D-MER- psychological pain during breastfeeding. How to deal with it?

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D-MER- psychological pain during breastfeeding. How to deal with it?

Breastfeeding a baby from the side may look simple, painless and natural from the first moments for both mother and newborn. It turns out that both the woman needs to learn to breastfeed her baby properly and the baby needs time to learn how to properly grasp the nipple. During breastfeeding, the mother’s body has a real rash of different hormones. A large role is played by oxytocin, which is responsible for the outflow of milk and stimulation of lactation. However, it is not widely known that breastfeeding can be associated with a sudden drop in dopamine levels in the body of the mother, who may feel very difficult emotions during this time. The medical name for this phenomenon is D-MER, or dysphoric milk ejection reflex – how does it manifest itself and how to deal with it?

Sadness, crying, frustration or anger are just some of the negative emotions that can arise during breastfeeding. They do not mean you are a bad mom or unfit for motherhood. D-MER syndrome is physiological and not a mental disorder. Many mothers, unaware that breastfeeding can cause a sudden drop in dopamine, the happy hormone, choose not to feed their baby, often accompanied by remorse. The decision to breastfeed is an individual matter for each mother, and no one should judge or value it. Dysphoria (lowering of mood) during breastfeeding can be very strong, but usually passes spontaneously after a few minutes

D-MER – symptoms, causes, and treatment

Many moms, especially right after giving birth, experience very large mood swings and are accompanied by strong emotions. With time, hormone levels stabilize, but there is a group of women who feel worse with each feeding. These mothers are often accompanied by feelings of emptiness, incomprehension, sadness, frustration, depression or helplessness. This state can be linked to the moment of milk flow, during which dopamine levels drop. After a few minutes, mood, energy or joy return to normal, so it is not a symptom of postpartum depression

Is there any way to deal with the D-MER phenomenon?

Just knowing that we know what’s wrong with us and can rationalize our condition and the emotions we feel is a big help. A young mom knows that during breastfeeding is mood, strength or motivation can deteriorate, it’s important not to give in to this thinking. Breathing exercises, meditation, playing your favourite music or having a piece of dark chocolate can help. It is worth talking about it with someone close, such as your partner or a friend, support in such moments is very necessary

Read also: 5 accessories, useful during night feeding


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