Monday, July 6, 2009

Down with PWD

I was about to ask whether there was such a thing as post-weaning depression, as I suspect I am en route to suffering it if not already there, when I decided to google first. Without quotes, I got 136,000 hits. Even with, 889 (though a not-insignificant percentage seemed to be about animals). Apparently, though not as oft-discussed or as common as PPD, PWD is in fact a real thing, or at least a thing that women other than myself feel like they might have, might be, or might soon experience. See here, and here, and here, and here (though that one is about toddlers, and Harry is clearly not a toddler). Apparently, it is worst when the weaning is abrupt and not initiated by mom. (CHECK) It is often characterized by mood swings, fight-picking, incessant and uncontrollable crying, and a desire not to get out of bed. (CHECK) It has both a physiological/hormonal component and an emotional one. (CHECK) As I read, it was hard not to feel like I was reading about myself.

While what I really would like is someone to fix it, to find a way to get Harry back to the breast (do you hear me, universe? I AM NOT READY FOR MY SON TO ABRUPTLY WEAN -- FIX THIS. DO YOU HEAR ME? NOT. READY.), knowing I'm not alone helps. Or at least it doesn't hurt. So thanks to those who came before me who put something out there on this -- PWD, early weaning, prolonged nursing strikes that resulted ultimately in weaning -- (including you, Nicky). Seriously, thanks.

*ETC(larify) that the thanks is for talking not only about PWD but also about nursing strikes and pre-mature weaning and the conomitant feelings that don't quite rise to the level of PWD too.

5 comments:

Jen said...

It sucks. I wish you weren't going through that.

Mommy, Esq. said...

This really sucks. Do you like your primary care and/or GYN doctor and/or pediatrician? I'd ask them if there is a support group or something. Don't let depression run un-checked, seriously. And let me know what I can do to help. I know that on Wednesdays there is a lactation group meeting in Woburn - The Nursing Mothers Group that is open to all local breastfeeding mothers. The group meets on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Keating Conference Room on the first floor of Baldwin Park I, 12 Alfred St. in Woburn.
The Winchester Hospital Outpatient Lactation Center is located at Baldwin Park I, 12 Alfred St., Suite 100 in Woburn. Maybe you go this week or set up a time to go one morning early to talk to Janice (that is the name of the LC).

Nicky said...

Looking back (and reading the links that you mentioned) makes it completely clear to me that I had PWD, though it never occurred to me at the time. But holy crap it sucked. Especially when all the sites I found kept telling me that nursing strikes never last more than two weeks (ha!) and that babies "never" self-wean before 12 months (ha!), both of which just made me feel more rotten about myself.

It took a lot of cuddles from LL before I internalized that he wasn't rejecting me. It's one of those things that easy to say, but hard to convinced yourself to believe sometimes, even when your brain knows it's true.

missedconceptions said...

Baby S went on a "nursing strike" and never went back to the breast, contrary to what was supposed to happen. I pumped for about 2.5 months, until we made it to a year. I was a little hurt, but my goal was just to get him breastmilk for a year, and that I did.

I stopped pumping this past week and, yes, there is certainly a strong hormonal component. I had all of these symptoms you listed, plus wicked engorgement.

A week later, however, I feel much better. I am drinking "No More Milk" tea and taking pseudophedrine, and that seems to be drying my milk up.

Even though I made it a year, it still makes me a little sad to give him cow's milk.

missedconceptions said...

Baby S went on a "nursing strike" and never went back to the breast, contrary to what was supposed to happen. I pumped for about 2.5 months, until we made it to a year. I was a little hurt, but my goal was just to get him breastmilk for a year, and that I did.

I stopped pumping this past week and, yes, there is certainly a strong hormonal component. I had all of these symptoms you listed, plus wicked engorgement.

A week later, however, I feel much better. I am drinking "No More Milk" tea and taking pseudophedrine, and that seems to be drying my milk up.

Even though I made it a year, it still makes me a little sad to give him cow's milk.