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Old 03-14-2013, 09:01 PM   #1
Arghlita
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Can low supply be a genetic issue?

I'm due April 1 and haven't started nursing yet. I read about it a little each day because my mother had to discontinue nursing me around 6 months due to low supply. I really want to nurse for at least 6 months if not far longer, because I've read studies that show it will help delay or prevent Celiac disease for my son. (My mom doesn't have the disease, which came from my dad's side, so she had no immunities to pass on to me.)

Anyway, recently my mom sent me a journal that she wrote when I was an infant. Several of the entries talk about breastfeeding, including comments from my grandmother about me not getting enough milk, still being hungry etc. The most surprising thing, however, was my mother's mother apparently tried to breastfeed all nine of her children but couldn't do it for long due to low supply.

I'm of two minds. On the one hand, if they both had issues, could it just be poor genetics? I mean, if I know that going in I could be prepared. I know there are ways to boost supply. On the other hand, could it just be misinformed guidance from pediatricians not understanding the growth curve for breastfed babies?

Have any of you experienced having two or more generations try and fail with extended nursing?

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Old 03-14-2013, 09:30 PM   #2
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First of all i would stop worrying about what could happen . Stress will affect your production. Just focus on eating a healthy diet (of course getting your oatmeal and other milk helpers) and drinking LOTS!! Of water. Join a la leche league group now and start going to meetings. Take it one day at a time.
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:44 PM   #3
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Could be situations too. Like my eldest I was same with issues but seconds and this one now is ok 3rd.

Keep stress down and make sure you have minds set to make it enjoyable. Friendwas like new on first but second still bad supply issues. So she used an assister to help extend breastfeeding for her. If you knew someone with baby about the same time you forms ask them to pump for you too as I was thinking formy friend but they ended up not in need. LLL did a meeting on how to help extend breastfeeding and all. Try to make our on bonding not if you're supply is right or what noteven if you need help with donor milk or formula
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:22 PM   #4
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What I have heard in LLL and from my mother (a lactation consultant) is that most woman who quit do so because they feel they are not producing enough milk which usually is not true. If your baby has a growth spurt they will nurse more often and your body will readjust. Most woman at this point feel like the baby is nursing more because they aren't getting enough. Our bodies work on supply and demand so during a growth spurt they start demanding more an then your body will supply more. I say jut make sure you have good support and stay educated.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:11 AM   #5
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Re: Can low supply be a genetic issue?

The only way I would think it would be genetic is if you and your mom have insufficient gladular breast tissue or PCOS. I know both those conditions can make breastfeeding more challanging. I take meds for PCOS related low supply and have been nursing 11 months now my 4th baby.
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:28 AM   #6
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Re: Can low supply be a genetic issue?

I agree with others, don't stress about it! I had low supply with my first (which I think stress contributed to it), and with my second I had an overabundance of milk (and a lot less stress). It may be that your mother and grandmother didn't have the support of a knowledgeable doctor about breastfeeding. I know my mother didn't. Times have changed and I think there are many more resources and understanding of how breastfeeding is done and how to help with any issues. Good luck and congrats on the baby!
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Old 03-15-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: Can low supply be a genetic issue?

I think one of the main reasons mothers had "low supply" years ago was due to misinformation. Breastfeeding was not the norm for the past few generations so mothers had expectations based on what formula fed babies would eat. I know that in my mother's generation demand feeding was not encouraged so therefore supply would suffer. Also, babies and moms were separated at birth which affected early nursing.
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Old 03-15-2013, 09:05 AM   #8
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Re: Can low supply be a genetic issue?

Educate yourself before delivery. Find a good IBCLC before as well. It's always good to make a plan in advance. Know what's normal and what is not.

If you are breastfeeding to prevent celiac, you should be gluten free yourself. Gluten does not pass through breastmilk. Gliadin is the breakdown product of gluten and what we react to. That DOES pass through breast milk. Also avoid any formula if at all possible. 1 formula feed can forever change the gut flora of an infant.

Celiac is way under-diagnosed. Don't think it isn't in your family too. My YDD was diagnosed at 2 yrs 9 months. At that time we had no known family history. Since then, my mother, both sisters, mother in law, 2 of father in laws sisters, me, my sister in law and my sisters nearly 4 yr old have all been diagnosed. I also have several cousins on every side who have not had formal diagnosis of celiac, but have had issues resolved by going gluten free. There are also a couple family members with IBS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, and Juvenile Diabetes who refuse to be tested despite being informed of the link with Celiac disease. My DS2 is in a study to see if GF x 1 yr will prevent/delay onset of Celiac and I hope to enroll DS3 as soon as Dr. Fasano is settled in Boston.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:05 PM   #9
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Re: Can low supply be a genetic issue?

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Originally Posted by l_Kimmie_l View Post
The only way I would think it would be genetic is if you and your mom have insufficient gladular breast tissue or PCOS. I know both those conditions can make breastfeeding more challanging. I take meds for PCOS related low supply and have been nursing 11 months now my 4th baby.
My mom was never diagnosed with PCOS and I don't think they had that diagnosis when my grandmother was around. I was, but while I had enormous cysts on the ultrasound a few years ago, they have shrunk to the point of disappearing since. I also appear to have some extra ducts that aren't clustered with the rest of my nipple but still work? I guess we'll see after my son is born. Thanks for the good news though!
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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Re: Can low supply be a genetic issue?

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Originally Posted by mommaagain View Post
If you are breastfeeding to prevent celiac, you should be gluten free yourself. Gluten does not pass through breastmilk. Gliadin is the breakdown product of gluten and what we react to. That DOES pass through breast milk. Also avoid any formula if at all possible. 1 formula feed can forever change the gut flora of an infant.

Celiac is way under-diagnosed. Don't think it isn't in your family too.
I have been gluten free for 4 years now. I'm pretty sure I couldn't have conceived without help if not for cleaning that up, but it's one reason I'm super resistant to formula feeding my son. I'm glad to find someone who can understand because a lot of people just assume if you have it, your kids just *have* to have it and it doesn't matter what you do.

My dad's side had all of the symptoms I lived with before I knew, but they are too stubborn to do anything about it. My mom and dad went gluten free for about two years, but it had absolutely no benefits for her and then he gave up.

My mother's side of the family, on the other hand, is very medical and health oriented - one of my cousins runs a gluten free bakery because her husband and their children are highly reactive. As a result, much of my mom's side of the family has been tested and they are all negative so far. It's important in that the study I read on preventing Celiac indicates that breastfeeding for prevention only works if the mother has the immunological factors, which my mom did not.

Of course it's just one study, but I'm crossing my fingers because I would love to be able to spare my kids the allergy - at least until they're a bit older. I've read that the earlier the allergy symptoms come on, the rougher it is over all.
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