Any mother with D-MER knows the answer to this question, but in every blog post about D-MER out in cyber space this question is undoubtedly alluded to in the comments. Sometimes more directly then others.
I will share some examples from some of the naysayers:
Sorry, but this doesn't look like a very scientific pursuit. It's "thoughts and theories" from unnamed sources, and it appears to be based mostly on anecdotal evidence and surveys, not scientific testing.
Do they have to name everything? Its probably because woman who breastfeed are so tired and emotional.
While I’m sure this exists and can be incapacitating like a lot of horrmonal problems are, the cynic in me says that it’ll become the new fake excuse women use when they aren’t successful at breatfeeding. It’ll be the “low milk supply” of 2011.
Mmmmm…I am skeptical.
I didn't say it wasn't real, I just think not everything should have its own catergory.
Everything is a medical condition these days. I am very cynical. I am not discounting that women have variety of emotions while breastfeeding, especially when they are a first-time mom. Heck, mine was rocky and stressful and in the beginning I dreaded breastfeeding because my baby either did not latch properly or wanted to breastfeed non-stop. And when I took that moment to sit down with the baby during those time, I would have the time to reflect on my emotions and feel all sorts of conflicting stuff. Love, affection, frustration, exhaustion, despair etc. It’s a bit like sitting down at the end of a busy day and realizing tired you really are, which you don’t quite acknowledge when you are running around. Just because the times you get in touch with your less than ideal feelings is when you sit down to nurse does not mean nursing “causes” it. Of course the medical community and researchers are all over it. I am a researcher and I am always looking for the next idea to write a paper on. And if this can possibility be treated with your run of the mill therapy and depression drugs, then there is not even much hard work involved in developing a new treatment. Write a couple of papers, generate some publications, call it a disorder to validate the feelings of the affected, throw some breastfeeding friendly anti-depressants at it, problem solved.
These comments are in the minority in comparison to the women who post in comment sections because they have had D-MER. So in fact, you can say that D-MER is more common than it is to believe that D-MER is unnecessary labeling. Nonetheless, the subject deserves at least a snippet of my attention and a small place in cyber space to be addressed.
It has been said that since women are highly emotional and hormonal after birth, that it is to be expected that they have a period of difficult adjustment and that the emotions they are feeling prior to letdown are just part of this. It has been said that since D-MER often does not need any kind of treatment, that it doesn't need a name or a definition. It has been said that not everything needs a name and that it is unnecessary and overkill to be defining an experience such as D-MER. It has been said D-MER isn't as prevalent an issue as the website makes it seem and that it does not need recognition. Some have gone as far to say it is just another hormonal flux, no different then PMS.
Jessica from The Leaky B@@b says, "When there is something outside of normal, when there is a group of people affected by it, naming the condition helps tremendously. For starters, it validates those struggling with it and can help remove barriers of shame so they can begin to seek help. Then it opens doors to research so care providers can offer quality support and recognize it as legitimate. Those struggling then have support and information from the medical community making it possible to find others that can relate and not feel so alone which empowers them to work through it. Naming a condition also opens doors to getting funding for research and thus finding treatments or at least information."
Diane Wiessinger made a lovely point in regards to why D-MER should be in breastfeeding literature. She pointed out the the occurrence of Sheehan's Syndrome (and it's effect on breastfeeding) is so low that she has only come across one case of it in her 25-ish years of very successful practice, and yet this is a condition that is addressed in all the breastfeeding professional's literature. We don't know the full prevalence of D-MER, but we know it's much more common than Sheehan's Syndrome.
Also, some other D-MER mothers had some thoughts on the idea of D-MER being unnecessary labeling:
If someone told me D-MER was unnecessary labeling I would be angry, knowing that there is a reason why I don't feel the same breastfeeding happiness as other mothers seem to has been a big help to me - when I had my first baby I thought maybe I didn't love her the way I was supposed to or that I wasn't meant to be a mother or to breastfeed. Now I understand that it has nothing to do with that, it's just that my body reacts differently, if I know why it's happening it is easier to cope with and there are no questions about my love for my child, no worries, I just have to learn how to handle my let-downs.
How could someone even come to a conclusion of "unnecessary labeling" unless they have personally delt with it?!! I would be very upset because unless you have experienced it and know just what it feels like to not be able to enjoy that same wonderful feeling that most moms feel while breastfeeding, then you can not properly label it "unnecessary" and I would take great offense to it because it is a very saddening and challenging ordeal to have to go through! Thank God I have learned what this condition is so now I can better get through it this time around.
I would be offended if someone told me D-MER was unnecessary labeling! It really affected me in the early stages of nursing my oldest, to the point where I thought there was something wrong with me (like I was failing to bond with him properly). I didn't know it had a name at that point, but there were a few message boards where other mamas revealed they were experiencing the same thing. That alone helped me tremendously, & finally learning that it has a name & that there's an explanation for it both make an even bigger difference. I am expecting my third baby with a lot less apprehension purely because of the fact that I know that what I've gone through/may go through is real, acknowledged & (somewhat) understood.
I'm not sure what someone would mean by "unnecessary labeling." It sounds more like they're doubting the existence of this condition in which case I wouldn't even bother. But a label is important to provide a common language to those experiencing it and those dealing with people who are (spouses, doctors, friends, family etc...) It is helping in sharing what we are going through to have a name to put to it. I guess we could all relate to one another by saying "you know, those horrible feelings I have associated with every let-down," but it seems "d-mer" is a better shorthand and way to communicate about it!
Here is your bottom line: we have found that women with D-MER find the most successful "treatment" is the validation of their experience. This comes from diagnosis. Hundreds of babies have continued to be nursed because of the labeling of D-MER. This can not be devalued.