Monday, February 27, 2012

Move Over Postpartum Depression

The Huffington Post has an interesting article on a newly studied depression in mothers—not your regular old postpartum, but weaning depression.

“One major contributing factor may be actual physiological changes taking place in the body. Breastfeeding stimulates the production of hormones such as oxytocin, known colloquially as "the love hormone." Mothers' moods may plummet in its absence.

In addition, many women may experience a profound sense of grief and loss when they wean.”
Reading this piece brings me a new sense of relief around some of the mood issues I’ve been dealing with of late. I’ve been sick for over a month now and have dealt with an exhaustion that bewilders me.

I’ve also been weaning my youngest, but very slowly, letting him take the lead.

Perhaps some of what I’ve been experiencing could relate to this weaning process, not only on an emotional level of sadness, but in fluctuations of certain hormones.

“As long as research looking at the "what" and "why" behind depression and weaning remains relatively scant, then, the best mothers may be able to hope for is that awareness of the potential connection spreads.”
Whenever I become aware of a possible connection to some aspect of my depression I feel a new sense of being able to make it through.

I hope this story will resonate with other women experiencing these shifts in mood during weaning and perhaps spark a new wave of research.

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