I snap at my husband when he tries to use a certain coffee cup. I grit my teeth at my kids when I hear them fighting with each other. I look at my baby drinking whole milk out of a sippy cup and I burst into tears. It is 6:40 a.m. on a Monday and it has been two days since I quit breastfeeding.
It was days away from my son’s first birthday and I began to wean him. I took plenty of time and started by just dropping one feeding a day. About three or four days later, I dropped another one. The transition was very smooth. It was easier to stop breastfeeding my son than I thought it would be. I wasn't expecting that it would be worse for me than him.
It was sometime around when I started dropping feedings that I felt different. I was sad and I didn’t know why. I was irritable and seemed to have less patience than usual. I finally admitted to a close friend how I was feeling.
She told me that I was not alone and she had also experienced sadness shortly after her baby’s first birthday. After talking to her doctor, she found out that it was common for women to experience some depression after weaning due to a shift in hormone levels.
It feels like the worst PMS that I have ever experienced. Emotionally, I feel like I did right around the time when I became pregnant. As I researched this topic, I found that it was more common than I knew. Every entry, blog or question on this topic sounded just like what I was experiencing. It is helpful to know that I am not alone.
If you recently quit breastfeeding and seem to be experiencing feelings like this, TALK TO SOMEONE. Remember to take care of yourself as well as your children.