min. each time I breastfeed so I'm sure to not have food in my mouth or something because it will make me gag. But then it goes away completely a minute later! I have always blamed it on hormones, but I'm excited to hear that I'm not the only one!"

"I'm so glad to hear so many others have this problem too. Whenever I start breastfeeding, I suddenly feel really sad and empty and I think to myself, "hmmm, I wonder what's wrong" and then I realize, oh, I'm just breastfeeding again. It passes within about 15 seconds. Very strange. It doesn't really bother me, but it is odd."

"I didn't realize until I came across this thread that this is what I'm experiencing! I just thought I was a freak, or that it's postpartum depression "on occasion"... wow wow wow."

"Wow this is new to me, but I'm sure I had this while nursing my child. I would feel soooo homesick and anxious at the same time, it was the weirdest feeling in the world. I was so sad for a few minutes every nursing. I just wanted my mom! Oh and that feeling in the pit of my stomach too. I pushed through and it got better, but I never got my appetite back while I was nursing."

"I think "hopeless" is a good way to describe the feeling. Mine only lasts 5-10 seconds, but during that time I do feel like nothing will ever be right or good again. Thanks for posting this. I think it's a good thing for first-time mamas to be aware of."

"I do feel "hollow" but I associate it with the hollowness I feel when I'm really thirsty...which of course makes no sense to anyone but me but it's the only way to describe it."

"Interesting. I wrote a post about this years ago and got no responses, so I assumed I was just weird. Mine only lasted a few seconds and as the kids got older it went away. I like the "reverse orgasm" description."

"Oh wow. Thank you for posting this. I was seriously starting to think something was wrong with me. We had latch problems at the beginning which lasted for 3 months so I'm not sure if the hollow feeling was because of that too. Breastfeeding for me isn't really a pleasant experience and it's only been lately that I get to have a few warm fuzzies every now and then. Especially if my child is being extra loving."

"Hmm... I had a somewhat similar experience... Once in a while, almost always at night, I'd get up to nurse him and instead of being able to just fall asleep nursing I'd suddenly get this incredibly intense anxiety. I just HAD to get that baby off of me and I HAD to get out of the room!! It was so intense that it honestly scared me!! And then of course the guilt feelings came then...why can't I feed my son, what kind of a mom am I...etc. Of course he'd start crying because I wasn't feeding him, which would just add to my anxiety. I even tried nursing him in other areas of the house...the glider, the couch, upstairs, downstairs... I tried walking around while nursing him, I tried watching some tv... Nothing worked. I'd start to drift off to sleep and then BOOM, the anxiety would hit. It was like an all-body restless leg syndrome from pregnancy. Night time nursings were terrible for a while there. I would dread night time. And then it just went away. Not sure why. But wow..."

"Huh. And I thought it was only me..."

"I only had those feelings in the beginning. Now occasionally I will feel strange kinda like restless leg syndrome which I have but it seems to be brought on by a letdown."

"When my periods returned at about 10 weeks, I changed to where I had sad feelings when I nursed including thoughts that it would be bad to harm myself because my child needed me. Those thoughts are not so intense now but I do get the hollow dehydrated feeling."

"Interesting. I experience those hopeless feelings, but not linked to breastfeeding. In the early days I would have strong sleepiness and thirst. All throughout my life intense feelings of elation were associated with thirst for me, and I once wondered if it was significant that anti-depressants lead to dry mouth, but I didn't get euphoria with breastfeeding thirst. Nursing an older child, latching on has sometimes produced intense feelings of panic, feeling entrapped and needing to fight my way out. I would induce muscle cramps or invoke a sensation elsewhere in my body to help calm that response. Or sometimes I'd just end the nursing session."

"I feel extremely anxious right before and during let down, and for a bit thereafter. Thirsty, too."

"Yup though w/ each child it has gotten less and less noticeable. For me it makes me feel like I am homesick."

"Okay, this is really interesting. I hate to admit it but I smoke about 5-7 cigarettes a day, and will occasionally have a glass of wine or a beer in the evenings. I find that when I've gone without a smoke (I'm trying to quit) for more than four hours, the depressed feeling that comes when I nurse is almost unbearable. I primarily feel GUILTY - to the point of suicide (almost). It's just the worst WORST guilt feeling I've EVER had. When I'm hungry I find its better. Anyway, yes, when I talk to others too, it's MUCH better. In fact that is the most helpful thing (this is all in retrospect... I didn't know until yesterday that I wasn't going insane! Ha.)"

"I'm one of the moms in this thread who experienced the crazy feelings during let-down, and I'd be VERY interested to hear more of your findings. I read the posts on your blog - they were all so interesting, and I want to thank you so much for doing this research and getting the information out there! Will you be updating the blog with everything you find out through your research and your work with the LCs? I would really like to keep hearing about what you discover. I'm still nursing my almost-three-year-old, and while the feelings mostly ended at one year, they do come back occasionally and I'm still dealing with other anxiety- and depression-related problems. The symptoms I've had are similar to what I used to experience with PMS pre-baby (though on a larger scale), which definitely makes me suspect something hormonal. I will be very curious to see if the anxiety and depression dissipate when I am done nursing. Anyway, sorry to ramble so much! Thank you so much, again, for delving into this topic so deeply and sharing the information!"

"I get excessively lonely during let down. I have to nurse where other people are around or I'm not distracted enough...usually, I chatter a mile a minute to my husband until it passes."

"I experienced it, very acutely, and it became so problematic that I had to quit nursing early, too. It seriously affected me, making me so depressive and unstable that I almost always thought of harming my child while nursing her, and only while nursing her, due to the hormones around the let down. I did get on meds and made it until my daughter was almost three, but it was so awful that I have a hard time even thinking about those years, which seems so sad given how precious those times can be."

"One of the reasons I decided to night wean my son was because I was feeling this horrible nausea and negative feelings, and it'd be much worse on the days when he wanted to nurse constantly. There were times when I'd literally feel like tossing him away from me when he'd latch on, a really ugly/angry/aggressive sort of feeling that would pass in 30 - 60 seconds but that I found supremely distressing & disturbing. Maybe a hungry & demanding toddler (he was already past 18mo) nurses in a way that re-stimulates whatever it is that causes this "emotional letdown"?!?!? Once we night weaned and cut down breastfeeding to 4 - 6 sessions a day, those awful feelings were almost 100% gone."

"It happens to me too and it is such a terrible feeling. I am still feeling it and my daughter is almost a year old. I've started to night wean because the anxiety that I have about the feelings that I get while nursing is negatively impacting my life and interactions with others. I often feel like I could climb up the wall, run away, scream, not have any more children, etc because of it. I really wish there was something to do to make it go away, it makes me feel like such a failure (though logically I know I am not). I wanted to do child led weaning. I ended up weaning my son at 15 months because I could not function with the cycle of feelings that nursing him caused. I am so anxious for her to be weaned, but she is more challenging because she will not eat more than a few bites of solid food per day. When she refuses to eat I have a hard time not thinking "Oh my God, WHY ARE YOU PUNISHING ME?! Please eat. Please give me some hope that this will end." Then I feel terrible because she is a baby, she has to nurse and I feel like she is punishing me by doing it? What kind of person would think like that? (Just venting me feelings, I know they are not rational) Thinking about how I feel while nursing causes me to be depressed about it even when I am not nursing and it makes me feel like I am having an anxiety attack 24/7."

"I've always thought it was a hormonal thing, this hollow feeling during letdown. I've never given it much thought, but for some reason recently the hollow, depressive feeling has been lasting longer each feeding (1-2 minutes compared to a few seconds before) It's really unpleasant, and I usually get really touchy and snippy too."

"I went through this too.... anxious and depressed feelings with let down. Thank you for posting this. I thought I was the only one."

"I still get the hollow "unexplainable pang" (that's what I call it) along with thirst, but only when I'm pumping. I may get the thirst when I nurse but not the "pang"."

"Oh, wow. I had this for maybe the first month or two -- along with feeling like I could feel every last ounce of blood pulsing through my veins. I did NOT like that feeling."

"Like you mentioned in your first blog, I've seen the title of the thread dozens of times and never clicked on it. But, Oh my God, I haven't nursed in a year but I can vividly remember the hollow feeling in the stomach or a knot, getting anxious, teary eyed, etc. right before let down. I would also get it at other random times during the day. To this day I could not think of a single trigger for those feelings. I also went through the whole "I'm calling the doctor first thing tomorrow" about waves of depression. Then I'd feel totally fine, almost excited. And here I thought I was crazy."

"I experience this, too. Every time I sit down quietly in my favorite nursing chair this happens. I usually laugh and think "bring on them hormones!" But I don't notice it as much when I nurse in public (usually carrying on a conversation or trying to keep my daughter latched and not rubber-necking!) or nurse in bed during the night (usually half asleep!)"

"Here too as well - not every time, but quite often. I do it even when pumping!"

"Same feeling. Depressed, anxious, feel like I want to jump up and run away, nauseous. I finally connected it to my let down. Even if I have a letdown when I'm not feeding. I'm assuming that it is because of the oxytocin. My son is 5 months now and the feeling has subsided quite a bit. But, like you, I felt much better about it after I figured out why when it was happening."

"I've had this too. My baby is 2 months and the feeling has lessened but was extremely intense in the first weeks. It seems counter-intuitive since oxytocin is the love hormone. I wish I would have known other women experience this too, I'd only read that breastfeeding is supposed to make you feel all warm and fuzzy (which it now does!) I do however still lose my appetite. By the way---"hollow, empty feeling in my stomach" that's EXACTLY how I experience it!"

"Every time my daughter latches on and starts nursing, I am overwhelmed by a very strong feeling of depression. It only lasts for a minute or two, since I realize that it's some weird physiological effect I have from breastfeeding. With my first child, I didn't realize that it was breastfeed that triggered it and would let the feeling dictate my thoughts and I would dwell in that feeling of depression for awhile, not realizing where it came from. Now that I have realized that it happens because of breastfeeding, I can acknowledge the feeling and let it pass on by. It usually goes away in a few minutes. I imagine it may have something to do with hormones that are released by nipple stimulation- oxytocin, I think? When I first became sexually active, I noticed that extended nipple play would give me this hollow, empty feeling in my stomach that I really disliked and associated with being depressed emotionally. It eventually diminished as the years went by but when I had children it returned as this thing that happens when I breastfeed. It's not something that's bothersome enough to keep me from breastfeed. I honestly love the experience overall- except for the first minute or two of each session. I will happily breastfeed my daughter until she decides to wean herself. "

"I thought I was just is worse when I am trying to pump and was worse in the beginning. It's a terrible sick feeling of nausea and total disgust....I feel like I want to just writhe into a ball and the thought of food make me want to hurl. It doesn't last near so long and doesn't happen every time now that I am actually nursing."

"I also get this- the hollow, empty feeling in my stomach- but I don't associate any depression or negativity with it. It's the same feeling I get that I describe as a "homesick" feeling, like if I spend the night away from home or miss someone. Sort of a sense of wistfulness or of missing something. But I don't think of it as a negative thing. I assume it's hormones. It's funny how they all affect us differently."

"I get that sort of hollow feeling too, almost like I'm about to cry. It only lasts for a few moments, though, and then turns into intense thirst! In the past I've often confused being strangely melancholy like this with being thirsty (and vice versa). How strange is that? I find that if I make sure I have a big glass of water to gulp down right when I start nursing I can sort of head this off. Your description of homesickness is spot on! I've been trying to describe this feeling in words for so long and I think this is it"

"Just wanted to say - me too! I thought I was the only one, so phew! I've experienced it with all 3 of my children and have always called it my "home-sickness feeling".

" thought I was losing my mind. I get depressed and anxious. I feel really icky feeling creeping up my neck and the back of my head, my chest feels tingly and sometimes my teeth hurt. I emailed LLL International and have been waiting on a reply about this."

"I have had this nursing yuck with both my sons. I have never found any advice on how to stop it. The first time it went away as soon as my periods returned. I wish I knew how to stop it sooner. I dread that next let down because I know I'm going to be sick, thirsty, and depressed"

"It probably stopped around 6 months. My husband was ready to take me to the hospital though! It was brief, but, kind of scary. I thought oxytocin was supposed to make you feel good?"

"I get nauseous every time I breastfeed, and I don't get those "glass of wine", feel good warm and fuzzies I was promised!"

"Wow I had never heard of this before, but I get it too. Or something similar I guess. Since my son was maybe 4-6 weeks old, I'd get what I'd describe as a feeling of "dis-ease" like I was just edgy and uncomfortable in my skin and wanted to get away. My period returned around 6 months, and the feeling has definitely diminished, but every once in a while it returns. I never associated it with let-down, though."

"Only not only to I get an intense rush of depression while nursing, but the entire time I am breastfeeding I am low level depressed. I felt like the biggest freak, and I couldn't be right (because breastfeeding is supposed to make EVERYBODY happy, right? Wrong.), but then when my son weaned the whole world brightened up considerably and I had more energy, within days."

"I've had the same sort of feeling, hollow empty feeling in the pit of my stomach, wistful home sicky-feeling that turns in to huge thirst. But it happens during nipple play when I had sex and not breastfeeding. Strange but it's the exact same feeling. Like a cloud passing over the sun."

"Me, too. In fact, if I even so much as think about food during the first couple of minutes of nursing, I get such a nauseous, YUCK feeling. Just read the homesick comment another poster made, and that is EXACTLY what it feels like."

"I am so glad I found this. I have that total homesick feeling and I start wondering if this is the life that I want - bizarre because I don't think that any other time. I even started to wonder if there was some sexual abuse in my past that was too deep to remember, but I couldn't even fathom how that could be the case. I am so happy and relieved to see that there are lots of women that this happens to."

"I had it too! Just with the first two kids, for a few months. I hated it. It's weird. But normal, so that's comforting."

"Immediately prior to my letdown, I get a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. The feeling travels upwards and forms a lump in my throat at which time my eyes well up with tears and I feel incredibly sad. Sometimes I just feel like I want to get up and shake it off or just run away. It's weird. Luckily it only lasts a short bit."

"Wow - I thought I was the only one who felt this 'feeling' when nursing. For me, it started when I was pregnant with my first son whenever my husband would 'play' with my nipples. It continued through breastfeeding him, and now I feel it when I am nursing my second son. For me, it almost feels like a nausea or something in the pit of my stomach. And you're right - it fades quickly. It really bothered me in the beginning. I can say that it diminishes the longer I breastfeed....."

"Yep, I get it too. I also get a prickly feeling under my arm's very uncomfortable for a few seconds."

"Every single time I nurse, within 30 seconds of latching on, I feel this deep sadness/hopelessness, sometimes physically in my chest. Could it be hormonal? We've always had a pretty good nursing relationship, and whenever people say stuff like "he's so big!" I feel so proud that he's breastfed and I'm meeting his needs and keeping him healthy. When it happens, I try to put words to it and figure out what's wrong, but nothing ever is. What is it? I'd really like to figure it out, as it seems to be getting worse."

"I wanted to respond because I was so surprised to see this!! I had the exact same problem with both of my boys. For me, the first time it lasted probably 9 months and the second time it lasted about 6 months. Mine was pretty fleeting. It would last maybe a minute right after he'd latch on. I'm positive it was hormonal."

"Holy. Cow. I can't believe I just read this. I only happened upon this post by mere chance. I just want you to know that you are ABSOLUTELY not alone. I have NEVER met ANYONE but myself who experiences this exact same thing. I'm in shock. I've talked to all my friends, LLL and everything in-between to see if anyone has ever had this happen and I am the only one. My ND is the only person who has heard of it upon letdown and is currently treating me with homeopathy. I've had this happen with ALL 4 of my kiddos while breastfeeding. It is the strangest thing ever and I really hate it. It's super strong right after birth and for some time after but then (for me anyway) it seems to slowly get less intense. My daughter is 10 months and I still have it to some degree though it's much easier to deal with now. I even lose my appetite upon letdown. I immediately feel as though I hate food if I think about it even if I was starving previous to nursing. As soon as let down passes it lifts pretty much but it's awful strange to go through."

"This is exactly what happened to me with both my kids. I remembered loving being able to breastfeed but hating it at the same time because I would get this rush of "yucky" feelings that I couldn't explain every time I would nurse. I remember talking to my husband about it after my son was born. I was saying how frustrating it was because other moms would talk about the rush of love and good feelings they would have when they let down and I just felt really odd, sad, anxious, etc. I figured it must be hormones. My husband suggested calling my OB. I never did and now over time it has pretty much passed on its own."

"I have the same thing - a rush of depression. This did not happen with my first son, 14 years ago, but it is happening now with my daughter, 3 months old. I thought I was crazy - why would nature make breastfeeding unpleasant? Although I do love to watch my baby bliss out on the milk. And like the other mama said, I can be starving, and then as soon as the milk lets down, I can't stand the thought of food and am instantly not hungry."

"I love nursing my son and I find it bonding and comforting, but when he first latches on, I get the rush of severe, severe, severe depressive feelings and loss of appetite. I don't want to get into it, but wanted to let you know I'm following the thread 'cause I totally get where you're coming from.

"I felt this way with my son. It was the most horrible feeling in the world. At times I felt like I never wanted to nurse again... But I always did and 2.5 years and another baby later I still am. It was so uncomfortable, but it only lasted about a month for me."

"I get the same icky feeling; in fact, it was one of many problems with breastfeeding that lead to me pumping exclusively. I still get the yucky feeling with pumping."

"I had the exact same thing happen to me!! It was exactly as so many of you have described... about 30 seconds before let-down, I'd get this huge, horrible rush of icky feelings - for me it was some sort of mix of dread, panic, hopelessness and other things I couldn't really describe. It was one of the worst things I've ever felt, and I seriously thought I was the only one. It lasted a long time for me - over a year - but it finally went away, and we're going on 27 months of nursing now."

"I didn't know others felt like this! I always try to nurse at least 15 minutes before I plan to eat or sometime after because if I have to nurse during a meal I lose my appetite. I also feel hopeless and sad when I nurse. Also anxiety."

"Just want to say me too me too. Strongest in the early months, still happens once in a blue moon. But yea! I made it to 12 months and beyond! and the feelings at times were so strong I was suicidal feeling - I hated it but began to realize it was temporary if you will and just dealt with it but I had heard it was 'normal for some moms' and is one of those reasons some women just can't nurse."

"Count me in! It's getting better after 4 months of breastfeeding but I still get it."

"I know just what you mean. I get the same feeling. I'm pretty sure it's chemical. My feeling is sadness mixed with an intense loss of appetite. It happens a minute or two after my son latches on, and then it goes away after a few minutes. I think what people said makes a lot of sense. Usually I look into my son's eyes and take some deep breaths and that seems to help."

"I had the EXACT same experience. Although once nursing would get underway, I'd feel better. And I had no depression otherwise - in fact, I was the happiest I had ever been in my life during the first 6 months after having my son. I actually got used to the sensation and it does lessen gradually and go away entirely. It didn't go away entirely, though, my son was close to a year old. I still nurse him now (he's 22 months) and I never get the feeling. Just speculating but I had always thought it was just the hormones triggered by the letdown."

"I haven't really told anybody this, but I go through something similar every time I start nursing my baby. She is almost 8 months old now and it has gotten better with time. But it is so strange. Right after she latches on I get a rush of negative emotion. The closest word I have for it is "shame", isn't that weird? I feel strange and sad and shameful, but then after letdown the feeling goes away and I feel very loving toward her and it is no big deal. I've always chalked it up to something hormonal and I just let it ride. It isn't as intense now as it was months ago. I imagine it will be almost nothing in another few months."

"Those feelings were awful and made worse by the fact that I couldn't figure out why breastfeeding was making me so depressed - I googled and googled and didn't find much. No one ever mentioned it as a side effect of breastfeeding so I felt a bit weird bringing it up with anyone. That hollow, depressed feeling went away - don't remember when - although I'm still breastfeeding my daughter."

"YES!!! With my first son I thought it was just because it was so challenging to establish and maintain a breastfeeding relationship with him -- But then it happened again with my second son, when I was no longer faced with any of those challenges. Sometimes I'd feel like I might have to throw up because that hollow feeling in my stomach was SO strong and intense... I never mentioned it to anyone but my husband, I thought it might sound crazy or like I felt breastfeeding was negative."

"I'm not the only one! I'm not a freak??? All I can is O MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have no idea how good it feels to know that other woman experience this too. I just had my 3rd child 8 weeks ago and yet again I am experiencing this empty, hallow, depressed feeling with let down while nursing. I have experienced it with all of my children. With my second I did bring it up with my nurse practitioner and that resulted with nothing. She had never heard of it before, oxytocin is supposed to make you feel happy............... yeah I KNOW! I was just thinking about how I wanted to explore it more this time around and not just suffer through it but see if there is something I can do. I too have suspected that it was hormone related."

"Huh, yeah, I definitely get that hollow feeling with letdown. Not every time though. It's very strange, and I've never seen it discussed anywhere before. Nice to know I'm not the only one."

"I'm a first time mom breastfeeding a 6 week old. Over the past couple of weeks I've noticed that whenever he latches on and begins to nurse I get this overwhelming feeling of either anxiety, weepiness, or feel just plain depressed! It only seems bad when I'm nursing and usually goes away by the end of the feeding...but it makes things difficult for both of us as I sometimes try to push feedings off because I'm having a hard time."

"The exact same thing happened to me while breastfeeding my daughter. I'm about to give birth to my second child and I was searching the web on information on this subject and found NOTHING!! It's good to hear that I'm not imagining this strange reaction to let-down."

"Up until the last 2 weeks ago every time I sat down to feed my daughter I was in tears and I couldn't understand why - I just wanted to give up breastfeeding as it was the answer to the problem but my partner kept at me and wouldn't let my 'give-up' I found when ever I fed her my heart would pound and I would want to cry and would feel sad/lost/sick and depressed."

"I get this too. It's the most overwhelming feeling of absolute panic. I sweat and my heart pounds. It's started to get better. I read when I feed the baby too and that helps, but I feel terrible because I don't enjoy my time nursing her."

"Every time I nurse my son I get anxious and panicky in my stomach. It's really hard to explain. It's almost like impatience and a desire to be out of the situation. This is the first time this feeling has happened during nursing, but now its every time for the past couple days. I used to get the same feeling when I would be at people's houses or have people at my family's house. It was like a need to get things back to normal. Almost like a homesickness. I've had those feelings since childhood. Now I am upset that this feeling is coming over me when I am nursing my son. Why do I want to be out of this situation?"

"I know this must be hard to understand, I can't even explain it.... I get a strong mood change (feeling blue and down) a few second before milk let down, the emotional feeling just last for a minute, but this is not pleasant at all. Also, my let down process happens all day without stimulation, may be every couple hours or so, feeding or not feeding. So I get this strong mood change all day."

"Yes, I absolutely get this...I thought I was just crazy. It's like a sinking feeling for a minute or so while the let down is happening. I hope it goes away soon."

"This happens for me too! I would describe the feeling as despair. Luckily it only lasts a few seconds. After about 3 months I didn't get the random let-downs as often so it mostly just happened during feedings. The mood issues were almost completely gone by about 6-7 months. My baby is 10 months now and I only really get the bad mood change during my period. So it should get better. And you're not alone! (I thought I was going crazy at first!)"

"Oh my goodness, I'm so glad you posted this!!! I get the EXACT same thing! Right before let down, I would get this feeling of 'WHAT am I DOING here??? Almost questioning my whole position in life if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, etc. Then it goes away!"

"My son is about 2 weeks old and every time I nurse him I get this weird feeling of panic and sadness right before I feel the milk let-down. But it only lasts 5-10 seconds and then subsides. Is it something that I am going to have to deal with throughout my breastfeeding career? I am enjoying nursing my sweet little boy, but I really hate this feeling. Everyone has always told me how breastfeeding is supposed to give you a happy, relaxed feeling so I kind of feel like a freak!"

"I remember getting, not really a panic attack but, a bit of a panicky feeling, at let down and my heart would race for a few beats. After the let down it usually left me feeling happy to be feeding my baby."

"I've had this in the early months, especially with baby #1 but also with #2. I also notice I get angry sometimes too - just a temper flare right when I start nursing, it can be towards someone who takes my attention from the baby or it can be something that annoyed me earlier that for those first moments flares up again in my mind."

"I used to get a hollow feeling - I didn't really equate it with a depressive feeling but I would describe it as more of a "sigh". And it was very fleeting, just around let down. At first I thought I was imagining it, but as it persisted I just came to expect it. But my son is now 8 months and I don't get the feeling anymore and I can't think of when I stopped getting it?"

"I felt very panicky and had anxiety over breastfeeding. I would tell my mom that I couldn't stand to sit there and nurse. She replied with, "Don't be ridiculous". I would also get sick to my stomach and I would just wait for my head to drop onto my chest. It always did. I was also very sad."

"Wow, is all I can say. It is a fleeting feeling as described. I never attributed it to breastfeeding but ironically just as my milk lets down I sometimes would get that yuck kind of feel. Oddly enough this feeling reminds me of the guilty feelings I encountered during some of my first orgasms. Sometimes I feel hollow and consumed with thoughts of what ifs, does that make sense? These thoughts are brief but sometimes I cant stop obsessing about them or feeling guilty for having them. I look at my happy child as I feed her and I don't understand why I feel this way. Sometimes I get a smaller variation of the feeling and sometimes I get it in overload. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but it is comforting to know that this may be what I am going through."

"I had this lots with my first child, but our breastfeeding start off was horrible and I always thought it was an anxiety reaction, almost a cognitive thing, because I used to dread having to feed her for the first 6 weeks because my nipples were hanging off. I have not experienced it with my other three"

"I used to have something like what you describe that I called "A Reverse Orgasm." It was like I experienced every possible negative emotion all at once, and it was overwhelming and not exactly pleasant. I also suspected oxytocin."

"I also used to feel very sad and depressed during letdown. An overwhelming feeling of sadness, to the point that I would think "gosh oxytocin is the happy hormone; I must have some sort of imbalance because I don't feel happy at all." I talked to my husband about it and he thought it was all related to hormonal changes postpartum. Anyway, it was really hard to understand and explain and although I don't get it anymore at 11 months postpartum, I still remember the feeling very clearly. Thank you for bringing this up, when I saw the title of the thread I thought "finally! I'm not crazy after all!"

"Yes me too...when I was breastfeeding my first son...and fleeting like you say, but it did feel yucky for those few moments. I remember a friend mentioning the hormone high she got when breastfeeding and feeling distinctly jealous at getting the polar opposite.....I'd describe it as feeling a bit sick, a bit anxious and yeah a bit just blah miserable. Can't say I actually loved breastfeeding for the experience itself but did for all the benefits obviously. I haven't had the same thing with my second child though for which I am very grateful, though slightly curious why. With him it's more of an instant relaxation as I would have expected."

"Yep, the nausea thing here as fact I get the slightly uneasy nauseous feeling well before my letdown and it is quite a good warning before a random letdown at the store or somewhere....I have about a minute of feeling a little bit nauseous and the thought of eating repulses me and then, when the milk starts to come.....I can chow down again...I always thought it must be a oxytocin side effect from the hormonal surge just before letdown"

"I can definitely attest to having that feeling in the beginning of breastfeeding! For about the first 3 months I felt depressed while breastfeeding which made me feel SO weird because everyone says how you are supposed to feel so loving etc etc, well I just felt dark."

"I experienced this for the first 6 months or so of breastfeeding each of my 3 children. I used to think of it as "my homesickness feeling" - the best way I could put into words how it felt. I used to mention it to my husband, but just put it down to a physical/hormonal reaction to nursing and accepted it as part and parcel of nursing - didn't know there was any way to "fix it"! I also presumed everyone felt it - obviously not so!"

"Huh, yeah, I definitely get that hollow feeling with letdown. Not every time though. It's very strange, and I've never seen it discussed anywhere before. Nice to know I'm not the only one."

"Sometimes I'd feel like I might have to throw up because that hollow feeling in my stomach was SO strong and intense... I never mentioned it to anyone but my husband, I thought it might sound crazy or like I felt breastfeeding was negative."

"The feelings that you talk about are very, very familiar for me. I never tell people how unbearable my feelings while nursing are because it makes me sound like a terrible person. I love my kids so it is hard to hate something that they *have* to do so much. I dread breastfeeding more than I dread pregnancy or giving birth. The fact that I know that breast milk is the best thing I can give her is the only reason why I nurse. I just can't imagine not nursing one of my children because of a personal issue. I just got my first post partum period and it magnified the feelings x10. The only thing that helps me is doing something while nursing- mostly the internet, TV, talking to someone when we are out. Just sitting in the glider nursing is enough for me to want to scale the walls and run away, it makes me sick to my stomach and I often have a hard time being civil to my older son or my husband if they catch me in a bad moment. I feel so sad that other people feel like this, but I'm also relieved that I am not a terrible person or a freak because of it."

"When my cycles returned and I was nursing my daughter it would happen every now and then. It was awful."

"I did sometimes feel very irritable or even angry prior to and during letdown. (I was an exclusive pumper, don't know if that had something to do with it- but it wasn't psychological, it was definitely hormonal)"

"I'm 34 weeks pregnant and have started to worry about this again. I experienced it with both of my other children and I am dreading it this time. For me it's a tightening in my chest and an intense FLOOD of negative emotions that I actually can't even piece together into one thought. It's just "everything's horrible" and I feel so gross & sad. I'm just really glad to know I'm not alone and hopefully will find some answers."

"I don't usually feel sad or depressed, though. It's more like gross, disgusted, irritated, etc. I never feel it toward my son, but almost always feel it toward my husband. After so long, I figured out that it only occurred while breastfeeding and that it was really not about my husband, but somehow those thoughts became an automatic reaction, I think. Also, in my case, breastfeeding made me feel warm and fuzzy for several months and these negative feelings didn't start to occur until my son was around 10 months old."

"I had it bad with my first for the first few months (unpleasant birth -- forceps and lots of cuts plus tearing and messed up tailbone) and a bit with my second (much nicer birth, no epidural, labored in water). It has gone away but I've never been mad keen on breastfeeding."

"I have this too, and it's slowly going away as my son gets older. I remember on the first day how it felt like I had tiny little strings running from my throat to my stomach that were being tightened, and the depressing feeling and sinking stomach...very ewk. I asked my apprentice midwife (also my good friend) who nursed her two boys and she didn't remember ever feeling like that. If he stays latched on for more than 20 minutes, I get what feels like restless leg syndrome all over my body. It's nasty."

"I have experienced this. I experienced it a lot at first after the baby was born. There are times with the hollow feeling, but I would describe it as kind of a "homesick" feeling too."

"I feel terribly melancholy, aching, homesick and hopeless. I TOTALLY lose my appetite (even if I have an empty stomach and my husband just prepared a huge plate of yummy food---he'd feel so bad if we were about to eat and then my daughter needed to nurse) which is only regained after the nursing session. The immediate, intense feelings last for maybe 5-10 minutes? With the first few minutes being the worst. It lasted the first year of nursing and slowly diminished even though we were still nursing up to 15 times a day until fairly recently (she is 26 months now.) I used to get this feeling when I was little, often during family gatherings when everyone was chatting and I was quiet and I would feel just awful, very homesick and strange. I had it a handful of times later in life in similar situations."

"I've really appreciated your blog. My experience with D-MER hasn't been as severe or traumatic as some (a general feeling of anxiety, yuckiness, hopelessness and self-disgust that comes with the intense thirst during let-down), but it really has helped me know that 1) I'm not repressing some traumatic incident that's causing these feelings and 2) these feelings don't indicate some sort of bonding issue or something (because breastfeeding was SUPPOSED to release a bunch of feel-good hormones). Now I don't have to hold to those bad feelings--I can let them fly out of my mind the same way they flew in. It's brought me a lot of freedom knowing that I'm not alone or a weirdo for feeling this way."

"I'd like to thank you for this website. Up until I saw this recently I believed that I was odd or twisted having these horrible feeling at such a special time. I've just given birth to non identical twin boys 4 1/2 weeks ago and have been experiencing 'D-MER' exactly as you describe it. The photos on your site are so amazingly similar to my facial expressions when I'm overcome with this feeling just prior to letdown. Whether I'm feeding, expressing or sitting on a bus looking out the window. If I get this wave of feelings, then I can count up 20 or so and my milk begins to 'letdown'. When ever I have mentioned this to any health professionals, friends or family they have never heard of anything like it and I've got the impression they thought I was mad/mentally scarred or imagining it. Since hearing it happens not only to other women, but has a name, I can deal with it better as I'm not wondering WHY but thinking 'Oh, there it is, my milk will be here, then it will go very soon'. Thank you again"

"Wow, I never knew that there were other women out there who suffered with this! I thought it was just me, maybe some weird hormonal thing. I don't feel a physical letdown either. It's more of an intense, anxious, unease with an extreme distaste for food. I have to remind myself that it only lasts a few minutes. My daughter is 5 months old and it's just as intense today as it was when she was first born. I think I had it with my first born as well; I just didn't associate it with breastfeeding. I'm really interested in finding out more!"

"Oh thank you, thank you for bringing this up! YES! I had this same thing with all 5 of my babies. Not only yucky in my stomach, but a feeling of anger/irritability too. It did go away after a few months although I still breastfed. But I never heard of that from anyone else, in fact, if I ever mentioned it people thought I was weird. So, yes it happened to me too. I hope you all are able to get to the bottom of it for future mamas."

"Wow- this is in some ways describing what I've been trying to explain to my family for years- I don't feel "depressed" as such with letdown, but at the beginning of each feed, i get a kind of anxious feeling- the best way I could describe it is a butterflies-in-my-tummy feeling, and even if I'm really hungry and about to eat dinner etc all of a sudden i lose my appetite! Within a few minutes it passes, and I can eat, and don't feel anxious anymore. I always assumed that when it came to briefly losing my appetite, it was my body's way of focusing on feeding my baby, instead of myself! But it still continues and she is almost 9 months old! So they have a name for it now!"

"I don't get negative feelings but I do feel strange when I first start feeding. Like a mother mother said agitated and that butterflies feeling. I get are real craving for something, but I never can work out what it is. If that makes sense. I used to get that feeling when I was pregnant too. The feeling disappears as soon as I feel the milk let down."

"Wow this is so weird, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about! I get a feeling, like a rush of hormones or something, not always negative but overwhelming and I tried to explain how i get this particular feeling to my husband when initially feeding and he looked at me as if i was a nutter! I sometimes used to get this feeling when waking up or showering?!"

"Yes- I get that same rush of hormones kind of feeling, and it can feel overwhelming- it reminds me of when I am really hungry, and my blood sugar is low and it makes me a bit shaky! It is very brief, thankfully, but something that I've always is notably absent during the in-bed-during-the-night feeds! I wonder if it's because I am too "asleep" to notice?"

"I've had this too - really badly - particularly when I was breastfeeding into my second pregnancy - urgh, it was horrid! I felt really awful, but I also knew it just had to be hormonal. I persisted breastfeeding and found that the symptoms faded once I wasn't pregnant anymore - I did have a break for about 5 months between the two breastfeeding phases (whilst I was pregnant.)"

"I did with my second baby - nauseous and anxious...but only until the let down happened then I was fine. I posted about this in the early days of feeding my (now weaned) 18 month old, but no one else had experienced this on the forum at the time, so I am relieved to read that I am actually not alone! It made feeding while eating, a real pain for me as it turned me off my food instantly. I can't remeber it during night feeds eiither (and I did many many of them for 13 months!)...but then again maybe I was just too tired."

"I'd hate to think of having to wean because of this reaction, but I did, it was just that my daughter was past two years anyway, so I didn't worry too much - I wonder if I had fallen pregnant earlier if it would have been much more complex to balance the breastfeeding through pregnancy and worry about weaning."

"Wow the way you describe it sounds so eerily familiar to me- that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach is exactly what I meant to say! And even though it is brief, it is enough to make me really concentrate on feeding- I now consciously try to relax my whole body, and although it still happens, I am noticing that the intensity is slightly less than when my baby was also happens when I've become slightly engorged- if she sleeps longer than her usual cat-naps during the day, i start to leak and then I get that "pit in the stomach" feeling.... Up until she was a few months old, it did put me off my meal too- I could've been ravenously hungry up until the start of her feed, and then BANG- loss of appetite, and I wouldn't have any interest in eating for another hour or so... but it seems that this effect has lessened over time, all it does is delay the start of my meal now, for about 2 minutes."

"I have successfully nursed three children. One of them is still nursing. But the first couple months of nursing each child I would get a very depressed feeling inside me when my milk let down. I never heard of anyone else having this feeling before. It would be this overwhelming feeling of sadness that would gradually go away as the feeding progressed. And after a few months of nursing I didn't have it anymore."

"I also get it during the day, even when I'm not nursing, and it is followed by a let down. Yeah, it bothers me sometimes too because the feelings are so strong, like I just want to cry my eyes out."

"Wow. This is so interesting. I've never heard anyone talk about this but it sounds like it may be somewhat common. And on the other thread, the descriptions of hollowness and nausea and just wanting to run away sometimes.. It's exactly how I feel. It's really nice to to that I'm not the only one who feels this.. It makes it seem normal somehow and not some weird thing that only happens to me."

"It is interesting to me that so many of us thought we were alone with this. Why do health care pros not know about it when asked? Just a rhetorical question really.."

"I also have an emotional feeling often when nursing, I think it is probably meloncholy... I think a sad thought about how short a baby is a baby, that it's my last baby- about growing old, about not making the most of the time I have... there are some very wonderful things that sometimes stir up a sense of loss in me- the sound of the goldfinches in the late summer do that to me- I feel like I am dying, that it's all over- they signal an end for me- and it's bizarre morbidity- because they are joyful beautiful little yellow birds."

"I have a seizure disorder, and for the first 6 months of nursing my dd, I felt like I was about to have a seizure every time my milk let down. I never did, but the feeling used to really worry me until I figured out it was related to my milk letting down."

"I was like this with my son so I started reading while nursing -- doing something to turn off my head. I was injured during his birth so I literally couldn't move while nursing him. After a few months of distractions, I found I didn't need it anymore. I figure it must be normal and probably one of the hidden reasons that women stop nursing so quickly. For me it passed with time. If I had been thinking about harming my baby I would have seen a doctor, otherwise I was pretty sure that my french doctors would have said "stop nursing if it makes you sad."

"My mom had post partum depression after me that really showed itself the most when she let down during breastfeeding. She would have an overwhelming sadness that was not just an emotional feeling, but also a physical one...she says that she could feel it in her chest, sometimes a sadness so deep it was in her very bones. The hormones involved with breastfeeding did intensify the feeling of sadness to a huge degree. For her it got worse because I had colic from food allergies that she didn't know about and I was a really, really, really cranky baby. Too, though she was happy in her marriage, she didn't have much support in her post partum period at all, and so was tired to boot. All of those things combined made for a very sad mama, especially with the hormones of let down."

"I don't like breastfeeding.I know, it sucks. I managed 3 years 11 months. In that time I managed to breastfeed 2 children for at least 2 years each and I managed tandeming etc.I am pregnant again and the thought of breastfeeding makes me panic. I am talking about funny feelings in the tummy, panting, weird fluttery heart panic. The thought of formula feeding makes me feel even worse.This wasn't a planned pregnancy, I had decided not to have children ever again because of the way breastfeeding makes me feel. I see other pregnant women just make easy decisions about feeding choices and here I am wondering if my new child will get fed AT ALL. I don't know if I can do it again. I had been training as a breastfeeding counselor, I am a trained peer supporter so its not like I know nothing about breastfeeding problems/issues etc. I just wish it were different. I just hate breastfeeding now. I guess I will have to see how this one goes, I guess I am just scared."

"I don't see things getting better anytime soon, so I'm on the verge of tears nearly every feeding. I'm feeling very not in control and I am often tempted to return to certain self-injurious behaviors from my past because of the feelings of control and release I got from that. I'm ashamed to admit that because it's so not healthy and not helpful and I'm A Big Girl Now So It's Time To Grow Up."

"I'm late finding this thread, but you can count me in! it's getting better after 4 mos of breastfeeding but I still get it. I'm going to an endocrinologist in a few weeks because my prolactin is very low and my thyroid levels are low- I wonder if that has something to do with it?"

"I get those feelings sometimes. Relaxation and "I'm in control" messages have helped. Sometimes I have to have my husband take the kids away while I clean the house... usually I find this is related to the house being a total disaster and me being hungry, thirsty, dirty, and physically uncomfortable plus not having a lot of fun sometimes."

"Add me into the "I can't believe I read this" group!I wish I could say it was a couple minutes of icky feelings, or that it just lasted while baby was on the breast, but for me it was the descent of a black cloud over my mood that refused to go away. It would worsen when baby was nursing, but it did not go away until she was weaned. This did not happen with any of my babies except the last. It got pretty bad to the point where I just wanted to retreat from everyone except the baby and I started to have days where I didn't want to get out of bed. It took a long time before I realized that the intensity of the depression was linked to the frequency and duration of the baby's nursing. We almost weaned, and the black cloud started to lift, but she wasn't ready and so the nursing increased. The black cloud appeared again, with a vengeance. I was off meds by this point and we just had to let the nursing go. I was not functioning for the rest of the family, and frankly, because of reduction surgery she was only getting drops of milk, so I knew she wasn't being nutritionally deprived. We had a good 18 months of nursing. I'm dreading the reappearance of the black cloud when this next baby is born. I was on the verge of going back on the zoloft (after having been off for about 6 months) when we found out I was pregnant, and I've struggled with my mood all throughout the pregnancy, using Sam-E and Inositol, but I just feel like I'm going to fall off a cliff when this baby comes. I can only comfort nurse, but not nursing her is just not an option I'm willing to take."

"I've been having a bit of trouble with PPD these past few weeks. It's hard to separate out what is PPD and what's been caused by actual illness (I had a post-partum infection followed by an MS flare-up)... but when I read this thread I recognized EXACTLY what is going on. I'm in shock. The one thing I can say is that it's easier now that I know what it is. I start to feel that way, wait for the let-down and sure enough... there it is. Wow. Before, I think my mind was casting around for something to explain those feelings, you know?"

"And why isn't there more help? Hate to be all bitter about it, but I really think it's because it's a woman's issue, so there are all sorts of strange complexities surrounding it, some of which women do to themselves such as questioning their worth as a mother ("if I were a good mom wouldn't I feel great nursing my DC?," "I haven't heard about this before, I must be the only one," etc), so it makes it almost 'shameful' to disclose such things. Also I think there is a real prejudice against emotional/psychological problems. They aren't as easy to deal with, not tangible like the physical. I ALSO think that the reason we have problems with mental illness and emotional/psychological problems is because we associate emotion with women."

"...thank you so much for your thoughts. You are right on!I really connected with what you said about associating the feelings with something in the past. That is what I felt as well. I remember as a child occasionally having that same deep in the gut feeling of "yuck". When I would get that feeling I recall, in my mind, creating a character out of it like a dragon and then I would imagine a prince coming and fighting it away. I know....sounds bizarre... but I was little, what can I say.I bring that up because that was the same in the gut Yuck feeling that I would have during letdown. I also found nursing extremely painful for the first few weeks. My little one is almost 9mos. now so I don't get those feelings really while nursing anymore. However, it impacted me enough that I'm still thinking about it and curious about what it is."

"My ND did mention something about the pituitary gland and the prolactin causing this reaction in some women. I forgot to mention it to her since I can't recall clearly what she said...It's a very real thing we're experiencing and I don't think it has anything to do with traumatic birth or anything like that. It's one of the most undeniable feelings when it happens, as if you're being instantly taken over. The change is incredible and immediate upon letdown. I just can't get over it still that I'm in the company of others who have this issue. No one has ever been able to understand."

"I guess we have a tiny little tribe here... wonder if there are others? I'm telling you, I thought I was so weird for so many years over this."

"With my first son I had no PPD, not even baby blues and with my second son I think I did struggle with it for awhile. (I didn't talk to a Dr. about it. I just started myself on vitamins- B12, fish oil & a multi. For me that was enough, but it is probably not the case for all.) Both of my births went extremely well so there was really no explanation in that regard. With my first son we had a horrible time nursing for at least the first 3 months but with my second son it was fine. Both times I just rode it out and it eventually went away. I hope this will give you some sort of hope that yes there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I asked this question before and nobody could really give me an answer. I don't know how severely you are feeling this but I'm glad you are asking questions because for me, it would've helped to know that I wasn't alone!"

"What I get, which is horrid, is an overwhelming feeling of sadness with my let down. No idea why, I can be perfectly happy, watching telly, typing on the computer, whatever, but when my milk comes in I get this really horrid sensation which goes a minute or two later.Its not so bad now, in fact hardly noticeable, but much worse for the first few months.Very odd."

"Wow! Thats exactly it!Never had it with the other 3, just this time around! Well there you go, you learn something new everyday!"

"Oh my goodness! I am practically crying. I never liked breastfeeding, and never really considered why. I don't feel depressed, but more like "ugh". My son is now 11 months & he hardly nurses anymore. He never seemed to love it either. (I probably didn't make it enjoyable.) I had envisioned myself nursing longer, but I'm trying to be happy that I made it as long as I did. I don't know if having support from like-minded people would have helped me nurse longer, but it would have been nice to know that it can happen. It just seems so silly that breastfeeding is so hard- I mean where is the survival instinct in that?!"

"I was wondering - How does this relate to nursing aversion during pregnancy? Because all those symptoms were EXACTLY the hell of nursing when pregnant, and I did end up with PPD when tandem nursing. I thought they were unrelated, and actually I felt that TNing was keeping me sane, since "at least I'm doing this right!" when I was incompetent and failing at everything else.In my PPD mind, that is. :wink But it's just weird to see that list that so exactly describes the nursing aversion that comes with nursing pregnant and tandem nursing. Could be related to a prolactin issue, in D-MER mamas, perhaps?"

"When I first starting nursing my first child, she was born without a latch at 36 weeks. It took me a month to establish, and she (and all my babies) have had super latch at first. Tear your nipples off. After that was finished, I did have bad feelings during the let down for about a month and a half. Like I was a nothing but an animal, with holes and leaking parts. It would get worse if my husband would touch me while I was establishing the nursing session.But it passed. At about 2.5 months, I got my first shot of "relaxation" nursing letdown."

"I can only speak for myself but mine is not depression related. I am fine the rest of the time just not during let down. It only lasts about 20 seconds. It is bothersome because it is something I have come to dread but it's not as bad (for me) as PPD. So I guess that's something."

"Okay, it's really really weird that someone else is having it not only when nursing. What prompted me to come searching for this thread again was that last night my husband was playing with my nipples and I got a similar feeling as I do when I'm nursing (Yet not as strong) and I remembered I had to start getting ready. Weird."

"How weird! I am 34 weeks pregnant so haven't started breastfeeding yet, but I get this "homesick" feeling too - that's exactly how I describe it as well. It doesn't last & I don't find it overwhelming to deal with. I'm expecting to get the same sensation when breastfeeding but perhaps not."

"My first baby is 3 months old. I'm wondering if the D MER is likely to go away anytime soon or if I'm going to be stuck with it until she weans. Also, has anybody found anything that can be done to make it go away or become less severe?"

"A dark feeling washes over me, it makes me feel like something bad is about to happen, I feel like I have to get away from everyone and everything. I feel scared, alone, like I'm doing something wrong, tense like it's about to hurt (breastfeeding has never hurt, have had no other problems,) It feels like an intuition sort of feeling which was confusing early on because it was like I knew something was going to happen but it never did. It felt dark and cold inside of me."

"I feel tense and high-strung. I hate noises of any kind. I hate being touched. I want to be left alone. Once I can tell that Baby is latched and nursing well, I relax."

"It feels horrible! Like something has a grip on me and I can't shake it off. I want to run away from the feeling, yet embracing it for what it is and accepting that it will come but be only brief has enabled it to lessen some, or at least my perception of it's discomfort to lessen some."

"With my first few children, D-MER felt more like a dark cloud of doom would pass over me during nursing, it was very "depressive" in tone. I also felt very thirsty. With this last baby it seems much more anxious - like that feeling you get when you just miss being in an accident or something. I still feel thirsty."

"Wow, you know, I noticed this often happened with my first born in the early weeks/months. At that time I was suffering PPD and noticed a wave of anxiety, light-headedness and 'that' feeling that I can't name as I only have ever associated with depression. Had no idea it was let-down related."

"I'm one of those with her mouth open. I experienced this for about six months of nursing my son. I'm still nursing (he's nine months old now) but it has gone away. And you're right. I said almost nothing about it because I didn't want to be negative about this connection with my baby. And it always went away so fast, so I was always able to just shake it off. I also assumed that no one would be able to recognize it or help me with it. I was one of the fortunate new moms who didn't experience any PPD. Nor have I ever experienced significant depression in my life. So this was really bizarre. Every time I would put my son to my breast I would feel a terrible surge of anxiety. I'd feel queasy and a little bit panicky. And then... it would just go away. Thanks for passing this on!"

"I am in shock and feeling like maybe I'm not crazy. the anger and pain and guilt I've felt lately about nursing definitely is worst as the milk starts to let down and then re-peaks the longer my son nurses."

"Oh my goodness - I nursed my son for 21 months and for at least the first 6-8 months I always had a rush of anxiety when my milk let down. I described it to my husband as the feeling I first identified as "homesickness" when I was a child - this wave of uncertainty and that feeling that your stomach drops out of anxiety. It always passed very quickly and I attributed it to the hormone surge. Interestingly, I sometimes get the same feeling when my breasts are stimulated sexually - so I'm thinking the same hormone is involved. I hope they do more studies on this. I imagine for women who experience it more severely it could be a big deterrent to nursing."

"YES! YES YES YES. Happens every time I nurse, and I just have to remind myself that it's completely hormone-related and it passes as quickly as it comes. It's comforting to know that others have noticed it as well."

"That is EXACTLY how I have been describing it to my husband as well - "homesickness". It's so interesting/funny/reassuring that others are experiencing it the exact same way that I am. I have been assuming all along that the homesickness was just the weird way my brain interpreted the hormone rush. THANKS for posting this."

"This happened to me! I didn't suffer from any other kind of postpartum depression, anxiety, or even mild unhappiness -- my baby was really easy and I took to be being a mother like a duck to water -- but I would feel like a whole week's worth of PMS would hit me for 10 seconds right before my milk let down! It continued with varying severity right up until I weaned at 15 months -- and it happened every time my milk let down, including pumping and "random" times at night, etc. I got to where I just grit my teeth and bore it, and in 10 seconds I would feel just fine again. It really helped to try to focus the anger somewhere else than the baby -- it really was just a "floating" emotion. If I thought about pancakes or polar bears or that annoying kid from third grade, the anger would "attach" to that topic just as easily and spare me to angst of feeling angry at my infant."

"yes, yes, yes, yes!!!!! The "hollow" feeling is exactly how i would describe it. it was the same feeling i had as an adolescent going through puberty -- a strange sensation (right in the pit of my stomach) of being outside my body. Not so much anxiety/nausea but a discomfort. Not a physical discomfort but an emotional weirdness of being out of touch with my body. When I nurse my 3 month old, it lasts maybe 2 minutes, then it's gone. It has been odd for me to have "flashback" feelings to adolescence, but there it is. I have described it as "floating" and "homesickness." that is exactly me. WHEW!!!"

"How utterly strange - I would never have thought that anybody else would have so clearly articulated the same sad 'homesickness' feeling I experienced when breastfeeding my baby in the early days (maybe the first 4 months). I described it to my partner as exactly same feeling I first had when I was a very small child and missing something I couldn't quite put my finger on; even then I used to feel thirsty at the same time too - exactly the same as just before/during let-down. I am amazed."

"I get a wave of disgust...a sort of dread...that washes over me. I distinctly feel that if i never ate ever again, that would be just fine by me. It is not nausea though. But I do recognize the feeling...I've often said that stress makes me feel sick to my stomach throughout my life and it is similar to that now that I think about it. It is only a wave, and it goes away quickly. I adore my baby and I adore my nursing relationship with her. "

"It's a longing for something unattainable. A feeling of homesickness/anxiety/troubledness. An overwhelming anxiety."

"Overwhelming sadness, hopelessness, grief. Holding my baby close and thinking about how she smelled and felt in my arms, looking into her eyes helped me through it."

"It feels like my world is about to end. It feels like a sick feeling in my stomach and i get a guilty lonely feeling as well. i feel extremely sad and depressed and then 30 seconds later my milk lets down and the feeling is gone until my milk lets down again. when it happens i want to disappear, I don't like being around anyone when it happens."

"It feels like little bouts of depression and sorrow. They are short, but inevitable, and go away about halfway through the feeding."

"A sudden wave of nausea that I have experienced when something worrying has occurred...feeling sick in the pit of my stomach."

"I still get the intense thirst almost every time, the feelings of extreme annoyance and being stuck and just "oh god not again leave me alone" have gone, now I get these awful intrusive thoughts of accidentally dropping the makes me sick and anxious for the feeding to end, it's really intense and hard to shake off for a while after."

"This may sound strange, but do any of you ladies, right before a let down, feel mentally and emotionally weird!?? It is hard to explain, but I can always tell when I am about to have a let down before it happens: I get sad and feel really self-conscience, and then about 10-20 seconds later my milk lets down. I almost want to describe it as a "mini depressed moment" right before the letdown. Afterwards, things are fine, just for that moment.... How weird is that?"

"I feel the exact same thing! I don't know what "let-down" feels like but I get the same emotions about 10-20 seconds after I start pumping/nursing. Okay and this might sound even WEIRDER...but I get a similar sensation sometimes right after I have an orgasm!! It must be a hormonal response, probably coming from the same source?!?"

"I get a sick feeling almost like butterflies in my stomach a few seconds before I let down. I have only noticed this with my last 2 babies, not with the first 2 oddly enough."

"Thank you thank you thank you for the information. I have been looking at it for hours now! I thought I was all alone, but wanted to post this thread anyway to see if there were some answers! My feelings come mainly when I am at work and it stops me in my tracks until the let down has occurred. That blog gave me so much information and I have even taken the survey. I work at a hospital, and when I go back on Monday, I am going to take this info to our postpartum group and LCs and see if we can get something started. Feel free to keep this thread going for any and all who experience D-MER!"

"I remember when I breastfed I never could feel letdown. I never understood what it was, I always heard people talking about physically feeling the let down, but I always got a strange emotional feeling. I can't even explain it just kind of sad but lonely or something, I really don't know what that feeling is or how to describe it.. I always wondered if that was my letdown.. hmmm. Yeah it's a sickish- butterflies feeling. it's not that bad for me though but it's definitely an emotional feeling I get.."

"I get the emotional & the sick feeling in my stomach to!!! I thought I was strange, but never mind."

"But I am glad to hear of other's stories of D-MER, not that excited or anything if you have to go through it, but this is a great place to share what is going on and how your are dealing with it and keeping each other updated here on out. Hopefully I can get the postpartum group at my hospital to talk more about it in prenatal classes and have groups about it."

"I feel nauseous and thirsty the whole time I nurse...until he pops off! Sometimes it's almost a depressed feeling. Weird but I guess just a hormone thing."

"I'm slightly staggered. I keep telling people that I hated breastfeeding, despite the fact that other than the initial tearing she fed fine and painlessly, and I had loads of milk available, and she put on weight. I couldn't say why I hated it, but I did. But the feelings described - well, some of them are very familiar. They didn't seem to disappear as quickly as they say, but if I was having lots of let downs during a feed, which is likely as she fed for hours on end, well, it would explain a lot. I'd be interested to see how research into it goes anyhow. Could be that I'm seeing something in me that isn't actually there, but it would explain a lot if it was. "

"I get a food aversion and a hollowish feeling in my stomach when my son latches on. I wondered if I was the only one, but it's good to know I'm not!"

"Wow, I absolutely have this! The hollow, dreadful feelings associated with my nipples started pretty much as soon as I was pregnant, and now that I'm breastfeeding and pumping it's even worse. I wish it lasted a few seconds, though, I feel it all the time I pump for, unless I can get distracted enough. I've been calling it physical nausea + emotional nausea; it feels as if there's this ball of negative feelings that I just can't "throw up"