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Is parenting going to suck forever?

Posted December 24, 2017 - 1:28am

After several years and two heartbreaking pregnancy losses, I am now the mother of a gorgeous 5-week-old boy. Unfortunately, I am finding myself becoming more and more miserable every day and I am starting to think that I've made a big mistake and that I am not cut out to be a parent at all. I think part of the problem is that breastfeeding has gone poorly from the very beginning, due to a number of different factors. He is about 50% breastfed right now, which is not the end of the world but not at all what I had planned on or hoped for. But even aside from our nursing struggles, I am finding that I just do not enjoy taking care of him and I'm not sure I really love him like I am supposed to. I spend all day alternating between boredom and frustration. Everyone said it would get so much better once he started to smile at me, but he started smiling for real this week and...it's cool and all, but it doesn't make me feel any better the other 98% of the time. To add insult to injury, my husband is adjusting marvelously, is totally in love, and always knows just what to do for the boy. I find that I am counting down the days until I go back to work and put my son in daycare. I really don't think I have postpartum depression--I have been depressed before, and this doesn't feel like that. I just think that I really have made a bad mistake and that I am too selfish and rigid to be a parent. What can I do to make this better? Will taking care of my son ever be less of a drag?

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There's an article in the Journal of Women’s Health that speaks to this very question.  For the purpose of my post today, I am going to attempt to explain this article in good old Plain Mama English. The article helped me to really understand the overlap between breastfeeding and postpartum depression and anxiety, and it may do the same for you.The main premise of this article is that both mood and lactation might be triggered by the same neuroendocrine mechanisms, or the same hormonal shifts.  We have always known that postpartum depression is a biochemical illness that is triggered by the immense hormonal shifts that occur shortly after birth, and that the ability to breastfeed also depends on effective hormonal activity. But is it possible that the challenges that some moms have with breastfeeding are actually caused by the very same hormonal shifts that leave her feeling sad and anxious?Following the birth of her baby, a mom’s hormones — her estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, thyroid, and cortisol — shift dramatically as her body readjusts from pregnancy to postpartum.  These very hormones also have a direct impact on both the brain chemicals that are responsible for emotional wellness and also milk production.  Sometimes these hormones work together in helping both mood and lactation, and sometimes they work in conflict with the two.Full article: http://www.postpartumprogress.com/postpartum-depression-and-breastfeedin...As far as breastfeeding and nursing goes, we'd recommend watching out BabyCare 101 class. (Use the promo code to get free access for 1 month) https://www.kidsinthehouse.com/vippromo code: martinez0456