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Question
Posted by: Liza | 2012/06/26

Depression - any link to weaning?

I''ve weaned my, almost 2 years old, daughter 4 weeks ago, I had my period last week and since then I''ve been like a bitch from hell - my husband and I are constantly fighting about nonsense, I get VERY irritated if my daughter does something naughty, where I usually laughed at her, I will now yell at her and walk out the room. AWFUL! Will this go on forever, or will it end? it''s really awful, I also gained so much weight this past month, almost 4kg! :( please help! :(

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Between pregnancy, post-pregnancy, breast-feeing and weaning, and resumption of periods, there's plenty of opportunity for hormonal ping pong. Post-partum depression is common and well-recognized ; I've not seen much about post-weaning depression and irritability, but the idea isn't implausible.
And as Purple implies, there can be psychological as well as chemical reasons for turbulence in such a situation.
Excellent responses from out resident Muses.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/06/28

Between pregnancy, post-pregnancy, breast-feeing and weaning, and resumption of periods, there's plenty of opportunity for hormonal ping pong. Post-partum depression is common and well-recognized ; I've not seen much about post-weaning depression and irritability, but the idea isn't implausible.
And as Purple implies, there can be psychological as well as chemical reasons for turbulence in such a situation.
Excellent responses from out resident Muses.

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Purple | 2012/06/27

Sorry to hear you aren''t feeling great at the moment.

Yes, weaning definitely leads to a time of emotional upset. When the weaning happens slowly as the child grows out of it themselves, usually between about age 2 and 4, many moms find they feel a bit sad when they notice they are only feeding every third or fourth day and no there are just a few feeds left, but for the most part both sail through fine. This is true even where a child is gently helped along the weaning process.

The moms who seem to sink into depression on weaning are those who wean abruptly (and it has an emotional impact on the baby or young child too), those who experience problems in the early stages and when seeking help from their doctor get told that they have tried and should now bottle feed - they seem to feel a huge sense of anguish at " not being able"  to breastfeed, when with supportive help, almost all would have been able to feed fine - and many discover what their problem was later and have a huge sense of regret.

If your period has just returned, it may be the hormonal rollercoast from that which is causing your anger and upset. It might also be tinged with a bit of sadness that this phase of your life has ended, no matter how gently.

What about seeing a psychologist for a bit or speaking to your doctor about a supplement such as Primeve Plus (it seems to help with PMS and menopause) or something for stress to get you thorugh this time.
Its also quite late for your periods to return. Most women begin menstruating again at around 13 to 15 months, though anywhere from 6 weeks to 18 months or longer is quite normal - even with demand feeding. Perhaps you should visit your gynae to check your hormone levels, things might just be a bit out of kilter and making you feel a bit grumpy. Your doctor will be able to remedy that for you with a short course of hormones.

If your daughter is now waking more frequently and difficult to get back to sleep with one less tool for doing so, the lack of sleep might also be making you feel somewhat grumpier than usual. Sometimes co-sleeping can help with that - though you may wish to wear a costume to bed under your pyjamas so that you don''t end up breastfeeding again despite having weaned :)

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Liza | 2012/06/27

Hi other Liza. Have you thought about perhaps going to see your GP? Perhaps your hormones are just a little out of whack and some brand of the Pill might be all you need to balance the hormones again. If you are currently on the Pill, perhaps your GP should change you to a different one?

The weight gain is also logical - you''re only feeding one person now, where you used to feed 2. The easiest way to try and prevent the weight gain, is to eat smaller portions. The hormones might also be partially to blame.

Good Luck
Liza

Reply to Liza

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