In the wake of my blog battle with Nursing Birth (due to me commenting that it was irresponsible to connect not breastfeeding with PPD without explicitly discussing the many levels to why there might be a link between the two – for example, maybe depression effects milk supply, causing many women with PPD to have difficulties nursing; or, maybe the fact that they are unable to breastfeed for some reason is part and parcel of their PPD – so yes, while many women with PPD also do not breastfeed, that does not mean that if you choose not to breastfeed, you will get PPD, and I feel like many interpretations I’ve seen of this study are suggesting that to people who may not understand the subtleties here… but I digress), I was beyond ecstatic to see this superb post on Postpartum Progress – From Boob to Bottle: Postpartum Depression & The Unnecessary Shame of Quitting Breastfeeding.
Read through the comments, and you will find that this is such a common experience. I think it is important that we talk about this, and all things having to do with baby blues. Even if you aren’t unlucky enough to get an actual case of postpartum depression, many moms still deal with tears, anxiety, fear… lots of emotions that make for an experience nothing like the ones movies portray – those first dewy days of motherhood? More like a waking nightmare, for some.
The author, Katherine Stone, explains:
I tried all those other curious contraptions that you wrap all around your boobs so that you can succeed at doing THE-ONE-THING-EVERY-MOTHER-MUST-DO-NO-MATTER-WHAT! I read the how-tos and followed them step by step. It didn’t matter. Plus, what little breastfeeding I was able to eke out had me so worried about how much milk he was getting I practically had anxiety attacks. So I quit. And I felt enormous relief. And I felt guilty that I was so relieved…
Not everyone needs to quit, of course. Some people find breastfeeding is the only thing that helps them hang on to what’s left of their sanity. Others, like me, find quitting helps them on the road to sanity. Just make the right choice for you and know that we are on your side, whatever side that is.
Amen, sister. A big, rousing, cheering “amen”.