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Thread: High stress = nursing probs ???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default High stress = nursing probs ???

    here is a general question that i am curious about

    what is the relationship between stress and nursing problems? have there been any studies on this? are moms with very high stress levels more prone to nursing complications or not?

    K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: High stress = nursing probs ???

    I don't know of studies on this question, but I think there might be a correlation for at least some women. Stress that creates physical tension can interfere with the biochemical processes that permit letdown (a.k.a. the milk ejection reflex). Problems with letdown, in our culture, are typically misinterpreted as low milk supply, which can lead to a whole range of interventions that can mess things up further.

    I think it also works in reverse, though. Breastfeeding is marvelous when it is working well, but if problems arise it can be enormously stressful for mom.

    It is important to remember, though, that stress or difficult circumstances don't necessarily have to have any negative impact on breastfeeding. Women have successfully nursed their babies through famines, wars, every kind of disaster or personal crisis. Our species certainly evolved under stressful conditions, vulnerable to predators and uncertain food supplies.

    --Rebecca

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: High stress = nursing probs ???

    I think it probably depends on how the mother deals with stress. I have just gotten over a horrible bout of mastitis that came back after 3 weeks. I feel as though I've been sick since the end of January. I can honestly say it was very much related to my stress levels-everything was going wrong and it was all too much. My DH, the typical man, did not pick up on my troubles and I was trying so hard to be supermom and not ask for help from him or from my parents (who live very close to us). The first thing that the local LLL Leader asked me is had I been under a lot of stress-I cried and poured my heart out to her for an hour. So, yes, I know that stress had a great deal to do with my nursing problems but I intend to ask for help/support from my family and friends to avoid getting to the point that I become ill again. I need to take the time for me occasionally.

    Beth
    Mom to Sophie (3) and Bella (5.5 mos)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: High stress = nursing probs ???

    hi girls

    thanks for your input. i have been trying to figure why i am having so many iissues with nursing this baby - looking for "reasons". your thoughts were helpful.

    kim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: High stress = nursing probs ???

    Stress can definately cause nursing problems, as well as other health problems. I am a single mom with a toddler (James) and infant (Alice). Alice bf exclusively and James nurses on occasion. Trying to work full time, keep the house clean, cook and eat nutrious food, move and juggle what little time was left over left me so stressed that my hair has started falling out. It has also hurt my milk supply badly. I am thankful that I have a breastfeeding sister with an over supply who gave me her excess milk to supplement dd. Unfortuantely there are some things that are out of our control and some stress cannot be controlled. But when you nurse/pump, try to zone everything else out and relax. You are doing a great job!
    Amanda Mom to James (2/25/04) and nursling Alice (8/24/05)

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