Can Stress Affect Breastfeeding?
Stress affects everyone in different ways. I’ve known a woman who was stressed because it was her eldest child’s first day of kindergarten and her milk supply crashed because of the stress of the day. As you can imagine, her eight month old complained bitterly about the situation.
Stress can certainly affect breastfeeding and it is something to consider if you milk supply was good and has taken a downward turn.
Is there anything going on in your life that is causing you stress? Remember it doesn’t have to be something negative like a family member going to the hospital it a positive event like your sister’s wedding can also be a source of stress.
If you can identify a new source of stress that coincides with your milk supply dropping, you may have found the cause of your supply issue. Try to work through the stress with relaxation or exercise or however you usually deal with stress. Consider getting a book on stress reduction from a book seller or your local library.
As for breastfeeding and stress, try to relax while nursing. Breathe deeply and don’t think about the thing that is causing you stress by thinking about something that brings joy or peace to you. Perhaps it was a memorable vacation or special accomplishment in your life. Focus on that.
If the stress is caused by something in your home, try to breastfeed in a different area. If the piles of laundry in your living room is making you stressed, try breastfeeding in a different room.
Once the stressful situation passes or you find a way to manage the stress, your milk supply should return to normal, but in the meantime it’s good insurance to practice some of the 11 ways to increase milk supply.
Don’t let stress harm your breastfeeding relationship!