The desire to breastfeed can be a bit of a catch twenty-two. If you want to breastfeed, but your milk supply might not be enough, this can cause you concern. But, as a million of well-intentioned people have probably already told you, worrying may be counter-intuitive and tax your body even more than it already has been. Whether your fears are based in a hypothetical future or a very real present, you might be surprised to learn about how stress can affect your milk supply. As it turns out, some of the stories and imparted wisdom your older relatives told you actually have a grain of truth to them.
Have you ever heard of that concept that if someone tells you to not think about cats, then you suddenly only think of cats? That's the best way I can think to describe the breastfeeding supply struggle, personally. Though I desperately wanted to defy the odds of my connective-tissue disorder, my son ended up having to find nourishment from a bottle instead. The intense pressure during that time was some of the worst stress I've ever experienced, and I was convinced it affected my milk supply, and the constant stress of not being able to directly breastfeed probably affected my supply even more. I'm sure I'm not the only who has been caught in this vicious cycle: worrying about one part of the breastfeeding process, then worrying that the stress is hurting my milk supply, and then worrying even more.
So if you're wondering about the effects of stress on your milk supply, check out what these experts had to say. It might inspire you to pick your battles and learn not to sweat the small stuff as much — anything for the sake of more breast milk, right?