Post Weaning Depression – 7 Tips To Help Ease Sadness

Post Weaning Depression - 7 Tips To Help Ease Sadness

There has been a great deal of attention on postnatal depression (also known as postpartum depression) in the last few years, and quite rightly so.

Women are finally being recognised for the immense job they are doing, birthing and raising small children.

It really can be draining and difficult at times, in between all the rewarding moments and joy.

Postnatal depression can be especially draining, and it makes the job of looking after a young baby many times more difficult than it needs to be.

In the past, postnatal depression was not really understood, and was often pushed to the back burner by the woman.

This was because she didn’t know where to go to get help, and her family didn’t understand it.

Thankfully today, most women who suffer from postnatal depression are informed as to where they can go to get help, and it’s not seen as something shameful, which must be kept a secret.

We’re just beginning to understand the range of various events women go through in their lives, and how they are affected by their hormones at different stages.

Many of us have been through pre-menstrual syndrome, early pregnancy weepies, emotional storms in labour, 3rd day baby blues, postnatal depression, lack of sex drive due to breastfeeding etc.

Something that hasn’t been talked about as much is post weaning depression.

Post Weaning Depression

Any woman who has been able to develop a good breastfeeding relationship with her baby knows it’s very pleasant to breastfeed. You can slip away into a blissful dreamland while your baby does the same. It’s addictive, like crack for your brain. While you are breastfeeding, your brain is releasing lots of delicious bonding hormones to go swimming throughout your body, which make you feel really good.

When your body is used to feeling so good and bonding with your baby — especially if you have been doing this for quite awhile — stopping can cause a major upheaval in your body. It can trigger emotional ups and downs. The difference between producing milk, enjoying the hormonal blessings of feeding and not doing it anymore can seem like night and day.

I have six children, and had been either pregnant or breastfeeding from 1993-2005. As you can imagine, I was kept very busy, but even more than that, I had a feeling of definition to my life. I knew what I was supposed to be doing and why. The relationship between a mother and a baby is pretty well defined as care-giver and care-receiver.

Of course I have other children, but much of my relationship with them was intertwined with the breastfeeding relationship between the baby and myself. I had to care for the baby and breastfeed, and my older children simply seemed to accept it. They got a lot of attention, I just always had the baby in my arms. So we often did activities or stories and other things in a big pile, like a pile of puppies.

I have always been a big believer in breastfeeding. My mum breastfeed my seven younger siblings, and I always knew that would be how I fed my babies. I weaned them as the next one was coming along, when I was close to giving birth. Fiona was different. She was our sixth child and we didn’t plan on having any more.

Because I always knew it wouldn’t happen again, I approached it differently. I really enjoyed every moment of her babyhood and the breastfeeding experience. I had also finally learned to relax and become zen about the experience of caring for a baby. I would wake at night and not feel resentful, and nappy changing, potty training and everything was just enjoyed and lived.

In 2005, when Fiona was two and a half years old and still breastfeeding at night, I decided to take a trip from Australia to visit relatives around Canada and the USA. I knew after being away for several weeks that she would most likely be weaned by the time I came home. I knew I would have to start preparing my body by winding back the feeds at bedtime and learning more about how to comforting her and help her to go to sleep without breastfeeding. This was fine. My milk started to dry up, although I had a few bout of mastitis before it got to a manageable level.

A Quick Note About Drying Up Breastmilk

If you’re in the process of drying up breastmilk, there are some things you can try to naturally and comfortably help you. 

Pink Stork No Flow

Some mothers find sage (e.g. in the form of a tea) helps to dry their milk up.

It’s important to remember that herbs can act like medications, so speak with a healthcare provider before taking any herbs.

Here’s a review about Pink Stork No Flow, which is Amazon’s Top Choice for sage tea:

“I used this tea to help reduce my milk supply for weaning my 3 year old. He struggled with constant ear infections and was unable to wean earlier. Thankfully he is finally well but he was really struggling to let nursing go. I decided to try this tea to reduce my milk supply and maybe help him begin the process of weaning. This tea helped tremendously! I could tell a huge difference after just 2 servings. My son is finally starting to accept weaning since he is getting less milk, along with our constant encouragement. This has been a Godsend for me. It is tasty too!”

After The Last Breastfeed

I went away on my trip overseas with my mum, and this was where things went downhill in the little hormonal world of my body. I was more grouchy than usual and irritable. I had a toothache as well, so that didn’t help much. Despite those things, I still had a good trip with some fun times. I got to meet my maternal grandma and some other uncles and aunts for the very first time.

There were a few ‘incidents’ though, which were warnings that things weren’t quite right with my body.

I became teary when seeing cousins nursing their babies. I felt like my arms were empty and nothing could fill them. It was a lot like grief.

On top of that, hearing a baby crying started the milk let down again, so I would have to go and change my shirt.

When I returned to Australia, my mood swings really started. I would be really happy and enthusiastic one minute, then completely in the doldrums the next. It seemed to go in cycles, and didn’t seem to have any triggers. I learned to make sure I had physical activity regularly and tried to have a regular bedtime (as much as anyone with kids can have), or else I would be up all night with insomnia.

I was alert to the slightest noise at night and would wake repeatedly though the night when I did get to sleep.

I had gotten my menses (period) from the time each of my babies started sleeping more than five hours at night or eating solid food, which was usually around six months.

My menstrual cycle was about every six weeks, so it was obviously being partially repressed by breastfeeding hormones.

My PMS was really bad after weaning Fiona. I started getting ready for menstruation by noticing when I had a crying jag. It would usually start within a day or two. It felt like being a pre-teen all over again.

I started doing doula work around this time, which put me in contact with a lot of breastfeeding women. Every time I was with a woman as she welcomed her baby into the world, I would get a milk let down feeling. The smells of birth would also trigger weepiness, which I tried to handle gracefully. After all it wasn’t about me, I was on the sidelines, supporting someone else while they had a life changing experience.

These experiences actually helped me as well in some ways, as I tried to come to grips at home, learning how to handle my older kids rapidly growing into pre-teen hood. Dealing with my own mood swings helped me to be more understanding of what they were going through. Sometimes I felt a deep sense of loss, even though I knew with my logical brain that I still had my kids and they needed me just as much. It was like my body and brain needed me to find that balance.

I won’t say I woke up one morning and realised I was better and everything was different. It was more like a slow change.

Eventually I realised I felt good all of the time, and the moodiness I’d lived with for quite awhile had mellowed out.

I also noticed my reactions to being at births had changed – I felt happier for the new family, and I didn’t have such an aching sense that I would never experience the birth of my own child again.

I was able to be there in the moment and just be happy.

Its been several years now since I realised I had come out of the woods. It still feels good.

There were quite a few things I tried to use to help myself during the hard times, which I have listed below.

But before you read my tips, I just want to say that having a chat with a professional really helped my viewpoint as to what was happening with me.

Depression can be insidious, and the depressed person doesn’t always realise how bad they have gotten.

If your loved ones are noticing behaviour changes and are telling you that you need help, chances are high that talking to a psychologist or counsellor can do more good than harm, even if you aren’t clinically depressed.

Some good postnatal support organisations include PANDA and Beyond Blue.

7 Tips For Coping With Post Weaning Depression And Mood Swings

#1: Get Regular Exercise

This seems obvious, and we should exercise for our health anyway.

What you might not know is exercise releases pleasure hormones, which give you a natural high — especially if you do something which causes you to break out in a sweat.

That can mean a different level of intensity for each person.

I found yoga, pilates or a good brisk walk outside works wonders.

I recommend outside exercise where possible, because fresh air contains more oxygen, which improves the health of your brain and body. In addition, vitamin D from sunlight helps to boost your mood, energy and immune system.

#2: Breathe

You know that tightness you get in your chest when you’re stressed?

It’s from breathing too fast and not filling your lungs to capacity.

Take a few minutes when you are feeling the pressure to just slow down your breathing.

Drop your shoulders, close your eyes and breathe really deeply and slowly till you feel the stress drop away.

#3: Regulate Your Sleep And Wake Times

Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day when possible, ideally with the sun. Regular habits help regulate your hormones.

Cultivate a habit of turning off electronics around your house two hours before bedtime, as looking at bright screens tends to keep your adrenal system pumped up.

Dim the lights low around the house, mimicking the setting sun. It will help your children become ready for bed as well.

As soon as you wake up, get into the sunlight with as much exposed skin as possible. Take your shoes off and get grounded on the grass, dirt or whatever you can. The sun is so important – it means life, for everything.

#4: Watch What You’re Consuming

Don’t compensate for tiredness by overconsumption of caffeinated beverages and sugary and starchy foods.

These things when taken in excess will break down your health, which will delay getting your hormones in order. Sugar is especially notorious for impacting your hormones.

Instead, make sure you’re getting enough proteins and good fats in your diet.

Even if you need to lose weight, these good fats are not your enemy — they’re your friend. Your brain consists of 60% fat, and that fat makes all of the cell membranes in your body.

Regulating hormones requires fats in your diet.

Virgin coconut oil, butter, saturated fat from meat, olive oil, nut oils, nuts, avocado oil, avocados, sesame oil, cod liver oil, oily cold water fish, and flaxseed oil are the best fats and oil sources to choose from, as they require the least processing to produce.

With enough quality protein and fat in your diet, you won’t feel the need for too much caffeine.

Unless you’re already in the habit, in which case it’s a good idea to wind back slowly to prevent caffeine withdrawal headaches.

#5: Have Fun!

Spend some time having fun. Do fun stuff with your family and have regular date nights with your partner.

Cultivate your relationships.

Have girls weekend getaways to a spa or the beach.

Cultivate hobbies which are just for fun and not to earn money from (although that’s a good side benefit).

Dance, sing, do things which bring your mood up naturally and give you something to look forward to.

Spending time in the sun and in nature will help with this too.

#6 : Encourage The Production Of Love Hormones

Stimulate oxytocin in your body by hugging, kissing and cuddling on a regular basis. Orgasm is great too. 

Even spending time with your best woman friends and family can also help boost oxytocin.

Here are 5 ways you can boost your oxytocin levels.

#7: Meditate And Use Positive Affirmations

I really recommend getting in touch with your inner self. Learn about you and learn to love yourself for who you are.

A positive outlook can help produce positive feelings in your body.

I found Louise Hay’s Power Thought Cards were a really good set of affirmations which you can use to bring yourself out of the doldrums, or write some yourself. Whatever works!

Hang in there mama. This too will pass. Fill your days with sun, fun, love and connection, to refill your cup. You’ve got this. 

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Priscilla Stevens CONTRIBUTOR

BellyBelly Contributor, Doula, Birth Educator, Breastfeeding Counsellor, Nutritionist, Herbalist, Musician and Mum of Six Beautiful Children.


46 comments

  1. Thank you for writing this. I just weaned for nearly the same reason, after 13 months. I thought that after two weeks without nursing, my daughter would have moved on. But she hasn’t and last night tried to open my shirt and, cried, begging, saying “mommy’s milk please!” I refused her, because I’m leaving again in a few days for a week, and I don’t want to confuse her, but I’m feeling so incredibly guilty, and sad! I felt engorged all day today, so I pumped just to see, and still made an ounce in each side! Trying to read, get ready, prevent depression before it sets in full course! Thanks for sharing your story, and advice.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Priscilla. It’s heart wrenching to separate the breastfeeding bond created between mother and child. metaphorically speaking it’s like finishing the last knot on a long worked quilt that will be the child’s cover for years to come. This is one affirmation I just wrote to help me overcome me and my sons weaning process. Everything we put into the skill will surely pay off, and what a blessing it is to be able to breastfeed our babies and quilt them with so much love at the start of their life journeys.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing. lately my baby has been biting me so in the past 24-48 hours we havent really done much breasfeeding. Yesterday I woke up happy but then the slightest little things would tick me off and I was so angry and emotional for the whole day. I couldnt understand why I had all of a sudden turned into some kind of monster or why it took all day for me to calm down. I really apprechiate your tips for being happy. It will help me deal with my emotions better

  4. Thank you for sharing your story and helping me feel not so alone. My daughter is 10 months old and she will be the last baby I ever have as I am now 38 and don’t plan on having any more children but the bond that developed with her breast feeding has been very special and it saddens me deeply to think of ending that part of our relationship. I plan on breastfeeding her until she’s a year old but when I think of stopping I always want to cry. I’ve struggled with depression all of my life and I realize may need professional help with this as it is very hard.

  5. Thanks so much for this, my daughter is feeding less and less as she approaches her first birthday, it hasn’t been a decision on my part but more hers, I’m also away from my husband through the week and these two things have made me feel very sad today, then I reflected on the last few weeks and realised the correlation between less feeding and the emotional roller coaster I have been on. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me see what has probably been happening, I will try your tips and contact my GP too because I have been such a happy Mum that I don’t want my overwhelming sadness to ruin the time I have left before I return to work.

  6. I really appreciate this article. Going through post weening depression right now actually and I didnt realize how much it was really affecting me until now. Thank you Thank you Thank you <3

  7. Just wondering how your daughter was with weaning? I don’t want to wean my 20 month old yet however she still nurses a lot, day and night and I cant refuse her but it does take it out of me. I remember feeling a bit useless after weaning my son and I so don’t want to go through that feeling again.

  8. My son just turned one, and I breastfed all year. I had a trip a few days ago. He didn’t have breast milk at all during my trip. When I came back, he was completely on whole milk. I have chosen to stop cold turkey to not spoil the progress, and I have been so sad. He has wanted to breastfeed, but I think it is best to continue to stop. The nights have been the worst because he wakes up wanting to breastfeed. I know I have to let go and bond in other ways. I’ve got to say that it has been the best feeling this past year to be able to bond with my child and have that special time together. I will miss it.

    1. If it’s upsetting you you can always just feed at night and give bottles during the day? I did this in reverse as I had severe nursing aversion when my lg turned one which seemed compounded at night. So she had bottles at night and I would feed her if she wanted it during the day, she’s fully weaned now and I feel so sad but like the time is right too. Good luck xx

  9. My son turns three next week, and since I also weaned my daughter at three, I have long planned to do the same with him. I started cutting down a week ago, and he hasn’t breastfed at all for about 5 days now. He asks for “num-nums” now and then, but is easily distracted with other yummy things. As for myself, I was completely caught off guard with feeling so blue. Now I remember the same thing happened with my daughter, but I never made the connection with weaning her (we were in the middle of a move and I thought I missed my old life). After several months, I somehow discovered I might be low in progesterone, and started using an essential oil, Progessence, by Young Living. The difference was phenomenal–my mood, sex drive, etc. I took it till I became pregnant again, and now I realize I might need another progesterone boost.

  10. Thanks for sharing your story! My daughter is 22 months old now and I stopped breast feed her about 4 weeks ago. I miss the feeling, the love, the look of her eyes, her giggle smiles when I breastfed her. Since then, my daughter drinks more whole milk. I am amazed how you can have 6 children, with a busy job helping other women, and a happy family? After 11 years of hsppily marriage, my life is upsidedown since I have my daughter, and for the last month, it is getting worse.. I don’t know what else to do. But at least now that I know my stress and depression level is caused by weaning my daughter. At least I know this is the answer of my feeling of my current family situation…

  11. Thanks so much for this. Have just weaned my third and final baby a week ago, she’s almost 13 mths. I feel shocking today. Haven’t had a normal menstrual cycle yet, so maybe it’s on the way. Good to know there might be some hormonal reasons for feeling so awful! I didn’t notice it while weaning my others but I knew we would have a third so maybe it’s the “finality” also affecting me. Your article is very helpful, thank you so much.

  12. I have solely pumped for several reasons. My son is 8 months old and I have finally weaned from pumping. He’s eating solids and has a deep freezer full of gold. So while my supply is nearly gone my mood is off the chain and I’m Constantly tired and feeling down. This all makes sense now. Thankyou

  13. Thank you for this.I had to stop nursing my one month old due to her having extremely bad gas and always screaming in pain. I wasnt ready to let go of that bond, but her happiness out weighed my need to nurse. Depression hit hard as my breast are engorged and I just want to hold her close and let her nurse. I just didnt know how to deal with it. Thanks for the tips and knowing that I am not alone in the way I feel.

  14. Very interesting article, thanks for sharing your story. My 4-year-old is still nursing a lot, but I know the end will come one day and i’m already tearing up at the thought of it as breastfeeding was a lifesaver for me and my daughter, especially as she was born premature and had gluten intolerance and poor health as a result. Breastfeeding has saved her physically and emotionally, and it has helped me feel close to my child and know that I provided her with all the safety and nourishment i could. I was just wondering about your weaning story though, and couldn’t help thinking that maybe the long separation from your child made things much worse for you, as it seems like a lot to wean AND be away for such a long time? I know i can’t even imagine being away from my child for one night still (or even half a day at this point!), but then again everybody is different! In any case, I should probably brace myself for some crying fits, hormonal rollercoaster and plugged ducts when it happens, as I will not be the one initiating it. I have always imagined my daughter running away from me happily after the last feed, ready to leave me behind, and me knowing that somehow it must be the last feed and trying to keep a happy face so as not to hold her back… something like that!

  15. Thank you for writing this. I am cuurently experiencing the very same symptoms. At 23 months my son is away on vacation with his grandparents. I can tell that its just not me missing him…but its bigger than that… I am doing a degree and working full time and I can barely focus on either of these long enough and my grades are suffering. Not to mention, I have snapped at a few persons at work this week…I have taken a few days off to find me once more…what I know is that I really miss nursing my son…I long for this contact.

  16. I didn’t even know this could happen. I have an 8 month old and it was always my ambition to bf him as long as I could. I have had to stop due to supply issues then having to take medication that gets into the milk. I’m sad and teary. I miss him so much even though we are together all day. He’s angry and waking at night where he used to sleep well. I know he’d fine on formula and he’s weaning to food but I still feel like I’m failing him. We weren’t ready. I’m still making milk (not loads and no pain or engorgement) and I want to feed him so badly its like a pain in my heart. He’s teething and I can’t comfort him like I used to. We are both suffering.

  17. Thanks for writing this. I’m an emotional mess right now, and I was starting to think I was crazy before I realized that I was starting the weaning process in earnest. On top of that, my husband and I just moved far away from our old home. I have no friends. I’m sleep deprived because our baby still doesn’t sleep through the night. The new house is a real fixer upper right now. I’m trying to arrange flights all the way back home to attend a wedding. I’m trying to find a contractor that suits us. And, as if that wasn’t enough, I’m due to get my period any day now.

    So I guess that might be why I feel like jumping off a cliff. Instead, I will try breathing deeply.

    1. Wow Jen, that is SO much going on right now. I definitely think it might be worth putting things on hold for a bit so you can do some self care and self love right now. If you keep throwing more into the mix without having space for yourself, it’s going to implode. It will get better – put you first for a bit x

  18. Thank you for this article. I am heading back to work soon, after 10 months with the baby, and I think the end of breastfeeding is near. Hes been I didn’t realize this feeling of sadness and “failure” was natural. I’ve been keeping this to myself lately, but I think I’ll be more open to my husband about it.

  19. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m in day 2 of weaning my baby at 20 months. I am feeling so sad right now, but after reading your article, I feel that there are mothers out there like you and me, and I am not alone. I definitely have a better understanding of my sadness and feeling of loss now, and will get ready for my yoga class this week! Lots of love <3

  20. My sister just finished weaning her 4th child and the hormone shift was intense. She did seek medical help, and was put on a few pills all at once that didn’t help. She got desperate and reached out to family and friends. Unfortunately no one understood or though it was serious. She took her life this week. The doctors say the antidepressants and anti anxiety pills have the side effect of activating depressive thoughts, without monitoring suicidal thoughts in 10-20%.

    It’s a tragedy. I am nursing a baby presently and have had love and warm feelings everyday. I will be on watch for signs of depression with weaning and through my sister’s death learned that three other people were put on one of the drugs my sister was prescribed and they also had to get off due to suicidal thought. Lesson being that families do have sensitivities and we need to be open about health. I don’t believe mental health is a thing. It’s the brain’s neurological response to hormone and environmental stimulus. If we all thought this way perhaps the world would be healthier and this would not be a issue of shame, such that the go to response is ” you are OK” “just get up or get out” etc…we need to listen better to our bodies moment to moment so they don’t shut down prematurely.

    1. Heidi, I just came across this tonight. I am so sorry for your loss last year. That must have been such a shock to lose your sweet sister. I will say a prayer for you tonight.

  21. Hi,
    Thanks or the article. I just weaned my 7 month old and have been feeling incredibly teary and flat for no reason. It makes sense if the body isn’t producing the oxytocin it once was. I have also had my period from 6 weeks post party’s and this has also affected my supply.
    It’s just sad, as I have had supply issues with both my girls and since I’ve stopped I haven’t even had any engorgement or lumpiness, it’s like I never breast fed at all! She eats like a champ and always takes a bottle so
    She’s a bit of a dream baby, I just thought out breastfeeding relationship would last longer.

  22. I’m on day 2 of weaning my 21 mo old and it’s really hard he’s not taking it as hard as i am i was so ready to wean because I’m 7 mo pregnant and it just became a hassel plus my milk has dried up so he was comfort nursing but I get so emotional like now because he cried a little and just went to sleep I feel like he went to sleep sad and i feel like want to breastfeed just to make us both happy..sounds crazy but I’m trying my hardest not to give in 🙁

  23. This article and the comments are so helpful. I was advised to stop breastfeeding 3 months ago as we are having difficulty conceiving a second child and my “advanced” age means tts now or never if we are going to try fertility intervention. My son is 16 months and I LOVE breastfeeding, I’m sad to be weaning. I’ve been cutting feeds slowly and tomorrow morning will be the last one. I tell myself giving him a sibling (and myself another child to breastfeed) will make it worthwhile. But our chances are slim so realistically I think this may be my only breastfeeding experience. If there is the slightest chance breastfeeding is interfering with our fertility I know I won’t be at peace and able to accept not having another until I have tried everything, including weaning. Thanks for sharing, I feel less alone and more understood knowing other moms have walked this road…

  24. Been slowly weaning for a couple months now…just transitioning our 15 month into her crib from cosleeping and night nursing. Wondering if I should cold turkey or keep slowly going? I went out of town for the transition so i haven’t breastfed in 16 hours. Won’t see my lo until tomorrow afternoon.

  25. Hi, Thankyou so much for making this article available. I made sure I was prepared for weening of my little baby girl. I don’t have a partner and I knew once she started a few days a week child care it would be a good opportunity to ween her. We had even planned a holiday away and I imagines once we’d returned I would no longer be breastfeeding. The thing is I did all the organizing and so it all went to plan, but I feel really depressed, like nobody knows or cares about whether or not I’m breastfeeding. I don’t care if anybody knows or if nobody knows but I didn’t expect this reaction. I bought bras, non nursing bras and made a really bog fussing deal about putting them up on my mirror dresser. I am now finding that I needed to go online and read about other peoples experiences to really educate myself that I am not alone. I realise that this is creating for me a level of insecurity I was also trying to avoid. I’m such a competitive person and when I read that someone is going for their second degree with their four baby and they describe their issues I just feel that they set a standard and I immediately start feeling like I can cope more. It’s so hard to place a gauge on your accomplishments until you start to make a list or spend time with yourself and start to feel satisfied with what you have done.

  26. Thank-you for writing this. I don’t know how to express how much it helped me to read it. Just weaned by 2-year-old and my most prominent symptoms have been sudden overwhelming emotions/crying, anxiety, and that tight stress feeling in my chest. All things I hadn’t experienced for quite some time. Exercise has helped to level my mood and I will work on the deep breathing. Anyway, I just wanted to express my gratitude to you for sharing your experience and advice.

    1. (I copy paste my experienced) i breastfeed for 17m and i weaned my son on mayo 2017 3 days after we weaned abruptly i started to experienced anxiety panic attacks and depression, i went 3 days straight without sleeping(i could feel adrenaline going through my body non stop). It was the hardest thing in my life that i have experienced. 2.5 after this am doing a lot better but still have my moment. How long did it took you to feel complety like yourself? I do have noticed my symtoms have improved like i no longer feel depress but just sadness,only experienced anxiety twice this month and no panic attacks anymore. I had never experienced this in my life before, i was quite scary, specially when you seek help and no Dr. seems to understands it or believes sometime like this exists. -*** how are you doing now?

  27. Just decided to wean tonight…at 41 months. Never mind I nursed my oldest until 6 months before this one was born. So, essentially, I’ve had a break of 6 months since September 2010. I’m tired, I’m drained (literally and figuratively), and just touched out. I see slight resentment in my older child when I’m nursing his sister and feel that she (the younger) is almost taking advantage of the deals we have in place for her to get milk. I also feel guilty, ashamed, and defeated even though I’ve gone this long. I’m glad to have found this article.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing this. My twins are 20 months old and my milk is running dry and I am beyond grumpy, actually feeling quite depressed. It helps to know I am not alone.

  29. hello i breastfeed for 17m and i weaned my son on mayo 2017 3 days after we weaned abruptly i started to experienced anxiety panic attacks and depression, i went 3 days straight without sleeping(i could feel adrenaline going through my body non stop). It was the hardest thing in my life that i have experienced. 2.5 after this am doing a lot better but still have my moment. How long did it took you to feel complety like yourself? I do have noticed my symtoms have improved like i no longer feel depress but just sadness,only experienced anxiety twice this month and no panic attacks anymore. I had never experienced this in my life before, i was quite scary, specially when you seek help and no Dr. seems to understands it or believes sometime like this exists.

  30. After recently weaning my little boy, I have been a total mess. So good to know I’m not alone. Your explanation of feeling loss is so right on. I waited to wean until I felt good about it and I weaned slowly over one and a half months, and still I feel the loss, plus the moodiness and depression. Thank you for sharing and giving ways to cope!

  31. Thankyou so much for your article..and everyone’s comments. I feel less alien now. I breastfed my daughter for a year and towards the end I wasn’t enjoying it as I was overtired and my daughter was so much stronger and wrigglier during her feeds. Even though I felt like stopping I also felt heartbroken as if our physical connection was ending. I didn’t get any advice or support about the process and so stopped feeding altogether. My daughter has coped really well with it but I was in a lot of pain with enormous engorged boobs full of milk and really painful knots :(( this has finally passed but I am left with so many emotions. I feel used for my milk..like my family around me who encouraged me to breastfeed and would say “give her a top-up” before babysitting, are now so happy I’ve stopped so that they can take her out and babysit for longer. I am a milk machine. I am so pleased to have given my daughter such a good start to her life and for the wonderful connection we have built. I am just sad and feel misunderstood. I am extremely mood swingy at the mo..one minute I am high and energised about going back to work one day a week and other times I am feeling anxious that my partner and I have had an argument or miserable because my phone is broken. Stupid little things are stressing me out and it is causing a riff between my partner and me. I don’t feel he understands.

    Thankyou for making me feel like what I am going through is normal

  32. Thank you for your honesty. Its been 6 days since i last bf my 13 month old and im sad grumpy and tired. I’m glad i stumbled upon your article.

  33. I have nursed my daughter until 3.5 years and, my daughter was pretty upset for about three nights and seems to have adjusted really well a few weeks out I am having really mood swings, and feeling pretty overwhelmed and very sad. I wish there was more research about this time in a mothers life. So glad I found your article

  34. Curious how long this post weaning depression lasted for you. I too have been pregnant or breastfeeding with no break for 7 years. I stopped breastfeeding my third child about 3 months ago and have had really bad anxiety and a little depressed and insomnia. Wanted to know how much longer this will last until I feel normal again?

  35. It’s nice to know I’m not alone… I’m on day 4 without nursing my 23 month old. I had an emergency appendectomy and had to be away for my daughter for the first time for two nights. She did fine with my mom putting her to sleep, and I had plannned to wean around 2 years so with some nudging from my husband and mom I decided to roll with it and tell her I can’t nurse any more because I have boo boos… I am feeling really sad and empty. I feel like she doesn’t need me so much anymore. I used to be the only one to settle her down or get her to sleep or make things better when she got hurt. I didn’t want to nurse her for a lot longer but when it happened so abruptly and unexpectedly I think it made it harder

  36. Thank you so much for this post. I am currently a total mess, just thank God pressure from school isn’t so bad. I weaned my 20 months old daughter 2 weeks ago and I have been feeling terrible ever since,I thought I would lose my mind, I couldn’t understand how I just suddenly became angry, irritable, scared of everything, paranoid In fact. This was coupled with me running around the hospital for an uncle who had a stroke and died 6 days later while I had mastitis, my period was 2 days late, i thought I was pregnant, I was scared, on the burial day, my period started and my hormones were all over the place, and I got news from home that my baby was critically ill with what seemed like rota virus infection. I left the graveyard to check on her,took her to the hospital and I begun nursing her for a whole week at home. She is better now but I am not. I am a mess, I want to cry all the time, I yell at hubby all the time, i feel he isn’t very helpful. I find no pleasure in anything, I am afraid of everything. I need help, don’t know where to go in this part of the world I live in. I will rely on these tips just to keep me sane. Thank you so much.

  37. Thank you for this article. I finally understand why i feel so down and worthless these days. I have begun to wean my first child since a month now. All these months with her were like a dream. I had finally felt complete and real when she was born… And the first time i dropped a feeding for her felt like so unfair.. I was her world and she was mine till then. But now her horizon was expanding and i had to do it myself. I am really happy for her and pray her transition to be smooth and wonderful for her. But everyday lessens my role and worth in my own eyes. I admit i felt so jealous when my daughter fell asleep for the first time to my husband’s lullaby. It was my right… I felt disregarded. I know i was being stupid but i just wanted to snatch my baby from him. But his joy was so pure then… It sweetened the moment.
    It was just now as i lay awake in the middle of the night that i realised like post partum depression what i am feeling now may be related to the weaning phase of my child. And I looked it up on the web. I was right.
    Thank you for your tips.

  38. Thank you for this article. I am definitely going through weaning depression sadness and a little anxiety. My daughter just turned one, I chose to wean her and gradually did so over anout 6 weeks. I was not expecting to feel like this. Glad to know it shouldn’t last too long. I did not experience any depression during my pregnancy or after. It’s hard to feel less important to her now and I miss our quiet times together.

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