When a woman thinks of birth and breastfeeding she expects it to be the happiest time of her life. Occasionally, to a mother’s dismay, she finds that breastfeeding brings on new challenges, feelings and experiences. She may experience feelings of pain with breastfeeding, or an unexplainable twist in her gut when her milk lets down. Unable to justify or validate what she is feeling leaves her at a loss and feeling confused. These feelings may be the result of a condition known as D-MER. D-MER stands for Dysmorphic Milk Ejection Reflex and it is treatable.
D-MER is caused by a drop in dopamine activity when oxytocin rises which creates a feeling of dysphoria in the mother (D-Mer.org). It is a physiological disorder, not a mental disorder. To understand D-MER better I have interviewed Renee Beebe, IBCLC. Renee Beebe is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who works with mothers who may be exhibiting symptoms of D-MER.
You may wonder why a lactation consultant–someone who considers herself somewhat of an expert in the art and science of breastfeeding–is writing an article about crying babies. I have been moved to address this topic because every day parents ask me about hunger cues, sleep and crying. Specifically, new parents want to know, what does that cry mean?
Crying is your baby’s way of letting you know that something is not right. She may be hungry or thirsty, lonely, cold, afraid, uncomfortable or maybe she doesn’t even know. She just knows she needs something–now! Parents are sometimes told to ignore their baby’s cries–particularly as a way to “train” the baby to sleep longer or go longer between feedings. Continue reading →
“My pediatrician says my baby has reflux! She says there are medications to help. I really don’t want my baby to take medicine. He’s so little. But I also don’t want him to suffer and spit up so much. What should I do? Can you help me?”
Although the diagnosis of reflux seems ominous, keep in mind that all babies have reflux to some degree. The sphincter muscle that separates the stomach and the esophagus is loose and lets fluids go back and forth. That’s why it’s common for babies to spit up after a meal. If your baby seems uncomfortable, however, he may need some help.
I see many babies diagnosed with reflux in my practice. I have found that some simple changes in feeding posture or management can decrease symptoms substantially. Most of my clients do not need to medicate their babies. Continue reading →
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