Milk Supply in Plus-Size Moms

Breastfeeding 2Health care providers have known for a while that plus-size moms tend to be less successful at breastfeeding than smaller women, and women who have PCOS may also have difficulty relating to that disorder. Recent studies have shown there is a biological reason for low milk supply in plus-size moms. Plus-size moms produce less prolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk supply. The good news though is that prolactin is not as important for milk supply after the first seven days. You might find you have a rocky start to nursing, but if you can hang in there, you have a greater chance of success. That first week is hard enough, even for those moms with good milk supply. The key to surviving is to have a good lactation consultant. You should see one in the hospital and your pediatrician’s office should also have one on staff. Meet with her, talk to her, and get advice from her. She’s worked with lots of other plus-sized moms and may have some suggestions of solutions you haven’t thought of. Don’t give up without getting some help first.

Increased weight gain during pregnancy has been linked to lower milk supply in average size women, so plus-size moms who gain more than the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy may also suffer from this effect.