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Mom Monday: Why don't I enjoy nursing?

Posted by Emily Newbold on

Another Monday and I get to share a topic I had no knowledge of before I became a mommy! If you are on this same journey of less-than-enjoyable nursing or know someone who is—the following information could be enough encouragement to continue nursing.

A few weeks into my nursing journey, I remember so clearly typing the words into Google, “Nursing makes me feel awful.” I didn’t want to give up nursing, but bottle feeding was beginning to tempt me.

Other mothers shared their nursing experiences with me by using phrases like, “I love nursing. It’s our special time to bond. I want to nurse them forever! I wish I could have continued nursing. I miss nursing.” But I never felt any of these feelings. As others shared their positive feelings surrounding nursing, it made me wonder what was wrong with me—am I a bad mom? I questioned if perhaps I did not love my baby as much as other moms did, but knew deep down that wasn’t true. I loved my sweet girl with my whole self.

To this day, nursing makes me feel, for a lack of a better word, heavy. I am truly one of the bubbliest women you will meet, but once I begin nursing, I change. I’m tired, depressed, sad, and negative. Nursing doesn’t necessarily physically hurt, but my mental attitude gives up. As soon as I finish nursing I feel normal again, but what is happening?

Thankfully, I stumbled upon an organization online,, with plenty of information that explained what was happening.

Maybe you experience Dyphoric Milk Ejaculation Reflex, or D-MER. While most mothers experience euphoric feelings while nursing, those with D-MER experience opposite feelings, such as the ones I described above. The great news is the feelings only last while nursing and are due to an “inappropriate drop of dopamine levels.”

Although, it wasn’t fun to find out my body was doing this, I was very encouraged to find my negative feelings had a scientific explanation. Every time I nurse, I know the feelings are going to come so I can prepare and expect them while reminding myself they will only stay a few minutes.

Sometimes a little knowledge is all we need to push through and achieve our nursing goals. If you or someone you know doesn’t enjoy nursing, I encourage you to talk to a lactation consultant about D-MER. If understanding what is happening isn’t enough to get you through a nursing session, know there are other ways to treat it. I hope you and your little one have only the best experience while nursing, but if you are like me, you might find encouragement in the fact you are not alone. Lastly, I want to affirm just because you don’t enjoy nursing doesn’t make you a bad mommy! Nursing with D-MER is another way to show your child just how much you love them.

Welcome to Mom Monday, I’m so glad you’re here!
I’m Emily and currently chasing after a rambunctious 2-year-old, Elsy, and a sweet spirited 6-month-old, Avenly. Hopefully the information shared here will help fill you with as much joy on your nursing journey as I have received in mine.


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1 comment

  • Hi Emily, thanks for the article! Could you possibly fix the “dysmorphic” typo and correct it to “dyphoric”? Thanks! All the best!
    Alia Macrina, IBCLC from

    Alia Macrina on

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