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Can My Mood Affect My Milk Supply?

baby crying breastfeeding

It’s very common that during your breastfeeding journey you will go through nervous, anxious or
stressful times.

One of the most common question that I am asked is “Is my milk supply drying up?” and my answer is
always “No, it’s not going to dry up, but it’s true that your milk supply can decrease.”

Let me explain exactly how this works. Stress is your breastmilk supplies’ worst enemy, especially in
the first few weeks after delivering your baby. When we are stressed, the body generates a hormone
called Cortisol (known as the stress hormone) that inhibits the production of Oxytocin (let-down reflex
hormone). These two hormones balance each other out and when one is up the other one is down
and vice versa.

Without high levels of oxytocin, it’s harder to breastfeed because this particular hormone stimulates
the milk reflex, causing the muscles around the milk-making glands in your breast to contract.
As challenging as it can be during pregnancy, this is why it is so important to be as relaxed as
possible. It’s scientifically proven that the release of oxytocin while you’re breastfeeding will make
you feel sleepy and relaxed, demonstrating that breastfeeding itself should be a relaxing process,
having a positive impact on your body. Some studies even go as far as stating that in situations of
stress and anxiety, breastfeeding mothers have less cortisol detected in their body than non-
breastfeeding mothers.

To conclude, even knowing that breastfeeding sometimes is hard, I would recommend to try to
continue breastfeeding, for both you and your baby. Breastfeeding is not just feeding your baby, it is
also bonding with your baby and it will potentially help you to overcome levels of stress and anxiety.

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