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Can placenta related issues affect breastfeeding?

Placenta links the maternal system to fetal system. Thus it provides the required nourishment to the growing baby in the uterus. If the placental functioning is compromised due to any reason, the baby fails to grow well within the uterus. To adapt and sustain in a compromised environment , the baby starts to bring about certain changes in its body system , and this may alter the hormonal status in the mother, which can have an effect on the lactating breast.

Thus any placenta related issues during pregnancy , result in SGA (small for gestational age ) babies. These babies have low birth weight and also continue to grow at a slower rate in infancy. A recent study in Australia has showed that these mothers have decreased quantity and compromised quality of breast milk as well. So the percentage of fats, proteins and carbohydrates in their breast milk are reduced.

Can placenta related issues affect breastfeeding

Normally, human milk contains 5% fats, but this provides almost 50% of total energy required by the baby.Thus if the fat content of the breast milk ,as well as its overall quantity is reduced, the newborn will exhibit poor weight gain. Attempts to increase the quantity of breast milk using galactagogues may not help. Thus, these mothers then unwillingly have to use formula . But still these babies grow at a slower pace. This is very disheartening for the new mom.

Although many more detailed studies are still required for us to understand this issue in a depth, I believe its better for women to take good care of their health , before and after getting pregnant, to ensure successful breastfeeding later. A holistic approach with a good diet, exercise regime, relaxation and meditation should be followed by all women wanting to be mothers.

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