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Is it true that stress can cause breastmilk to dry up?

Stress won't reduce your milk supply. However, if you're feeling very stressed and it's interfering with how often you're feeding your baby, this may temporarily reduce your supply.

Having a new baby and trying to learn how to breastfeed can be stressful. In the early days both you and your baby are learning about breastfeeding. Try to take things one day at a time, as it can take a while for you both to get the hang of it.

Your breasts produce milk to match your baby's demands. So try to feed your baby as often and for as long as he wants to boost your supply. You could also try expressing your milk after each feed. Removing leftover milk in your breasts will help you to produce more milk. Also read our article on low milk supply for more help.

It could also be that you're struggling to get your baby latched on to your breast. If your baby isn't latching on well, he'll struggle to get enough of your milk. You may mistake this for a problem with your supply. Take a look at our visual guide to help you decide if your baby is latching on properly.

If you can, make things easier for yourself by asking your partner for support. During night feeds, your partner could help by passing your baby to you when he wakes for a feed, and burping and settling him afterwards. If your baby will take a bottle of expressed milk, your partner could share some feeds with you.

There's also plenty of expert help available. Ask your midwife or health visitor if she can recommend a breastfeeding specialist, or look at our directory of breastfeeding organisations.

You could also ask your health visitor if there's a breastfeeding support group near you. These groups are a great way to chat to other new mums and get advice on breastfeeding. Sharing and swapping experiences with other new mums will help you realise that you're not alone.

Be assured that when you and your baby are breastfeeding happily, you will feel much more relaxed. You'll then be able to enjoy the special time you and your baby can have together during his feeds.

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