Week 38 Baby: D-MER – immense feeling of doom when pumping

Week 38 baby:

  • June 12: I think I’ll continue with these weekly milestone/thought dumping posts indefinitely. It helps me so much to dump out all the miscellaneous thoughts that I have in my head about motherhood and of course record down specifics about the baby that would otherwise be so minor that they’d be forgotten with time. But we’ll see. Things could change. I have a feeling too I’m picking up new readership of other fellow moms who may be in the same boat and are interested to read about my experience too. I’d love to make the journey less lonely and more enjoyable if that’s the case.
  • I definitely have something that I mentioned a couple of posts back: D-MER. I googled it and the first post I read explained clearly what it is. It’s a natural phenomenon that happens to certain individuals before the breastmilk lets down in the breast that triggers feelings of anxiousness, agitation, depression, doom, and despair. It’s caused by a chemical in the brain related to those needed for breastmilk production.
  • Here’s the website:  https://www.thebump.com/a/dmer-breastfeeding-anxiety-condition
  • Select passages from it that are good:

“D-MER is a ‘glitch’ in the milk ejection reflex—the mechanism that allows breast milk to flow—and can cause negative emotions for anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes at milk letdown.”

“In order to make breast milk, dopamine (a hormone and neurotransmitter in the brain linked to feeling pleasure) levels must fall for prolactin (the hormone that helps women produce milk) levels to rise. But with D-MER, scientists believe too steep of a drop in dopamine during milk letdown leads to a chemical imbalance that triggers D-MER.”

“D-MER is not experienced the same way by all moms; it’s defined on a spectrum of mild, moderate and severe, and is classified into three groups: despondency D-MER, anxiety D-MER and agitation D-MER.”

“Unlike postpartum depression or anxiety, D-MER is physiological, not psychological, meaning it’s your body’s physical response to a chemical change in the brain rather than a condition that affects your mental health.”

  • Good to know after reading this that it’s physiological rather than a mental health issue. Not sure why I didn’t notice it in first couple of months of breastfeeding. Maybe I was distracted by other things back then.
  • I relate completely that it disappears as fast as it comes.
  • Told DH about it after I read the article and I think he has more compassion towards me when I’m feeling moody between pumps (which is all the time).
  • He asked me how long it lasts and how it feels like. I estimated the feeling lasts for about 20 seconds. I said it feels like I want to die.
  • I said I was glad it’s physiological instead of psychological. So we both talked about how if it happens for certain moms, how it must be exacerbated by moms who actually have depression or prone to it. What happens to those moms then? 😟
  • Last night, bb woke up around 11pm for her late night feeding as usual but she kept crying and wouldn’t go back to sleep. We suspected it was because of her gums hurting from her teething. She was so inconsolable that we gave in and gave her one of the Camilia doses to soothe teething. She didn’t quiet down immediately but after a lot of coaxing and changing hands between the three of us, she finally settled down to sleep.
  • She spat up milk twice yesterday.. in the unwanted long stream kind of vomit. Both times happened after she was stuffing food in her mouth and also after a full hour of milk. How come she still threw up so much of it? It always upsets me when my breastmilk is wasted.. either by accidentally spilling it when transferring it from bottle to bottle, to the floor, or vomited out onto the floor. I always say to DH, “Don’t waste my milk!” Producing and pumping milk takes so much time and effort, so don’t waste the fruits of my labour. 😥
  • She only poops a few times a week. This isn’t ideal.. every living being needs to output once a day at minimum. :/
  • We eat her leftovers — the start of a continuing thing as she leaves food in her bowl/plate 😂. No waste.
  • June 15: I’ve only gotten my period once post partum. It was around the time I had mastitis. Curious why it came back once and then stayed away again.
  • For the toys she does have, we keep them in a small wicker basket in our room. It’s so cute to see her digging into the basket and picking and choosing which toy she wants to play with.
  • June 16: She holds her hands up when she wants to be held. She says “mama” but I don’t know if it’s on purpose or with meaning just yet.
  • Her little bottom tooth continues to poke through but isn’t fully out yet.

About stenoodie

I'm a stenographer, foodie, avid traveller, and new mom who loves to share her experiences with the world.
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