Breastfeeding Aversion or Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex (also known as D-MER)
You may experience one or more of these common negative feelings whilst breastfeeding or pumping. Symptoms vary in onset, severity and duration. There are many words that mothers with D-MER use to describe their feelings:
- Feeling anxious or overwhelmed
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Agitation or anger
- Skin itching sensations
- Urge to de-latch baby, feeling trapped
- Hollow feeling in pit of stomach
You have done nothing wrong to cause breastfeeding aversion, and it says nothing about your love for your baby. D-MER is a physiological response that appears to be tied to a sudden decrease in the brain chemical dopamine (a ‘’feel good’’ hormone).
Symptoms of D-MER often self correct with time. There are numerous ways to manage breastfeeding aversion successfully and continue to have a happy breastfeeding relationship with your baby.
Breastfeeding aversion is a challenge and you may want to stop breastfeeding. Be honest about what you are feeling and contact your health visitor to talk through your emotions.