Does the physical and emotional state of the mother affect the production of breast milk? Yes. Some women believe that moments of great stress, anxiety or depression, or great sadness, or even great worry, have had an impact on breastfeeding. In many cases like these, milk production can be affected. Let us tell you how the state of the mother when breastfeeding the baby.
On many occasions, the nursing mother is told that she has to take great care of her diet, since it depends on her whether the milk she is giving her baby is more or less healthy. This is totally untrue! The truth is the mother's diet has very little influence on the quality of breast milk.
In fact, and I quote from the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics: 'The nutritional status of the mother, except in cases of extreme malnutrition, does not interfere with the capacity for milk production or the quality of breast milk.'
That said, it is clear that the physical state of the mother does not affect the production or quality of breast milk, except in cases of extreme malnutrition to which, fortunately, most women in our society are not exposed.
It is true that many women are 'malnourished' (not malnourished), we do not eat a balanced diet and there is a high rate of overweight. All of this is bad for a nursing mother's health, just as it is for anyone else, but it is not bad for her milk or her baby.
If breastfeeding your baby is an extra motivation to take care of yourself and feed yourself better, go ahead. But without being overwhelmed: breast milk is the best, regardless of the mother's physical condition at all.
Many nursing mothers have noticed in their own meats as an event of great stress, fear, or worry has affected your milk supply.
When you are breastfeeding your baby and you are affected by some negative event: they give you bad news, you see shocking images on television or simply someone tells you something negative that affects you, you may notice that suddenly no more milk comes out, or much less comes out quantity, and the baby begins to suck much more forcefully or becomes angry and begins to cry.
The important thing about this is that it is something totally temporary: in a few minutes, when that first moment of stress or blockage passes, when you manage to relax a little, the milk comes out the same as before.
A woman I accompanied a few years ago told me how every time her mother-in-law told her, during the first postpartum days, that she had no milk and that is why the baby wanted to be at the breast all the time, the baby immediately released the breast and began to cry, which reaffirmed her mother-in-law's theory that no milk came from her breast.
However, simply going to another room made the baby latch on again and suck quietly. And of course there was milk, only that it stopped coming out at that precise moment of stress or overwhelm.
One of the most convincing evidence that shows that milk does not 'cut' forever no matter how stressed our lives are are women living in countries at war, or women who are involved in a terrorist attack or catastrophe natural. These women continue to breastfeed their babies, and in fact breastfed babies usually survive in these catastrophes, as there is no access to formula milk or drinking water and the only way to feed a baby is the breast.
So, we can have a moment of stress and somehow our entire body becomes paralyzed (you can't think clearly, sometimes you are also physically paralyzed, and your milk can also stop coming out) but in a few minutes somehow your body and your mind look for the exit, they try to adapt to survive, and you regain your 'sanity', you look for the way to act and your milk comes out again the same as before.
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