- Virginie Levine
Worried About Your Milk Supply?
Multitudes of articles have been written on the subject of reasons of low milk supply, yet a few, talk about the woman’s hormone reversal that occurs post partum.
First common reason to worry for a breastfeeding mom is to quantify how much baby takes at each breast and per feeding. Off the top, as long as your baby maintains wet diapers, feeds on demand, is content, and continues to grow in weight, there are no reasons to worry.
Hormones involved in milk production are intricately connected to women's mental health.
Although, being worried is a normal response for a mom. That little alarm that goes off in your head which encourages you to take inventory and appropriate actions in rectifying the situation or issue is healthy. Now, and before I get on with today’s topic, I want to add... In some women, this is a behavioral pattern response to unknown or what it seems out-of-control situations. This type of response can be exacerbated post-partum while your hormone levels are out-of-whack. It can alter your milk production quantity and quality so, learn to relax in deep breathing, share your thoughts, get help, and learn to adapt to the changes is crucial.
Hormones involved in milk production are intricately connected to women's mental health. I would suggest to share your worries with your partner and professionals (lactation, behavioral therapist) and find La Leche League breastfeeding mother groups to put things in perspective and learn from others’ knowledge and experiences.
What is this Reversal Hormone Period?
After birth, the placenta stops becoming the hormone master, your hypothalamus and other endocrine hormones have to jump-start after a long break. This period is a slow process and differs for every woman, that is why it takes anywhere from 6 to 18 weeks for your autocrine control (hypothalamus gland) to switch back. In the meantime, re-balancing the effect hormones can affect your mood, sex-drive, your maternal responsiveness, sleep-cycle, milk production, and metabolism.
What can cause low milk supply?
On the mother side:
StressExhaustionCesarean sectionProne to mood disorder, depressionFeeding with the clockLow wholefood Low carb dietMammary reconstructive or aesthetic surgeryThyroid issuesDiabetes Iron deficiencyPlacenta
On the baby side:
Suckling ability restriction tongue/lip-tiePrematurityLow muscular toneJaundice and fatiguability
What to do during this phase?
My Minute-Awareness Take Away Memo
Make sure you and your baby's health do not impede your lactation and breastfeeding transferWatch your diet to be nourishing, warming, and rich in whole foods, vitamins, and minerals
Prepare for galactagogues tea and dishes
Seek for professional guidance if you suspect your hormones may affect your milk production and mental health
Rest when your baby rests
Communicate and share with your partner and other professionals for guidance and support
Trust in your baby's abilities to thrive
Guide your baby to become more effective at the breast (professional support)
Adapt to changes by practicing relaxation and guided meditation to help you relax and find contentment
Breastfeeding is a learning process for you both, so create a calming environment and routine around it, especially in the first 40 days and even more until your lactation and breastfeeding is fully established
I hope this article will shine some light on some of your concerns and motivate you to create some changes and seek professional guidance and loving support.