Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Depression After Weaning

chocolate waffles that went awry
PERSONAL POST's not about baking, cooking, or eating.  

Many people experience some sort of depression in their lives.  I've had a few brushes with it.  It's never fun, but thankfully I've survived it every time.  Most recently, I went through a funky time after weaning my son. I wanted to post this because I found a lot of helpful information about depression after weaning online.  Many women have generously shared their struggles, and it comforted me to know that I wasn't the only person with this experience.  What I didn't see much about was how you feel after your hormones come back in to balance. Most people get to feeling better and they stop posting and move on.  Makes sense.

Quickly, let me explain why many feel depressed after weaning.  Here is a great site with detailed information.  The short version is that your body has prolactin and oxytocin in higher amounts when you are breastfeeding.  Those hormones give you a sense of well being and feelings of love. I can only imagine that it's similar to a gentle high from drugs.  Sounds nice, right?  

In my case, I was breastfeeding or pregnant for a little over three years.  When I stopped, I really missed my natural high.  I felt so tired, kind of deflated.  Not just my breasts, but me as a person. ;) It was hard to interact.  I felt like I was in a glass box peeking out at my life.  It was very weird and uncomfortable.  Like I said, I read a lot online that showed me that I wasn't alone.  I could also see that it would probably be short lived.  That was encouraging to read.

Now, I'm feeling like myself again.  This is why I wanted to post.  I am not just feeling better, but I am feeling like my brain is more like my brain before pregnancy.  My sense of humor is real again.  For the longest time very little has been truly funny.  I don't think it's like this for every woman that goes through pregnancy and breastfeeding, but hormones have never been kind to me.

I'm so grateful that I was able to grow my kids, deliver them, and then feed them with my body.  I'm also glad that it's over.  In this new stage, I am enjoying being a mother the way that I imagined I would.  I'm doing it now with my laugh and my smile.  It's fun.  My stay on the pink cloud of love hormones is over and I'm okay with it.  So, not only does the depression fade, in my case, I feel better than I have in years.     

*Here's a post from Cup of Jo on the same topic. It's an excellent read.  

*Disclaimer: Everyone is different. Some mothers don't go through this at all.  Others may need to see a professional to make it through.  This is just my personal experience.  

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