June 15, 2024

How To Breastfeed When Diagnosed With Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression affects women of every ethnic group and social class. This medical condition is very real and it’s important that the woman discuss her symptoms with her doctor.   A lot of times women with postpartum depression face not only the struggle with the condition itself but feelings of guilt as well as isolation from others who do not understand this condition.  This is particularly true when dealing with the issue of breastfeeding.  It seems everyone has an opinion on it and most usually aren’t shy about volunteering that opinion even when it isn’t asked for.

Adrienne Griffin pointed out to me a recent article in the Atlantic called “The Case Against Breastfeeding”.

“One afternoon at the playground last summer, shortly after the birth of my third child, I made the mistake of idly musing about breast-feeding to a group of new mothers I’d just met. This time around, I said, I was considering cutting it off after a month or so. At this remark, the air of insta-friendship we had established cooled into an icy politeness, and the mothers shortly wandered away to chase little Emma or Liam onto the slide. Just to be perverse, over the next few weeks I tried this experiment again several more times. The reaction was always the same: circles were redrawn such that I ended up in the class of mom who, in a pinch, might feed her baby mashed-up Chicken McNuggets.”

This from a mom who didn’t suffer postpartum depression. Adrienne, the founder of Postpartum Support Virginia, pointed out that breastfeeding is often the #1 topic of discussion in some of the postpartum depression support groups in which she has been involved, as this issue often causes such pain for moms, especially those with postpartum depression or anxiety. Some moms want to breastfeed but can’t due to low supply, or because baby can’t suck, or perhaps because they’re on medication contraindicated in breastfeeding. Some moms refuse to get treated for postpartum depression or anxiety because they don’t want to be on medication while breastfeeding, all the while often unaware of the potential dangers of untreated postpartum depression for both mother and child. Some moms don’t want to breastfeed, whether they are or aren’t depressed, but do it while miserable to keep up with the Joneses. For other moms who are depressed, breastfeeding is the only thing that helps them feel close to their child and they continue on while getting treated at the same time. There is no one-size-fits all story around whether moms should or shouldn’t breastfeed.

article, by Morra Aarons Mele on BlogHerabout the breastfeeding debate in general, with lots of comments from readers.…More at Breastfeeding & Postpartum Depression: What Should Moms Do?!

Regardless of what you as a mother decide to do – whether you choose to breastfeed or not – know that your decision is okay.  You are the only one qualified to make the decision for yourself and baby and whatever you decide it will be ‘right.’

Here is wonderful music that can help you soothe yourself and have a relaxing time. Using stereo headphones is greatly recommended.