When I had my son I felt instant relief whenever I breastfed him. If I was upset or felt anxious, I would nurse and that biochemical release of oxytocin was my cure all. I cherished those nights of nursing him to sleep and looked forward to doing so again with his baby sister. However, with baby girl, we suffered colic and breastfeeding her was definitely NOT our cure all. It was a struggle. She would latch and cry and scream and toot and start over. It was hours every night so when I finally got her latched and nursing and sleeping I would cry silently, hoping for this to quickly pass. I wanted desperately for her to grow past this.
She wouldn't take a bottle when I went to work. My husband suggested we go to bottle feeding round the clock, it would seem to fix all my nursing struggles and her refusal to take a bottle from him. I cried. Even though it was such a struggle, I couldn't have the only thing that still made me feel connected to her taken away.
I was afraid to take medication because I was under the impression that only Zoloft was approved for breastfeeding. I had tried Zoloft before. I didn't do well with it. I didn't want to have to do a medication that was going to end my nursing relationship before I was ready. So I just avoided the medication talk for a few extra months. I kept telling myself if I could just breathe through it, I would be fine and it would all just be FINE.
Life eventually became too hectic and my days involved too many tears. My husband agreed, try the meds. I researched some more medications and their breastfeeding risks in a copy of Dr. Hale's Mothers and Medications Book and found out that there were several kinds I could try without having to end our nursing relationship. I made a copy of the pages to take to my doctor. I didn't want her to say I can give you something but only if you stop breastfeeding.
About 5 days into the medication, I looked at my baby and that impossible, full love beyond belief feeling washed over me. I started medication 6 months after my baby was born and with the medication helping to control my anxiety, I could truly begin enjoying my baby girl.
*note the author does not discount formula as a mother's choice and also does not believe medication is always the answer. However, if you are living with postpartum distress and breastfeeding, you can still utilize pharmacological medications in your treatment plan.
Each walk is different, but we walk together, and that makes all the