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15 Things That Will Destroy Mom's Ability To Breastfeed

When mom's baby arrives, she may become overjoyed and filled with a love that she never experienced before. The mom may be looking for the perfect way to bond with her newborn baby and breastfeeding would be the perfect opportunity. Mom's have been breastfeeding their babies since the dawn of time. Before bottles and formula, moms only had one real way to feed their little ones, and that was to breastfeed.

Some moms know right away that their ideal way to feed their baby is to breastfeed because of some of the amazing benefits that it could provide for their babies such as being in better health because of the antibodies in mom's milk that help fend off bacteria and infections. Breastfeeding has also been linked to the baby having a higher IQ when they get older.

Occasionally, mom’s are unable to breastfeed their child due to a low supply of breast milk, or other issues such as certain infections that can be passed on to the baby through mom's milk. There are so many things that moms may not be aware of that could destroy their ability to breastfeed. There are even certain herbs and spices that could reduce mom's milk supply making it impossible to feed their baby. Even something as simple as mom drinking too much caffeine could cause issues. Here is a list of things that could destroy moms ability to breastfeed their new baby.

15 Cooking With Seasoning

If a mom is fond of using Italian seasoning or even just plain old sage, it is not recommended if they are breastfeeding as it could reduce their breastmilk supply. It has something to do with the natural estrogen in the sage leaves. If a mom has an issue with an overproduction of breast milk, they can drink a cup of sage tea to greatly reduce their milk supply. Even moms that decided against breastfeeding can drink a cup of this tea to get rid of lactation quicker after giving birth.

Moms could be using sage and decreasing their milk supply and not even realize it until it is already too late. By the time they realize it’s the sage, their supply could already be destroyed beyond repair.

14 Eating Peppermint

Many moms may be destroying their breast milk supply without even realizing that they are doing so, and it could all be due to mom's favorite peppermint candy. Yes, you read right. Peppermint oil has been linked to lowering breast milk production in nursing mothers. This includes candy canes, Altoids, and other peppermint candies. While some moms noticed no difference in their milk supply when using peppermint, others noticed a difference in their supply right away.

For those moms who are sensitive to peppermint when it comes to their breast milk, they should avoid it altogether until they are ready to start weaning their baby off of breast milk and into solid foods. Funny enough, peppermint can be used as a natural relief for sore nips.

13 Is There Blood?

If a new mom had lost a significant amount of blood during labor and delivery (up to 500 cc for vaginal and 1000 cc for c-section), then she may have issues with low breast milk production and, on effect, problems nursing the baby. It is a little-known fact that postpartum hemorrhaging can cause issues with decreased milk supply. This is because due to the blood loss, mom's blood pressure may have dropped very low causing the blood not to circulate to the pituitary, or the hormone where the milk is created, properly.

Mom's who have had postpartum hemorrhaging during delivery also need to be monitored for anemia, which also happens to be another risk factor for low breast milk production.

12 Using Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is believed to help soothe anxiety, sleeplessness, and restlessness. It can be very beneficial to mom’s for these useful properties; however, it can also lower mom’s milk supply and make it hard to nurse her baby. Mom’s could be using Lemon Balm for the benefits and destroying their milk supply without even realizing it until well after the fact when it’s already too late and their baby has already stopped feeding. Nursing moms have to be careful with everything that they put into their body.

Every mom could use something that helps relieve anxiety now and then, actually, everyone could use something that relieves anxiety, but until mom is ready to wean her baby, she should try alternative anxiety relief methods. Then, when her baby is off the girls, switch back to the Lemon Balm is she finds that is what worked best for her.

11 Taking The Pill

Moms who breastfeed and are using birth control containing estrogen need to be cautious because it has been linked to decreased breast milk production in nursing mothers and early weaning. Not all moms will experience low breast milk from estrogen birth control, however, many do. There are better methods of birth control for mothers who are currently breastfeeding a little one such as a progesterone only method.

There still has been some reports of progesterone only birth control where it still hindered the mother's ability to breastfeed her baby. However, there are less reported cases of this than with the estrogen containing birth control. Estrogen and progesterone are pregnancy produced hormones, which birth control trick a woman's body into thinking it's already pregnant, in a sense, to refrain from getting pregnant again.

10 Vitamins Aren't Always Good

Mom's that are breastfeeding little ones should limit how much vitamin B6 they take into their system. High levels of the vitamin have been linked to a decrease in breast milk production in nursing moms. The recommended daily allowance for B6 is only 1.3 milligrams for women between the ages of 19-50. Mom's that want to decrease their milk supply has been known to give vitamin B6 a try, and it has gotten mixed reviews. Some mom's swear by it while others find it a waste of time.

So, moms that want to keep the girls in fresh supply for their baby without having to worry should proceed with caution anyway. It's always better to be safe than sorry until mom is fully ready to wean her baby off of breast milk.

9 Not Enough Thyroid Hormone

Doctor examining glands of female patient --- Image by © Jose Luis Pelaez, Inc./Blend Images/Corbis

Hypothyroidism, or low thyroid, can cause a mother to have a low supply of breast milk. Some mothers may have a thyroid disorder and not even know it. Some of the symptoms are fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, and even anxiety. These symptoms could be confused with a common cold or anything else. Low thyroid can be treated with medication, even while pregnant. There is something called postpartum thyroiditis, and it can occur a year after a mom has given birth to her child.

Since mom's immune system is weakened while she is carrying her baby, to keep her body from attacking it once the baby is born her immune system will start to go back to normal and when that happens is when the mom could develop thyroiditis.

8 There's A Bun In The Oven

Nursing mom’s who become pregnant again, run a big risk of their milk production decreasing which can cause issues when it comes to feeding their baby. The moms may be forced into early weaning. As progesterone levels increase, the hormone prolactin that is in charge of milk production is stifled. Mom’s that wish to continue breastfeeding should use birth control when doing the deed to ensure that they do not become pregnant again until they are ready to wean their baby from the girls.

The best methods of birth control for mom’s to use, if they want to use hormonal birth control, is progesterone birth control and not estrogen. When breastfeeding the only sure method to make sure that they are not messing with the milk production from the girls would be to use condoms since that would not affect mom’s hormones anyway.

7 Having A Glass Or Two

While a glass of beer is actually beneficial for nursing mom’s due to the barley in it since it helps promote lactation. Alcohol, on the other hand, does the complete opposite. It can actually hinder a woman’s breast milk production, making it hard to breastfeed her baby. Within four hours of their mother’s consuming a beer, baby’s have been shown to drink much less milk than what is considered normal for them. Alcohol is at equal levels in breast milk and blood and passes from mother to baby through breastmilk.

It is never a good idea to consume a large amount of alcohol and then breastfeed a baby because of passing on the alcohol. Baby’s cannot tolerate the same amounts adults can due to their tiny bodies and livers. Mom’s who are heavy or daily drinkers are advised against breastfeeding.

6 Uncontrolled Stress

mother breastfeeds and looks the other son

A problem for any new mom, whether their new baby is their first, second, third or fifth, is feeling stressed out. Most moms come to expect that they will feel stressed, but what is not expected is that stress can reduce a mom’s milk production making it harder for her baby feed. While breastfeeding can actually relax a mom and nursing baby due to the oxytocin, if a mom is stressed she could be producing less oxytocin which would, in turn, lessen her milk supply.

Since stress is one of those things that is something that is easily treatable and only temporary, mom would be able to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or even counting to ten. In doing, she can bring down her stress levels and, hopefully, stop any negative effects on her breastmilk.

5 Not Getting Enough Calories

Moms who breastfeed need to maintain a certain amount of daily calories. So not eating enough can absolutely destroy their ability to breastfeed their baby. Nursing moms should not be consuming less than 1,800 calories a day minimum if they want to keep their milk production regular. It's understandable that after having a baby moms would want to drop some pounds, but while nursing the best way to do that is by increasing physical activity and not by cutting back calories.

It's also important for moms to watch what they are eating by choosing healthy meal options. If a mom is concerned about her weight but eating fast food regularly, it is only doing more harm than good. So, cutting calories would be pointless any how. So, moms if dropping pounds and breastfeeding are both desirable, then get plenty of exercises and remember to eat healthily!

4 What's In The Medicine Cabinet?

Cold and allergy season can be challenging for moms that breastfeed because certain medications that contain the active ingredient pseudoephedrine could destroy moms ability to breastfeed. This is due to the fact that pseudoephedrine can actually decrease mom's milk supply, which a lot of new moms may not realize until the girls are not producing enough milk. Depending on how long mom is sick and taking the medication containing pseudoephedrine will determine how long the girls are out of commission for and if irreversible damage has been done.

The longer that mom is unable to breastfeed due to a low supply of breast milk, the higher the risk of the girls drying up. It's not very likely to happen, but anything is possible over extended periods of time. The mom would either have to be taking a daily allergy medicine with this ingredient or taking a cold medicine containing it for longer than needed. So, moms, the lesson here is always to make sure to check what medications are milk production safe.

3 Taking Puffs

Mom’s who smoke could be destroying their ability to breastfeed their baby. Smoking has been linked to a low supply of milk and early weaning in women who currently breastfeed. The heavier of a smoker that the mom is, the greater the chances of her milk production being destroyed, especially if the mom smokes more than 20-30 cigarettes a day. Not to mention, nicotine is also passed from mother to baby through breastmilk.

On certain occasions, it has also been shown that babies who have been exposed to breast milk of mom’s who are smokers that the babies also showed symptoms of diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and even abdominal cramps. So, therefore, smoking does not only affect the mother’s health but her baby’s health as well.

2 Cysts On The Ovaries

PCOS is a condition that is becoming more and more common in women. It is when there are cysts all over a woman’s ovaries, and it causes hormonal imbalances, facial hair growth, infertility, and a few other things. Women with PCOS have lower than usual glandular tissue inside their breasts which affects the way a woman’s breasts work and the way they look as well.

Some women with PCOS have mostly fatty tissue inside their breasts instead of the glandular tissue. The lack of glandular tissue can cause a mom to have a low supply of breast milk. Doctor’s are not 100% sure what causes the low milk supply when it comes to PCOS, but they believe that it has something to do with the hormone levels.

1 Ignoring The Warning Signs

Ignoring health is never a good thing for anyone to do, especially for moms who are breastfeeding. It has been shown that colds and infections can hinder a mom’s ability to breastfeed because it can lower a mom’s milk supply while she is sick. If she is unable to breastfeed while she is sick due to the lowered supply, she runs the risk of staying low depending on the length of the cold or infection since she is not having her milk being used.

This is why it is very important for moms to stay on top of their health and make sure that they are eating at least three healthy meals a day, getting plenty of physical activity every day, and getting enough rest. Not only do mom’s need to maintain their health for themselves but also for their baby.

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