Breastfeeding while natural it is a learned skill.
Every mother-baby dyad is different, and often mothers may encounter challenges in the early days.
Breastfeeding, should be enjoyable, and pain free, before, during and after a breastfeed. Pain or discomfort is a sign that something it not quite right. Often it can be just a minor change to the way a mother attaches a baby to the breast. Sometimes mothers do encounter problems with a subsequent child that they may have not had with the previous baby. It is essential to seek out assistance earlier rather than later, the longer the problem continues the more uncomfortable and anxious the mother will feel, and will often lead to her ceasing breastfeeding before she really wants to.
I love this quote from one of my Colleagues (Gloria Dudley IBCLC)
........“If breastfeeding was painful the human race would have been a short
Only a small handful of women are physically unable to breastfeed their baby post birth. This is generally due to a condition called Breast Hypoplasia (when a woman has insufficient glandular tissue).
Some women may also have issues providing enough breastmilk for their baby, and struggle with supply issues, some of causes are often due to breast reduction surgery, polycystic ovary syndrome or thyroid problems.
How is Breastfeeding Initiated?
During pregnancy and early in the fourth trimester the endocrine system controls a mother’s milk supply, when the body’s production of progesterone is high.
This stage of lactation is referred to as Lactogenesis I. Around 30-40 hours following the expulsion of the placenta the body switches to the autocrine control system and the levels of progesterone drop, this stage of Lactation is referred to as Lactogenesis II.
If there is a delay between the two stages this can cause a mother’s milk
supply to take longer to come in, and often leads to a cessation of breastfeeding, earlier than intended.
So what causes some of these delays between Stage I and II?
From a 2010 study “Delayed onset of lactogenesis among first-time mothers is related to maternal obesity and factors associated with ineffective breastfeeding” published by “American Society for Nutrition” some of the causes include:
- Caesarean birth
- Prolonged second stage of labour
- Higher birth weight (>3600kg)
- Lower apgar score (<8)
- Maternal age (>30years)
- Overweight Mother (BMI 25-29)
- Maternal Obesity (BMI >30)
- Maternal Diabetes
- Premature birth
- Over use of medications during labour
And these are just to name a few! Watch out for our follow up article on how some of these can be prevented.....
Article : Delayed onset of lactogenesis among first-time mothers is related to maternal obesity and factors associated with ineffective breastfeeding