Hormones and Breastfeeding: News

14 Jan

For women who struggle to breastfeed because of low milk supply, a new study suggests that there is little you can do to change that, and that your baby is probably not going to experience a significant disadvantage as a result.

According to Sven Carlsen, Norwegian researcher (who has done research on PCOS as well, including on Metformin), there is a link between high testosterone during pregnancy and lower rates of breastfeeding at 3 and 6 months.

Carlsen’s argument is that many of the benefits usually ascribed to breastfeeding actually come from the hormones that the baby gets in the womb, not from the breastfeeding afterward. To me, this is hardly reassuring, as the suggestion is that your baby has ALREADY missed out on these benefits by birth if you are one of these mothers with higher testosterone and more trouble nursing.  But it does reinforce the fact that you should not feel guilty if you are one of those moms.

Here’s a link to an article about the study by the BBC:

Hormones “govern ability to breastfeed”

For my money, breastfeeding is still fabulous. But I do think that moms who can’t breastfeed–or who, like me, nurse but only provide a small amount of their children’s nutrition–should not feel guilty or consider themselves failures!


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