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Mood or energy changes after weaning
Did you notice any difference?


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#1 Serenity Now

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

My 22mo DD currently has 2-3 BF a day.  This suits us both and I have been hoping to continue breastfeeding until she is ready to self-wean.

However... I have been seeing a psychologist for the past couple of months following a recurrence in my life-long depression (coupled with a bit of extra anxiety post DD's birth).  My depression is currently only at a mild-moderate level, I am not on medication, and I am happy with the progress I seem to be making.  

Last week the psychologist mentioned to me that perhaps I should consider weaning, in order to improve my mood and energy levels.  This recommendation seemed to be based on her own personal experience, as she told me that she felt 'much better' after weaning her child at 28 months.  She went on to say that although she fully supports extended breastfeeding, she feels there is no need for it if the mother's health is going to be compromised, and that 'at this age children are only using it as a settling technique and it is far better for them to be learning to self-soothe'.  Personally I didn't feel this last point is entirely accurate/relevant - surely in the emotional rollercoaster of a typical toddler's day there are multiple opportunities to learn self-soothing, and 2-3 BF a day are not going to have much of an effect  unsure.gif  

A quick Google showed me lots of info indicating that weaning, particularly if it is done quickly, is actually associated with increased depression - so now I'm a bit confused...

I'd love some anecdata please - does anyone have any experiences with either positive or negative changes to mood/energy levels after weaning?
Thanks  original.gif

#2 sharkie81

Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:58 PM

My DS self weaned when he was 13 months. I wouldn't say I was depressed, but my mood was low- I felt a bit rejected. I tried a few times but he was pretty clear- no more booby!!  original.gif
I think your mood would depend on how easily she would wean. If she wants to continue, especially when it is something that has been suggested to you (not what you decided to do on your own), I think you will find it hard. But if she takes to weaning easily, then you might enjoy the experience.

#3 Serenity Now

Posted 05 May 2012 - 09:36 PM

Thanks for your response sharkie81  original.gif

Sorry to hear your mood was low - I hope it didn't last too long?

I don't think my DD would wean easily... she's pretty insistent on each feed!  I don't think following the 'don't offer/don't refuse' method would make any difference for us...  I agree that I would find it hard to wean if the decision was 'forced' by someone else.  I guess I just really don't know if breastfeeding is making that much of a difference to my mood/energy, so I appreciate hearing how it affects other people.

#4 lucky 2

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:04 PM

Could you get back in touch with your psych and ask her for more information?
If she is advising you to do something that affects not only you but another person then I would hope she had some good research based information to back up that suggestion or explain more fully why she thinks this will benefit your mental state.
I reckon bfing gets the blame for so many things that we women experience, the fact that she backs up her suggestion with ill-informed statements such as bfing at that age is only a settling technique does lead me to believe that she should not be giving your such advice.
I think its different if she recommends this because of good evidence that weaning may lead to improved mood or if she is fully understanding of the nature of the bfing relationship with a toddler and is able to offer support and understanding for you when you are weaning.
But it looks like she can't do this so I'd do some more research before taking her word for things at this stage, on the weaning front anyway.
http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/norma_jane_bumgarner.html

#5 Serenity Now

Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:15 PM

Thanks lucky 2  original.gif

I agree with you - I really felt that her comments were based on her own personal experience rather than anything evidence-based.  I did tell her at the time that I don't feel that breastfeeding is having any significant impact on my moods or energy - I have had multiple periods of feeling a lot worse when I wasn't breastfeeding in the past.  I also tried to debate the 'settling technique' comment but was a bit flustered by her suggestion so wasn't explaining myself overly well.  

I will ask her at the next session if she has any evidence...

Thanks for the article too, I loved it  original.gif




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