Breastfeeding Milk Production Iga Stress Pregnant

Stress is associated with all of us, no matter who we are or what we do, and almost anything that happens in our lives can trigger stress. And when we are under stress, the body reacts to protect us; it activates the body’s endocrine (hormone) system, which in turn can cause changes in the immune system, the body’s defense against infection and disease (including cancer).

Stress causes problems to us even when we are healthy, but if you are a pregnant mother, or a mother who is breastfeeding, then you should take a higher caution to control your stress level.

But let’s talk about breastfeeding, highly recognized as the best and most natural method to feed the baby as breast milk provides the baby with numerous nourishment and protections from diseases (with exceptions where the mother is taking drugs or are infected with serious illness like HIV).

On a positive note, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) collected evidences that show that breast-feeding mothers produce lower level of stress response hormones, though that is not to say breast-feeding mothers have nothing to worry about. Ultimately, as a new mother to a demanding baby (as most baby is demanding), stress will find its way back into your body, especially during the first few months. The question is, how much of it can affect the milk productions and thus, to the baby?

In science, there are instances where stress and fatigue causes sudden decrease in a woman’s milk production as well, although it was not certain if the reasons are purely hormonal. Researchers also found an inverse relationship between the level of Secretion IgA with the amount of milk produced. Secretion IgA is an antibody that play a critical role in mucosal immunity and is found in secretion in specific forms. The researches show that the level of secretion IgA decreases as the amount of breast milk increases. This would mean part of immunity contained in the milk has decreased, and therefore decreased the quality of the milk. (Quality of milk will also decreased with the consumption of unhealthy food or smoking of cigarettes by the mother.)

Psychologically, our thoughts and state of mind can affect out bodies greatly. Stress, anxiety and fatigue may adversely affect and even stop the production of milk. Just as our salivary glands will begin to secrete saliva when we think about delicious food, our imagery or worries about not being able to produce milk for the baby will possibly halt the milk producing gland too.

As the baby feeds and gains nutritions and emotions from the mother during the time in the womb, it does the same thing even after birth. The bonding between the mother and the baby is most likely why the stress that a mother experiences may pass on the baby during breastfeeding, the same way a pregnant woman will find that her unborn baby will be upset when she is stressed. So breastfeeding mothers should take precautions to reduce their stress level; it will good for both mother and child.