Depression or other negative emotions upon milk let-down (D-MER)

A small percentage of breastfeeding mothers experience feelings of depression (or anxiety, agitation or anger) beginning immediately before their milk lets down. This is called Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex, or D-MER. According to, “Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex is a condition affecting lactating women that is characterized by an abrupt dysphoria, or negative emotions, that occur just before milk release and continuing not more than a few minutes.” This is a physiological response (not a psychological response) that has been tied to a sudden decrease in the brain chemical dopamine immediately before milk let-down.