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'tiredness and exhaustion will dry up your milk supply'

(16 Posts)
stottiecake Mon 05-Sep-11 14:02:51

is this true?

my mil said to dh this week that the quality of breastmilk is affected by tiredness and then this morning I caught a moment of the baby whisperer programme and ms hogg said about exhaustion drying up your milk.

now i'm inclined to think it's a complete load of bolleaux. I can't imagine the human race getting this far if tiredness (of the normal new mum variety) had such a drastic effect on breast milk.

I have a 7 week old and am tired but he is maintainig his centile - now over 13lbs and my 2.9 yr old did very well on my milk for 2.3 years (not exclusively ha ha) and even after a traumatic arrival and blood loss for me.

Anyone know? I'm a bit sensitive about rubbish spouted about bf-ing as have heard a lot of it over the years and had I acted on it could have really messed things up!

sorry. And TIA!

shuckleberryfinn Mon 05-Sep-11 14:08:11

that and "are you eating enough?" seriously? not very likely is it?

WoTmania Mon 05-Sep-11 14:23:55

No, it doesn't. You are quite right that is bollocks. Chyeck out Kellymom for more info but women BF through all sorts without their milk being affected. If tiredness did it then very very few mothers would be able to BF adequately.

MedicalEd Mon 05-Sep-11 15:39:33

Your body is designed to ensure the needs of the baby are met first, then you get the left-overs!
The idea that the 'quality' of breastmilk is altered by tiredness, diet, ect is not backed up by research.

naturalbaby Mon 05-Sep-11 15:44:14

i'm getting comments the other way round - bf is making me tired and exhausted. if it's being said to try and get you to supplement with formula then you have a healthy baby's growth chart to show them. otherwise turn it round and get them to come do some more housework for you so you can get a well earned rest!

RitaMorgan Mon 05-Sep-11 16:44:15

If the sole food source of a newborn baby really relied on the mother not being tired - then there's a massive evolutionary design flaw there somewhere grin

Being tired and not eating properly, plus using calories on making milk, will make you feel like shit but won't affect the baby.

Yesmynameis Mon 05-Sep-11 18:58:36

From what I have read and understand, bf is a pretty robust process, largely unaffected by maternal diet, tiredness etc etc.

However, I believe there is some truth that severe stress can cause your milk supply to fail or cause problems with let down. So I guess, if tiredness is a contributing factor to stress... maybe there is some truth in that?

I would be interested to know, if anyone has a definative answer.

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 05-Sep-11 19:08:01

No, 'tis bollocks. Tiredness will make you more likely to pick up every bug going and potentially make you over-sensitive to the emotional side of breastfeeding, though.

stottiecake Mon 05-Sep-11 22:33:08

Thanks I thought so but I just wanted to check!

It's true I am a bit over sensitive but I just wanted to feel confident that what I thought is right if the issue is raised again!!

HerdOfTinyElephants Mon 05-Sep-11 22:54:03

No, I didn't mean you were over-sensitive!

I was thinking more of myself when DS was about six weeks old, and barely slept, and I'd had whooping cough so when he did sleep I was keeping myself awake coughing so couldn't catch up on sleep, and he had whooping cough so we'd spent several days in hospital with the machines beeping all night, and he threw up most feeds so would be hungry again, and DH was working away and I was So. Incredibly. Tired. And then on top of that DS went through some kind of growth spurt where he was pretty much literally bf 24/7 and I was in tears most evenings at the sheer unremitting nature of it. I know my mother thought I might have PND, but it was just exhaustion. Once DS started napping properly and I started to be able to get more sleep things were fine. I've subsequently been through similar feeding-all-the-bloody-time phases with DD1 and DD2, but without the background exhaustion levels it was sooooooo much easier to cope with.

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Tue 06-Sep-11 03:38:58

listening to the baby whisperer will dry up your milk supply.

stottiecake Tue 06-Sep-11 22:02:49

That sounds horrendous HerdOfTinyElephants sad Ds1 used to feed all the time too. He had tongue-tie and no one was able to help me despite several drs appointments. Ds1 was never happy unless feeding or asleep on my lap or doing both!! He cried in his sling, he cried in his pram, he cried when I turned my back on him to get a nappy. Dh was out of the house for 12 hours a day and we lived in London while all our friends and family were in Yorkshire. I started co-sleeping with him when he was 4mo. We got through it though despite being advised to give him hungry baby milk etc. He is a big strapping toddler now and really confident so nyah to everyone who told me he would still be sitting on my lap when he is 15 and that I was making a rod for myself.

Ds2 must be cluster feeding but he is so laid back compared to ds1 I am not finding it such hard work.

Moon grin she said that in order to successfully breastfeed you needed lots of water, nutritious food, a good pump and her!! Haha! I managed alone with a large bar of dairy milk and the occasional cuppa tea. grin

Moulesfrites Tue 06-Sep-11 22:11:34

People say weird things. When my ds was a few weeks old and I had come out of the whole "sitting round crying in my pyjamas all day" stage, I started to get out and about a lot more and my PILS told me I was "too active" and that my milk wouldn't be "rich enough" for my ebf ds, who has continued to track the 91st centile hmm.

me, active? muhahahaha

stottiecake Tue 06-Sep-11 22:34:56

eh? It is very weird. I cannot figure out the logic of that one.

The weirdest thing I ever heard came from a dr I saw about ds1's tongue-tie. She told me that his tongue-tie could not possibly be affecting bf-ing as babies do not stick their tongues out and lap the milk up like kittens. I was open mouthed. She was a 50 something NHS GP. What???

TeddyRuxpin Tue 06-Sep-11 22:48:17

Not true for all the reasons people have already said.
There's a lot of old wives tales about BF that have no factual basis.
Another one I heard was that your milk can turn to water-now if that was true it really would be a miracle of nature.

BaronessBomburst Wed 07-Sep-11 00:08:23

My mother is forever giving me the benefit of her experience. She insists that I haven't drunk enough fluid, that I need more protein, and ought to eat a yoghurt to get my calcium up etc. My brother and I were both FF. grin

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