Post-Weaning Depression

Friday, January 6, 2017

I took a bit of a break from my blog.  It was not intentional.  I just had no inspiration or creativity or desire to share.

It all started in October when I decided it was time to wean Reid.  He was, after all 23 months old.  There were a few days when I was actually kind of annoyed that I had to nurse him before nap and just felt like I was over it.  So one day he went down without nursing and we never looked back.  Those first few days were freeing.

But 4 days later I started seeing spots and felt dizzy.  I thought it was from not drinking enough water or the start of an ocular migraine (which I had in the spring.)  And that was the start of daily headaches, insomnia, seeing spots, shoulders so stiff they ached day and night, hundreds of google searches trying to figure out what was wrong with me, and days when I didn't want to get out of bed to deal with my children.

There was very little I could find but a few blogs or articles from girls who seemed to have the same symptoms after weaning.

 I definitely connected it to hormones.  So my OB prescribed me a pill.  But a week or so later I had a migraine so bad I called Christian at work to come home.  And decided it was finally time I went to the family doctor.  She prescribed a pain medication and we discussed possible anxiety but a few days later the pain meds weren't helping and I had come to the conclusion that I was definitely having anxiety (thank you google.)

My breaking point also occurred the day after Carter fell head first off of the monkey bars.  I was sure he had a concussion. (He didn't.) Then a few hours later Carter jumped on the couch and landed on Reid and then Reid couldn't move his arm.  After a 2 hour urgent care visit we luckily realized it was another case of nursemaid's elbow.  But my head was pounding so hard and my shoulders were so stiff that I knew it was time to see my doctor.

I started on an anti-depressant as many of those girls I had found had too.  And within days I felt normal again.  My shoulders were better, my headaches went away, I started enjoying my boys again and feeling less burdened.

I had never been on any medications before and I was resistant at first, but I am so glad I finally decided to give them a try.

It's been about 3 months since the start of this and I am sure that this was all connected to weaning.  Although my doctors won't call it Post-Weaning Depression or Post- Weaning Anxiety I truly think it is.  And I so wish there was more about this so girls like me can figure it out sooner and not feel like I did for 6 weeks- just waiting to snap out of it.

I didn't cry and I didn't feel sad, but my other physical symptoms were obviously how I reacted to my body no longer producing those feel-good hormones from nursing.

My friends have noticed a change in me and I feel so much better.  I know some people are against medications but they truly helped me and I'm not ashamed of it.

Thank you to the sweet girls who checked on me and was wondering where I was.   I'll be back to blogging again soon, hopefully very soon.  And please share this if you know a mom who is weaning or just stopped nursing and is struggling.  I think there are more of us going through this than we know.


***Just a side note- I did not have any of these symptoms when I weaned Carter at 16 months.  I wrote about my nursing and weaning with him here.

10 comments:

  1. Holy cow! That is just crazy about the post-weaning depression. I've heard of it, but hadn't read anything about it from anyone. I'm so glad you took care of yourself and got it figured out. Way to go Momma!

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  2. Thank you for sharing this - I hope others experiencing it can figure out what they need to feel better too. I'm glad that you were able to stop your symptoms with medication and that you're feeling better now!

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  3. Thank you so much for posting this! Even though my post-weaning symptoms were nowhere near as severe as yours were, I was constantly frustrated about the lack of post-weaning information or experiences. I was completely unprepared for how emotional weaning would be for me, what to expect short and long-term, even though I was ready and my child was ready. I'm glad that you were able to get help and start feeling like yourself again.

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    1. Thanks Reagan! It really needs to be talked about more so it's not completely unexpected if it happens to you.

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  4. I wish I could give you a hug right now. I am a long time reader, but don't comment generally. I weaned my son at 15 months in April and had awful dizziness and nausea after that. Then anxiety came next, hitting hard this past summer. I decided to go on medication for the first time in September. I never had any of this with my first child either. It has been a really tough year. Sending good thoughts your way.

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    1. Hi Dana, Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm so sorry that you went through this too. It is terrible not feeling like yourself. I hope that the meds are helping you feel better too. It's good to find other's who get it. E-mail me anytime!

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  5. Sending you the biggest hug right now! Thank you so much for sharing & opening up with us. I know that couldn't have been easy. XO!

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  6. I have never heard of this! But am also not surprised, as you are right, nursing brings about so many hormones in our bodies, it really can take a toll. I am so glad that you are feeling better, and I give you so much credit for making it to 23 months!

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  7. I'm so happy to hear you were able to get to the bottom of this. What a scary time when you were feeling so sick, and I'm sure so alone in your symptoms. This is so beautiful of you to write this and share your experiences to help others who might be going through the same thing. Glad you are feeling better and looking forward to seeing you back again in the blogging world when you're comfortable!

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  8. Wow, I just read your post and it really is crazy how our mental state can alter and impact our health. I am glad you got to the bottom of it. Postpartum Anxiety is such a horrible thing and difficult to talk about, good on you for getting help. x

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