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How Does Stress Negatively Impact Your Breastfeeding?
November 10th, 2015

How Does Stress Impact Breastfeeding?

Stress can affect your life- physically and emotionally. This is a common fact that most have experience first-hand. Stress can also affect your baby and family, whether it is through your behaviors, or even stress hormones released into your breast milk.

Cortisol is a hormone released by the body when someone is under stress, and can be transferred from mother to baby via breast milk. Studies show that Cortisol (which can be produced as a result of physical or emotional stress) was found in the breast milk of the stressed mothers, and affected the babies differently depending on their sex. The female babies showed negative behavioral changes, whereas the males did not.

Stress can also negatively affect your milk supply and psychological stress has actually been shown to decrease a mother’s breast milk supply. If your stressed about breastfeeding (such as feeling embarrassed to feed in public, anxious about your process, or if you are having pain due to breast feeding), consult a physician or your sources of social support for advice. Any cause of stress (it does not just have to be physical) can lower your milk supply.

If you are concerned about you milk supply, or your milk supply has decreased, you may want to consider using a breast pump to build it back up. Aeroflow Breastpumps offers a wide variety of breast pumps at competitive pricing and can even help you get a breast pump at little-to-no cost through your insurance.

Simply complete our Qualify Through Insurance form and let us take care of the rest. Once you submit your information, a Breastpump Specialist will promptly contact your insurance company, verify your coverage and network status, and be in touch with you within 3-5 business days to discuss your options.

It is also important to note that parental stress can affect a child even when cortisol is not passed from mother to baby via breast milk. Babies and children are incredibly tuned in with their parent’s emotional states, and can pick up on and react to stress easily. This may cause an issue for your baby with feeding, because if your child is not comfortable or can tell you are not, she may have issues latching, or relaxing during suckling. Try to de-stress by talking to family or friends, exercising, or meditating. Breast is best, so do not turn away from or give up on breast feeding without first consulting a physician.

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