Mothering Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am 11 weeks pregnant with my first and am a strong believer in breastfeeding. I'm planning to breastfeed my baby for at least 2 years, but will probably BLW. My husband happened to tell my MIL how important I think breastfeeding is. She told him that when he was 2(or 3?) months old they flew from South Carolina to France (they moved there for a year for FIL's job) and she said the stress of the long plane ride "caused her milk to dry up" and she had to switch to Formula right away. She said I need to be very careful not to stress out or this would happen to me. Is that something that is common? Rare? Total bologna? I'm assuming stress would cause some challenges, but this sounds a little out there... But I don't know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,632 Posts
I was pretty darn stressed out when my DD was born. My mother was terminally ill and passed away when DD was 4 weeks old. I had no problems with my supply. I did have to make sure I ate enough and took in enough fluids. I am sure stress could play a part in a supply tank but if you take care of yourself and had no other underlying supply issues I would think it would work out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,242 Posts
There are some noted cases of breastmilk drying up over a period of time due to stress - BUT it depends on how you see breastfeeding, how stressed you are and how you respond - it's not going to happen to everyone but it has been known to happen. if you have a positive attitude and are well informed, know how to rest then you should be ok - are you planning a country-country move or is it just a hypothese?! Maybe getting a book such as the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding would be useful for you and of course going to a few LLL Meetings before the baby comes along so that you are super well informed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
668 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I'm not planning a move or any other stressful event, but anything could happen. I just didn't know how possible it was that that could happen and how to prevent it. Thanks for the responses!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,320 Posts
It seems some women are more susceptible to fluctuations in supply than others. I think it's totally possible for stress to cause a reduction in supply, but unlikely that it would cause total dry-up (unless we're talking like famine-level nutritional deprivation and maybe not even necessarily then).<br><br>
However, if there's a supply dip and the mom then goes and supplements with formula, this will reduce the baby's demand at the breast and result in a downward spiral, which *could* eventually lead to a total loss of supply.<br><br>
The best way to avoid supply problems is to give the newborn total, complete, unfettered access to the breast at all times starting immediately after birth, to avoid unnecessary supplementation, and to keep good track of the baby's urine/stool output and weight gain so as to nip any incipient problems in the bud.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
786 Posts
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear your MIL's story is: did she breastfeed on the long plane ride? And was she breastfeeding regularly in the hours before the flight or was she prevented by things like the chaos of packing for such a long trip with a young child or fear of nursing in public in the airport before the flight, etc.? Weaning is supposedly more common around holidays because the preparation, activity, and traveling all can result in mothers forgetting to slow down and nurse their baby.<br><br>
The second thing is: is she sure that her milk was really "gone" and not that your husband wasn't going on a nursing strike in protest of the disruption in his routine?<br><br>
Anecdotally, I was under a lot of stress when my daughter was 7 months old. My husband came down with a really severe virus that it took them weeks to diagnose accurately, was admitted to the ICU, and I was pretty much alone with our daughter because most of our family lived across the country. To complicate things our daughter was banned from visiting him for several days so I had to scramble to find childcare in order to visit him. At the same time, within a period of a few days, both of my grandmothers died. During all of this my milk supply was perfectly fine and showed no signs of diminishing.<br><br><br>
Pregnancy is another matter entirely. The one book that I've been able to find on nursing during pregnancy (<i>Adventures in Tandem Nursing</i>) claims that some women lose their milk, some keep it, others have a reduced supply and which will happen to you is totally hormone driven. There's very little that you can do "right" (or "wrong") to maintain your supply during pregnancy.<br><br>
I'm 18 weeks and I have some milk and a 2.5 year old who is still nursing. Some women have no milk during pregnancy and continue to nurse. Others have no milk and their children wean. I've seen several women on MDC report no change in milk supply during pregnancy. It seems to be totally individual with mothers of young babies being as likely to lose their milk as mothers of older toddlers. The one concession I've made to trying to "protect" my supply this pregnancy was to aggressively fight morning sickness by taking Zofran and thus limiting my weight loss and maintaining a better diet during the first trimester than I was able to with baby #1. This won't do anything to stop hormonal changes, but I figure an undernourished mother is going to have more trouble making milk.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top