Musings on low milk supply

I don't know if you've noticed any difference, but you can now access this site at www.askmoxie.org thanks to a wonderful reader who fixed that for me. The moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie URL will also still work, and all the archives are in the same place. If anyone needs a great web design person in Toronto, let me know and I'll hook you up.

Infant Hib vaccine recall in the US.

Can we talk a little more about low breastmilk supply? I have a theory, and I'd love to run it past you to see if it makes sense. I think that the conventional wisdom that very few women have low supply was probably true back before WWII. But that our environment and the way we have babies now has changed our bodies so that low milk supply is more common.

Apparently, when you breastfeed a baby, the milk-producing cells in your breasts multiply and increase their output. So you'll have more milk for subsequent babies. Also, I've heard from an LC that girls who breastfeed develop more milk-producing cells later on than girls who don't, because the act of nursing somehow stimulates the production later on. So I'm wondering if the reverse is true, that those couple of generations who were told to use formula caused us to lose some of the capacity to make milk that our ancestors had 4-5 generations ago.

At the same time, we have so many toxins in our environment now, especially plastics, that we know are messing around with our bodies. There's definitely a link between plastics and hormonal problems that may cause PCOS and infertility, so it seems like that could cause low supply, too.

And at the same that all that's been happening, the way we give birth has changed so much over the last 100 years. There was a whole generation that was basically knocked out cold during delivery, but they didn't breastfeed, so we don't know how that would have affected milk supply. Now, almost every woman is given pitocin and IV fluids, at the least. We know IV fluids cause edema of the breasts in some cases, and edema delays or reduces milk production. (Again, conventional wisdom is that your milk comes in by day 3, but I know dozens of women who didn't get any until day 5 or later after a labor involving IV fluids.)

It seems to me that this might have created/be creating a perfect storm of low production for a higher percentage of women than "should" have low production.

Any thoughts on this? Do you think I'm way off, partially on the mark, forgetting something? Any other theories?