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Thread: can extreme stress cause milk shut down?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    66

    Default can extreme stress cause milk shut down?

    Was wondering if extreme stress can cause milk production shut down?
    I'm v anxious and noticed that my breasts have become limp and soft. They have not filled up at all for the past 4 hours.

    Can the body shut down in times of great stress?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,452

    Default Re: can extreme stress cause milk shut d

    I don't think so. Some moms say their supply is lower, but IMHO, it's a side effect of maybe not nursing as much because of stress.

    There is a time where you aren't going to feel full, but if baby is nursing, wets and poops are normal and baby is content, all is fine.

    I can pump 8 oz and not feel engorged at all before pumping so FEEL is something to stop judging production by.
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,636

    Default Re: can extreme stress cause milk shut d

    Remember that mamas nurse their babies in all sorts of incredibly stressful situations- they nurse them during wars, during famines, duringpersonal tragedies. Our bodies are designed to protect the baby and the baby's milk supply even in stressful times.

    Things that can affect production:
    - Supplementing with formula
    - Scheduled feedings
    - Going long time periods between feedings
    - Pregnancy
    - Hormonal contraception (some forms much more likely to impact production than others)
    - Starvation or intensive dieting
    - Overuse of the herbs peppermint and sage
    - Tight bras

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: can extreme stress cause milk shut d

    also, i know that everywhere it says that amount of sleep doesn't affect production, BUT that was not my experience in the first three or four months. on the days when i got less sleep i made less milk (measured in diaper output). and i remember taking a nap for a couple of hours and waking up with fuller breasts.

    i know that when i'm anxious i can't sleep well. are you able to get enough deep sleep?

    ps. on stress/anxiety... weirdly that has the opposite effect on my milk. i went through a couple of situations of extreme stress and worry (including an airplane emergency in mid-flight) and then my breasts started to let-down like crazy (then i got a horrible plugged duct). i told an LC and she was surprised... i guess BFing is also learning how YOUR body responds...
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    466

    Default Re: can extreme stress cause milk shut d

    ps. just remember that if you amp up nursing sessions, your body will respond--especially if you had an abundant supply before. if you're worried, put baby to the breast more often. like, every hour or so, switching sides. doing this for a whole day will boost your supply... the system is flexible!
    march 2011... the light of my life

    i love my little one

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    45

    Default Re: can extreme stress cause milk shut d

    my pediatrician said that stress can impact prolactin levels. She was happy I took medicine for my post partum anxiety so that it didn't affect it.

    That being said, I did (do?) have an extreme case of PPA and do not have supply issues at all.

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