Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One Anxious Momma

In the past, I have been kinda surprised or confused by many of the hormones-in-labor-effect claims you can find in natural birthing type literature.  They usually they focus on mother-baby-bonding after natural birth. And in my own personal birth experiences, I actually found an overpowering baby-bond instantaneously after my induction turned c-section; whereas after my natural labor and birth, I kinda had to work towards a bond over a long period of time.
I have just praised God for his grace on giving me a blessing for my first birth, outside of the original  blue-print, because... he's more than able to work outside a box.

But despite my usual ambivalence towards the subject of hormones in birth, I saw this article on pinterest and something about it called to me. 

I came to the part about Prolactin, which is the main hormone causing the production of breast milk.
And I my jaw dropped. 

"Prolactin helps us to put our babies needs first in all situations by increasing submissivenessanxiety and vigilance."


The hormone makes anxiety.

And it sounds like it does on purpose for a reason!
(I did like a 10 min google study to back up this claim as truth, not just randomness. However, yeah I realize that I'm totally not educated on the subject because of those ten minutes. But I do think the claim is accurate.)

This claim of prolactin propelling a nursing mother towards anxiety, might make some people frustrated or even more anxious. I don't know. 
But for me, I was flooded with relief!
Pure. Joyful. Relief.

You see:
Jasmine nursed for forever, and even though my milk dried up half way through pregnancy, Prolactin is produced in your body during pregnancy, especially the end. So that means, I have not experienced motherhood without Prolactin. 
Since having a baby, I have been flooded with prolactin.

And apparently one of it's jobs is
to keep me a vigilant mother
by keeping me anxious.

There have been so many times where I feel like I am just over-the-top concerned with issues surrounding my kids. And I know, as a mom we will always do that to some degree. But there has been this tiny-almost-undetectable feeling, underneath those screaming concerns, that makes me feel like maybe its not really me that is so worried. Or perhaps worded better: I haven't felt like myself on this emotional matter since becoming a mom.
And I have been feeling so guilty over it. 
Basically getting anxious over being anxious.
I've really questioned myself. My priorities. My faith. 
And then I get down that I am down. 

But reading that article the other day was so relieving. Because I finally could remove the guilt from the emotions.
I'm not failing by getting flooded with these anxious sensations.
I'm actually just functioning in the way God made my body.
I cannot tell you how wonderful that news is to me.

Of course I'm not giving myself a free pass to Fearful Town. 
But instead,
I will be able to be more objective when fears arise because I will be able to step back a bit and ask myself if perhaps this is "just my hormones talking."

On a side note of induction/c-section issues 
the article goes on to say:

"When prolactin is combined with oxytocin, as it is soon after birth and during breastfeeding, it encourages a relaxed and selfless devotion to the baby that contributes to a mother’s satisfaction and her baby’s physical and emotional health."

 and well,
despite the fact that I bonded with my baby so well,
my body was not flooded with it's own oxytocin, rather the synthetic version pitocin.
I'm sure I had some of my own oxytocin going on. But not the amount or variation I would have if I had not been induced, but experienced a labor of my own. 
And so, there is no proof, and probably no studies on this exact issue, but my gut tells me that, my body may never have fully gotten the balance quite right on the two hormones together, since they started out their job, as a mother, under strained circumstances, and perhaps never realized anything needed to be corrected. Because that sensation of "RELAXED and selfless devotion" has never been a part of my motherhood. Especially in regards to Jasmine. (My first, born via c-section.) I actually now that I think about it, I do have a lot of relaxed feelings of selfless devotion towards Ruby. But towards Jasmine super-anxious selfless devotion.

Once again, no proof or studies (I assume) on the subject, but I find it very interesting how influential a role my birthing hormones are playing still today, and perhaps always, in regards to each child.

I'm going to be praying over this idea, and asking God to help balance out my hormones with his strong out-side-the-box super-skills.

But yeah,
back to my original thought.
I'm really happy to have read this article because I feel less like I'm constantly sinning, and needing to figure out how to stop it. And now feeling more like I'm just a person (a person made how God made me) who really needs His Strength.


  1. You never get off the hook...those hormones continue into Grandmother/great grandmotherhood.
    (ps. Now I know why an angus mother put you up the fence if you get hold of her calf. She does't give two hoots about it after it's weaned.)

  2. Thanks for this post! Really insightful! I often times do the same thing to myself...beat myself up...why do I feel this way, etc? Something is wrong with me! You know the feeling! This gives me a sense of relief as well. Something to remember for next time!

  3. I had psycho hormone anxiety release... hense my panic attack every time my milk let down. Interesting.


    1. There is a specific condition regarding depression (or other negative symptoms) upon, or just before, let down -- (D-MER) --- More Info: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/d-mer/


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