Passing through breastmilk... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 05-13-2008, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can hormones (specifically Cortisol) pass through the breastmilk?



My thought train on this is:

Stressed mother producing high levels of cortisol ---> mother breastfeeds ----> She complains about having a "colicy" baby.

Maybe they are two completely unrelated events...but I was just curious as to what you all thought.


Jen Burnett, DEM
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#2 of 4 Old 05-13-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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Yes Cortisol passes into breast milk. The reaearch says it shapes infant temperment.

I would think that if we are addressing the mothers mental health or mood disorder we could help change her levels elevated Cortisol.
http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retri...78378207000047

However In moms who do not have a mood disorder (PPD) I see the moms get stressed after the baby is "colicky" not before and where the stress is making them colicky. They get over stressed when they can not read the cues or sooth the baby.


Usually when I meet a "colicky" baby I first ask if the mother is still drinking glasses of cow milk each day (she has to stop that)!!! Then breastfeeding management issues (99.9% it is breastfeeding management problem) when they are addressed it changes the baby's "colicky".

In 18 years I have met a couple of babies that I could not figure out (after breastfeeding was corrected). But probiotics and better diet with and no dairy seemed to solve most of it after better breastfeeding management was addressed.

Read on www.Kellymom.com aobut:

colic
or
foremilk hindmilk imbalance
or
overactive let down
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#3 of 4 Old 05-13-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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  • Postnatal maternal cortisol levels predict temperament in healthy breastfed infants . Early Human Development , Volume 83 , Issue 10 , Pages 675 - 681L . Glynn , E . Davis , C . Schetter , A . Chicz-DeMet , C . Hobel , C . Sandman

Abstract

Background

The implications of the biologically active elements in breast milk for the breastfed infant are largely unknown. Animal models suggest that ingestion of glucocorticoids during the neonatal period influences fear behavior and modifies brain development.
Aims

To determine the association between postnatal maternal cortisol levels and temperament in breastfed infants.
Study design

The relation between maternal cortisol and infant temperament was examined in breastfed and formula-fed infants. Plasma cortisol was used as a surrogate measure for breast milk cortisol levels (plasma and milk levels are correlated in the 0.6 to 0.7 range; [Patacchioli FR, Cigliana G, Cilumbriello A, Perrone G, Capri O, Alemà GS, et al. Maternal plasma and milk free cortisol during the first 3 days of breast-feeding following spontaneous delivery or elective cesarean section. Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigations 1992;34:159-163.]. If exposure to elevated cortisol levels during infancy influences temperament, then a relation between the two should be found among the breastfed infants, but not among the formula-fed infants.
Subjects

Two hundred fifty-three two-month-old infants and their mothers.
Outcome measures

Fearful temperament assessed with the Infant Behavior Questionnaire [Garstein MR, Rothbart MK. Studying infant temperament via the revised infant behavior questionnaire. Infant Behavior and Development 2003;26:64-86].
Results

Among the breastfed infants, higher maternal cortisol levels were associated with reports of increased infant fear behavior (partial r=0.2; p<0.01). This relation did not exist among the formula-fed infants. Negative maternal affect at the time of assessment did not account for the positive association in the breastfed group.
Conclusions

The findings are consistent with our proposal that exposure to cortisol in breast milk influences infant temperament. Biologically active components in breast milk may represent one avenue through which the mother shapes the development of the human infant during the postnatal period.
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#4 of 4 Old 05-13-2008, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the site and the info!! I'm going to study it more tonight after the kids go to bed!




Jen Burnett, DEM
Homeschooling mom to my 3 kids (10, 9 and 8)
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