This just in from the “Who Would Ever have Suspected This” Files*:
“Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex
What It Is
DysphoricMilk Ejection Reflex is a newly recognized condition affecting
lactating women that is characterized by a brief surge of dysphoria, or
negative emotions that peak before the milk ejection reflex, or
letdown, and then dissipate quickly after the milk release.
How D-MER Presents:
What Mothers Feel
emotions, or dysphoria, that a mother with D-MER experiences often
manifest “in the mother’s stomach” – a hollow feeling, a feeling like
there is something in the pit of the stomach, or an emotional churning
in the stomach. Mothers report varying types of emotions ranging from
dread to anxiety to anger, these emotions fall on three different D-MER
spectrums which are described in more detail below. The common thread
between the D-MER spectrums however, is the wave of negative emotions
or dysphoria, prior to letdown, that then lifts within another 30-90
seconds, and then usually repeats with each letdown.
A key piece of D-MER is that a mother with D-MER feels absolutely fine except just before her milk starts to flow….”
Ho-ly crap, people. I had no idea. I’m guessing right about now those of you who nursed for more than a day or two are either shaking your heads in surprise like I am, or reading this with your mouths open because this happened to you. Apparently all kinds of women have D-MER, no matter how easy it is for them to nurse, how soon their milk comes in, etc.
If this looks like you or someone you know, read the whole story at the D-MER website. Since this is such new information (and how did they even put it together?–I can’t imagine that most women with it would talk about it, because we’re not usually allowed to say anything even remotely negative about how we feel during breastfeeding), please go take their survey about it.
The tagline of the D-MER website is “Because Breastfeeding Shouldn’t Make You Feel This Way.” Seriously.
* Actually, it was an IBCLC (lactation consultant) who sent this to me. She herself had it with each of her kids, but had no idea it happened to other women!