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Ep. 181- Bone Density and Breastfeeding

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*We apologize for any typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar. Our transcript is auto-generated by software that’s trying its best, just like all of us.*

Welcome to the Milk Minute podcast everyone. Hey everybody. We’re gonna talk about bones today. Does breastfeeding make my teeth fall out because it sucks all the calcium out of my body? Yeah, does it does it cause your back pain? Let’s talk about it. Did my grandma’s femur snap in half when she got out of bed in the morning because she breastfed 12 kids?

Yeah, maybe but before we get into that. We have questions, we have patrons, and I want to show you my new tattoo. In what order? Can I see the tattoo first? Yeah, yeah, look. There it is. Boop. Hold on, I can’t talk into the microphone and do this at the same time. Okay, talk after.

Isn’t the slug so cute? Okay, what kind of mushroom is that? Chanterelles. Okay, so Maureen has two beautiful chanterelle mushrooms on her shin with a happy snail sitting on top of one of them. It’s smiling at me. Yeah, so I, so the mushrooms are part of the tattoo artist’s flash. This is from Black Possum Inc.

in White Sulphur Springs. So go support her. And I was like, can you add a little slug on top because they’re cute. And also they eat all the mushrooms that I’m trying to get. And she was like, okay. And she drew two. And she was like, this one’s just kind of like a normal one eating the mushroom. And this one’s a happy slug.

And I was like, obviously we’re going with that. It’s like smiling. I’ve never met a happy slug, but it looks. It made me happy to look at it. So yes, good job. Good placement. I know. Well, I have my little snake and plants and mushrooms next to it. And so my plan is to just ring the whole leg with like, little plants and mushrooms and happy tiny animals.

Like a little salamander, maybe a little frog. Don’t get any like, Connecting grass though, because then it’ll just make you look like you got a hairy ankle. No, I don’t think any grass will be part of it. That is a really funny. Good. That would be really noted. Yeah. But just in case anyone’s in West Virginia or willing to travel well worth it to go to that studio.

She’s super kind. She does professional hand poke tattoos and it was not very painful. It’s really beautiful. And it was super fun. And you can find her tattoo on Instagram. Yeah, yeah, Black Possum Ink, you can find her. No, you. Oh, me. Yeah, we’ll put my tattoo on Instagram. We will. And then you tag her. I think that’s how Instagram works.

You’ll find both. Anyway it’s not like crusty and scabby yet either. So it’s still cute. Nice. Yeah, but you know, that has nothing to do with bones. How you doing, Heather? Oh, you know, I’m pregnant. I’m good. Still pregnant. We’re a term though, which is exciting and I don’t know. I’m just spending my days trying to wind down.

What? Yeah, right. Yeah, that was a cute thought. Trying to, I’m basically trying to be that slug on the top of your mushroom. And that’s not happening yet. But we’ll get there. You know, there’s a lot of things that have happened in my home. Like we Installed new smoke detectors with carbon monoxide things in them.

Wow, that’s something no one ever remembers to do. Well, it was time because we had one left that was functional and questionably functional. Yeah, did it start beeping on you? It started beeping. So I was like, you know what, we just need to spend the hundred dollars to get all these. Yeah. That will make me feel better.

Because we also have a fireplace that’s broken that I’m, you know. Yeah, I know. I mean, it’s a smart idea. We, we have some carbon monoxide detectors, but never actually put them up, but they’re on, but they’re like on high shelves in place, which is just like, it’s a little, well, we had, we had this one that came with our house that plugged into the outlet and Heidi would not leave it alone when she was a kid, isn’t it?

Yeah. Well, it has a battery. Also, so we wouldn’t know that she would’ve unplugged it and put it on the floor, and then at 2 A. M. Beep beep beep beep beep beep! I’d be like, Oh my God she ripped it out of the wall again! God… So, it’s time it’s time for an upgrade where we put them on the ceiling, where children can’t access them.

We used to have the plug in ones, too, and the Griffon… The thing is, like, Griffon and Ivan both would like… kick that one in the hallway as they went. So it like sticks out from the hall. So here’s your public service announcement. If you are one of those people like me who does not keep up on that kind of stuff.

Why don’t you spend 10 minutes on the weekend getting all of your smoke detector batteries at least changed and carbon monoxide situation figured out. The baby that I’m about to birth, closet is finally done, got the room done. So I mismeasured like crazy. Isn’t that great? And so fun. To make a very long story short, there was discussion of going up in the rafters to see which way the two by fours ran.

Cause maybe we could cut the ceiling out of the closet to fit it in. It was. But we figured it out. I had to do an entire closet remodeled to do it. So it kind of defeated the purpose of saving the money to patch together an IKEA system. It is what it is now, you know? But it’s done. It took three weekends.

I was pulling my hair out, but none of that shit matters. It doesn’t. And you didn’t need it to have a baby, but it does help you feel better. It brings me so much joy to look in that closet and be like, drawers! So that’s just it. I am the happy slug. But also moving very quickly, and what is time?

Leaving a slimy trail behind. And I’m leaving my own snail trail behind everywhere I go. Changing my underwear four times a day. Yeah, let me know if that mucus plug comes out, you know. Oh. That’s your little slug. Ew. They do look like slugs. They don’t look happy though. No. I remember somebody, one of the last times that It came out and someone was like, I don’t know what it was.

And they were having trouble describing it. And I was like, is it by any chance, like your vagina hocked a loogie? like that, that it is. Yeah, I that is. That’s good. So much about pregnancy is disgusting. And then people congratulate it like, oh, that’s awesome. Oh, you’re feeling pain. Oh, that’s great. I feel like it’s one of the few professions where we just get more and more excited, the grosser it gets.

Oh, well. You know, where in labor, I’m like, Oh, you’ve got mucus coming out. Good. Oh, you pooped. Oh, you peed. Oh, you’re throwing up. Hooray! Hooray! Huzzah, friend! Good for you! Yeah. So we’re almost there. It could be tonight. Who knows? It could be. Yeah. Just please call me before I get all the way home. That would be so like me to wait till you got all the way home to Elkins and then call you and be like, drive all the way back.

It’s happened. I seriously, I’ve had people’s 37 week visits or 38 week or something. You know, I drive. All the way home, literally just get in bed and they call me and they’re like, actually, I’m in labor now. And I’m like, fucking congratulations. Well, if you’d like, if you are waiting with bated breath on the edge of your seat, you should join our Patreon so you can access Beyond the Boob, our podcast that tracks my birth.

My pregnancy and my birth week by week, so they’re going to be the first people that know when the baby comes out and, you know, get probably the pictures of my mucus plug and whatever the hell else. They’ll get the full birth story and all the postpartum details. Yep. So you can pop on over to Patreon.

com slash Milk Minute Podcast to join that or subscribe on Apple. Speaking of which, we have some patrons to thank. So thank you, Jacqueline and Maya, they’re our two newest patrons, and we are super, super thankful for y’all, you know, you’re just, we’re, we’re, we’re like so pleased with how our Patreon has grown.

It’s incredible. Yeah, I actually feel bad because we’re getting so many good comments and emails and I’m like, I gotta keep up. We are reading them. We are just not processing them all to get. But we are reading them! Let me get this baby out, you guys. I’m gonna do a much better job. The last couple messages I’ve gotten on like Patreon and the email, I’m like, Sorry it’s a week late.

Heather and I are not functioning. Here’s your advice. We love you. Bye. Love you. Bye. Yes. Yes. Okay. Let’s see. We also have a question from Molly Edwards from our Facebook group. Molly says, I have a 20 month old who is breastfeeding twice a day for a few minutes each time, and that is working well for us right now.

But I’m eight weeks pregnant. I would like to be done breastfeeding by sometime in the second trimester, so she has a few months of not breastfeeding before she sees another baby doing it. I have heard so many people talk about supply dropping in early pregnancy, and I was hoping she would lose interest as my supply dropped, and we would stop mostly on her terms.

Mine might have dropped a little, but she is still a baby. Still able to get milk and is still interested. When does supply normally drop in pregnancy? Does it happen for most people? Thank you. Okay. So. Yes, most people experience some degree of supply drop in the first trimester, and then the other big change is in the second trimester early in the second trimester we have milk switching to colostrum, which is another time that a lot of toddlers kind of naturally wean because they’re like this doesn’t taste the same.

Usually like 18, by 18 weeks we’re definitely seeing some saltier, different milk and the kids kind of Low volume. Yeah, the kids look at you like, what is this? Yeah, and it’s not a guarantee that that works to deter your child. So, you know, you have basically a two year old. They have really pretty impressive, like, Language processing at this age.

So, I would definitely talk to your kid about it. And you could just hype it up. You can be like, oh my gosh, it’s going to be so exciting. In a month, you’re not going to need mommy’s milkies. You’re going to be such a big girl and whatever. You say. And honestly, they’re so suggestible at that age. You just have to believe it.

Everybody has to have the same messaging. You know, and you can really convince them. To wean a little bit. Yeah. I wouldn’t rely on supply to be the thing that drives the weaning process. They don’t care. They don’t care. They’re not hungry. It’s, it’s comfort. Right. And it’s a plus that it tastes good, but like, yeah, if they’re not getting anything, a lot of toddlers will still keep nursing because it’s just the very comfortable thing for them to do.

Yeah, and I can’t ever get the image out of my head of Maureen saying, if you were laying on your back on the couch and someone was just dropping a single drop of syrup in your mouth every 30 seconds, you’d be like, I could stay here for a while. That’s kind of how they feel about it. It is. So this one’s going to have to be on you, Molly, because if you’re done, you can be done.

And also a lot of times your nipples are just fucking sore. Yeah. When you’re in your first trimester and you don’t want something sucking on them. Anyone, really. Good luck with that though, I know that can be sometimes a challenging process. So, we wish you the best. Absolutely. Alright, well let’s take a quick break and when we get back we’re going to talk about how pregnancy and breastfeeding affects a woman’s bones.

Right down to the bone.

Have you guys ever been listening to our show and thought to yourself, man, I really want to work one on one with Maureen? I do every day that I sit here podcasting across from you. Well, lucky for you and everybody at home, I offer both in person and virtual support through my business. And in my business, Highland Birth Support, I’m dedicated to mentoring you guys through your childbearing year.

So that could start with fertility, all the way through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum. I offer home birth midwifery services, doula services, lactation support, herbal support, anything you guys need. You even do miscarriage support. Absolutely, I do. That’s one of the biggest things that is so hard to find.

And I think that your people that are local to you are so incredibly lucky to have this service. Thank you. And I just feel really happy to serve everybody. And I’m so happy I can expand my services virtually as well. Yeah, telehealth for lactation has been really important through the pandemic. And I think we just about got it perfected at this point.

So if you guys want to work with me, head over to HighlandBirthSupport. com and check out what I can offer you. That’s h i g h l a n d birthsupport. com. Welcome back, everybody. Let’s talk about bones. We’re, I, probably to your disappointment, we’re not really going to talk a lot about teeth today. I know that is a hot topic, but it’s a little more complicated because they’re like exposed bones.

So they, they are… Face boners. Yeah, the face bones are in this category, but not really our focus. specifically because there are other factors that influence like your tooth enamel and stuff during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Too many confounding variables. Too much Gatorade, not enough teeth brushing.

Or too much teeth brushing. TBD. Okay, well, the heart of this, Heather, is calcium. Yes. Calcium is in high demand during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Right, because we’re growing a whole baby. That has bones. That has bones. And we also have to put calcium in breast milk. Okay, so we have this long period of time where the body needs to take extra calcium, or not extra, just whatever calcium it has, and put it toward a new function.

And some of these needs are unfortunately met by the movement of calcium out of our bones. And it’s called remodeling. And this is especially, our bodies like do this the most during the third trimester and during breastfeeding. Because your baby is kind of born with rubber bones. Yeah. And they have to firm up.

You know, definitely if you have a preemie, you’re going to see how bendy and flexy their bones are. And in the third trimester, they get much harder, which is partly why those kicks and movements. Why those hurt. And you’re like ow, what the heck? And it’s because, you know, they’ve got, they’re packing a punch now that they have some more calcium in their bones.

And even toddlers, like toddlers compared to one year olds, they have much harder bones. Absolutely. And this is why I like In every prenatal and postpartum, when I talk about nutrition and vitamins and stuff, I’m not like, your baby’s, this is my point, your baby’s gonna be fine. Your baby is fine. You might not be at the end of the day, right?

Because if you’re not getting enough calcium and other vitamins, your body is just like, well, too bad and gives it to the baby. I’ve had people look at me and be like, it’s like They’re just sucking the life out of me. And I’m like, literally, yes. Yes, we will affirm that feeling. And so like, you know, Breastfeeding is this weird time where our skeleton is just like storage for calcium for our children.

Is it like storing more calcium? So it’s not, like, as far as we can tell, actually, our maternal, like, digestion of calcium does not become that much more efficient. Rude. Yeah, it is super rude. And exclusive breastfeeding uses an average of 210 milligrams of calcium per day for one baby. Hold on.

Calculating. That feels like a lot. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s everything that’s in the milk, but we also use calcium, like, in other processes in our body, you know? Yeah. I mean, we don’t just need it for our bones. We need it for, like, electrical impulse things. Exactly. And so we have this increased, like, activity in the breasts, too.

So it’s like, yeah, some of that goes directly into the milk, and some of it is used up in the process of making. milk. Mm. And so higher milk output is associated with greater bone density loss. Okay. So it’s even more important than for parents of multiples or like people who are extreme over suppliers to think about this.

Whoa. Yeah. Nursing a singleton exclusively for three to six months leads to a five to ten percent reduction in the lumbar spine area bone density. That is apparently this place that we lose the most bone density in breastfeeding. So that low back pain, friends, might not just be because you’re standing weird all the time.

It might also be because your bones are literally, like, less strong. This is crazy. Isn’t it really crazy? And also, like, why we hunch on the top to try to compensate for the back. Oh my god. Which, honestly, rude. Can I say, this is rude that, like, your pelvis and your lumbar spine, which are so essential for, like, literally having and holding babies.

It just keeps me upright. It’s fine. But, you know, it’s fine. Let’s just give that up for the babies. And, you know, to be fair, like, We do have some studies on this for humans, and we certainly have more rodent studies, right? And one of the limitations of using rodent studies to look at this is that they have a higher ratio of density loss because they have a whole litter of babies.

But they’re so small. Yeah, but like it does still give us some good information, and we do have some human clinical studies. So we’re kind of drawing for this episode from both of those. And this is, like, not a mistake, okay? This is, like, the preprogrammed occurrence of, like, breastfeeding. Okay? It’s, it’s really messed up.

Like, this is what’s supposed to happen. I don’t know who designed… This process, but I don’t like that breastfeeding also takes away the calcium because so much of what we see with pregnancy and the, you know, trauma, we’ll call it that your body goes through in pregnancy is repaired by breastfeeding. So like The insulin resistance in our cells that we get during pregnancy is repaired by breastfeeding.

So I like it when nature comes full circle. I don’t like it when nature’s like, I’m gonna shit on you. Now I’m gonna shit on you again. Well, I will talk about kind of the end sequela of this later because I do want to get into the interesting parts of how this happens because I think that’s really fascinating.

I want to hear about some osteoblasts and osteoclasts. And I know you do too, people. All right. Well, Heather, it feels like it’s been a long time since we got to have, like, kind of a science nerd episode, so I’m, I’m just really looking forward to this discussion, to be honest. Let’s access some of my brain cells.

Shall we? Let’s see how many you have left. Okay. Let’s use my last one here. Okay, so, How do, why, how do we lose bone matter because of pregnancy and breastfeeding? It, it’s actually an interesting cycle. So the two factors related to lactational bone loss are having low estradiol and increased parathyroid hormone related protein.

Okay. And these two hormones stimulate what we call the osteoclast mediated bone reabsorption. Yeah. Hold on back up. So menopause. Okay. Very similar. Everyone knows that little old ladies fall and break their hips and femurs all the time. And we have to get checked more than men. And it’s because partly when we hip menopause, we have lower estradiol, just like you do in lactation.

Yes. When it’s a low estrogen time. That’s why you’re not horny. That’s why your vagina is dry, just like an old lady. It’s true, no, and it’s why you get hot flashes, and it’s why you get sweats at night. It’s, it’s really like why so many of those symptoms do overlap. But this, like, this is kind of the beginning of the hormonal cascade that allows are bodies to take calcium from bones and put it in milk.

But I’m going to explain it a little more carefully. Okay, so osteoclasts, right? Those are cells that are literally just, they’re specialized to break down bone. For natural bone remodeling, like say you broke your bone and it repaired and then it’s remodeling to be like a more sustainable long term structure rather than like a scar or something, we osteoclasts do that.

Okay, but wait, are you saying so like, if you break your bone first comes the osteoclasts and they eat up all the parts that you don’t need? To repair it. Well, I don’t know specifically because I’m not a bone doctor, but like, so remodeling, like after you have a break and the initial healing is done, that’s not like the long term structure of the bone, like there’s some remodeling there, so it’s less of like a conky scar tissue and more of like a normal structure.

But also, like, we just have cells die that need to be replaced, too. You know, so osteoclasts are part of this process of natural bone remodeling, okay? This is happening all the time, and both in the rodent studies and human breastfeeding studies, we see a really big increase in the number of these osteoclasts and how active they are.

Yeah, that’s the thing. They’re not always… Kind of like when you have an immune response to something or you’re like stuck in an inflammatory cycle, all of your immune little dudes running around in there are really active, whereas other times we’re in a low inflammation state and they’re not. Okay.

Interesting. You want to hear the even crazier part? Yes. The second part of this, in addition to the osteoclasts, we have what we call osteocytic osteolysis, okay? Where regular osteocytes, regular bone cells, function like the osteoclasts to reabsorb minerals from their surroundings. Okay, so can you pretend like I am the osteocytic osteolysis?

Yeah. Like, make me the osteoclast and help me understand what I’m seeing and what my job is. Okay, so if you’re an osteoclast, right? And you’re in, this room is the bone. And the sound panels in here are just regular bone cells and stuff. You’re going around, you’re like, I will take that calcium, and I will take that, and I will break this one down.

Okay, that’s your normal job. Me, I’m going to be a regular osteocyte, a regular bone cell, okay? And I’m going to undergo osteocytic osteolysis, and all of a sudden, I’m going to do what you do! And I’m just gonna look at my neighbors and be like, What if I broke you down? Are we breaking this shit down or what?

And then we’re all just doing that. We’re just eating ourselves. We all have tiny little hammers and we’re all just hammering away at the bones. That we are. We’re hammering ourselves. So, so I’m gonna break down what we, what I call the breast Brain bone cycle. Okay. Oh my God. It’s fun. This is, this is a I know not to be immature, but I love how much we’re saying the word bone in this episode.

It’s just really fun. We never talk about bones and it’s going to get flagged by search engine optimization. Innuendo. Okay. So, breastfeeding. We start with sucking and an increase in prolactin. This has nothing to do with bones. Sucking bones. We’re kidding. God, Heather. I will grow up eventually. Okay, we start with infant suckling.

Is that better? No, but okay. Alright, baby is sucking and we have an increase in prolactin. Okay, and this should all be familiar to you. You’ve looked into other episodes, but I’ll go over it again. So, the prolactin inhibits hypothalamic gonadotropin releasing hormones. So, essentially, this is suppressing gonadotropins, which are luteinizing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone.

That’s your ovary juice. So it is repressing ovulation, okay, which then leads to low levels of estradiol and progesterone, okay? That leads to the osteoclast mediated bone reabsorption increasing. And that leads to more calcium released in breast milk. Whoa, okay, so can I just say this in layman’s terms then?

Yes. Laywoman’s terms? Okay, so Oh, wait, one more thing. Also, a lot of folks hypothesize that prolactin also directly affects receptors in bone cells. That, like, lead to that process. What doesn’t prolactin do? Where can’t we fit that little key? Oh my god. Sorry, so now layman’s terms. Go for it. Okay, so layman’s terms.

When you’re breastfeeding, you know that your menstruation is inhibited. And what rules menstruation? Your ovaries. So, in layman’s terms, breastfeeding makes your ovaries go to sleep. And when your ovaries go to sleep, the other thing that your ovaries put out is that estrogen that makes your vagina nice and fluffy and juicy and want to get pregnant.

Yeah, that’s what I said. Said what I said. Keep going. And when you have low estrogen, It triggers those little osteocytes, those little bone cells to be like, what if we ate ourselves? What if we released calcium into the bloodstream? Neat. From your back, from your lower lumbar. That’s so dumb. I guess. But then I was really thinking where else would I want to take it from?

And yeah, I mean, not my feet. Like what other big hard bones do we have that like? They all are important. They all feel very important to me. Like, there’s a reason we have this many bones. We should have a lactation bone. Right, the extra, like, bone just hanging, like an extra rib that we just take calcium from.

Yeah, we should be the ones with the extra rib. We should. I’m just messing this up. Sorry. Anyway. Wow, we’re getting silly today. So that’s the cycle that leads us to have low bone density, and

it blows. I’m so sorry! God, I knew it was coming out, and I just said it anyway. After weaning, okay? After weaning, presumably, this is what all the studies said, presumably the

And we can presume this because we don’t have 45 year old women whose legs are just snapping off when they try to walk? Or what? I think it’s just like out, well, doing these larger retrospective studies where we see that, like breastfeeding rates don’t affect early onset osteoporosis, essentially.

Yay! And we did study this much more. A little bit more specifically too, right? So we have some rodent studies where the apoptosis, which if you have listened to us before, is one of our favorite words, and it’s cells dying and exploding. In those rodent studies, the widespread apoptosis of the osteoclast occurred within 24 hours of weaning.

Oh! Fast. Like weaning completely. Yes. Like the lactation button goes off. Like they took the baby pup rats away, and within 24 hours, the osteoclast were like, pew! dead. We need more bone for ourselves. Weird. Now as far as humans go, what they’ve seen when they’ve looked at bone density is that six to 12 months after weaning, so full year, the lumbar spine and hips have returned to the pre pregnancy values or perhaps better.

Better. Yeah. And if you recall, those are the two areas that were most significantly affected during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Now I, That leaves me with more questions than answers, personally, because I’m like how do we know it’s better? For whom is it better? For whom is it not better? Right? Like, what is the category of women who maintain a low bone density, and why is that, versus those who restore it, and why is that?

So I’m curious. Could they just have, like, overactive osteoclasts that broke down too much? I don’t know. Or is their restorative process not as good? Or is their diet not as good? I don’t know, but there retrospective studies, and I think there are now two large, like, Larger studies that looked at that that demonstrated that parity or how many pregnancies you’ve had and Lactation did not increase the risk of fragility fractures or low bone density in the long term.

Okay, but that doesn’t make sense to me because there’s a lot of folks out there who are pregnant and or breastfeeding for like 10 years straight. So like how are they fine? Yeah, so I I, that I have a questions about too, and I couldn’t find answers for that. So this might be a like to be continued someday when we find a bone doctor researcher, we need to put that on the list of PhD projects.

Boners should bone a, a bone PhD. Lactation, lactation, boners. An overview. . God, it is a day. It is a great title though. Yeah. But, I, you know, sorry that we just made more questions than we can answer in this episode. I, I do have some, like, tidbits of advice, though. Oh, good. Good deal. Okay, so this leads a lot of people to the question of, like, how much calcium do they actually need?

Yeah, cause, Didn’t we have a time, maybe in the early 2000s, where they were like, Oh, actually, we’re giving women too much calcium supplementation, and we’re giving them kidney stones, and it’s not actually better for them. Yeah. Okay. And so currently, the RDA for calcium does vary by source, right? Some sources are gonna be like 400 milligrams.

Most of the sources I was looking at. said women who are over 18 should be getting a thousand milligrams a day that is both with dietary calcium and supplementation. And, you know, the, the overall recommendation now is that you don’t really need to increase that for pregnancy. It’s not very much more so well with the amount of cereal that you crave when you’re pregnant Yeah, you’re probably getting more calcium anyway because of diet and and the interesting thing is that Getting more than the recommended amount does it not?

Prevent the loss of calcium from your bones during pregnancy and breast so it’s not like you can beef up your calcium To increase your stores. You can only store what you can store. Yeah, okay question other question. Is that why? They recommend weight bearing exercises for women, too, because that’s really the only way that you can boost your skeletal muscle.

I think so. Or, I mean, your, your skeletal strength. Yep. And, and so, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s a normal process regardless of how healthy you are and how much calcium you’re getting. There are certainly rare cases where people develop osteoporosis during this process, right? And that’s, like, very rare and it’s very severe and we don’t expect that to happen.

During the lactation process? During pregnancy or breastfeeding, yeah. Like full on osteoporosis or like osteopenia? Like the preemptive osteoporosis where we’re just watching you? The study says osteoporosis. like I was breastfeeding and now I’m hunched over and I don’t know. I can’t walk. That was the tidbit from the study.

Damn. Yeah. Also, so like for these folks, it says that fractures could occur from normal activities with very minimal trauma or stress and spinal fractures are the most common in pregnant and nursing women with osteoporosis. That’s crazy. Mm hmm. You know the weird things are just going through my mind.

Did you ever see that Bruce Willis movie? Unbreakable yeah. Mm-hmm. , where he’s like, they call me Mr. Glass . And it’s like everything just breaks constantly. . That’s all I can think about. Yeah. I don’t like the idea of bones breaking. I don’t either. Especially your pelvis and your lumbar spine. Honestly, and like rude , I just, this whole time I was like, are we.

Serious with this. You know, I was like, I read a bunch of studies and everyone, I was just like, are you kidding me? Seriously? Well, there has to be a genetic component to this. I’m sure there is. Has to be. I am positive. That’s true. And then how do you Right. And I, I think that would answer a lot of our questions when I’m like, wait, what about the people that don’t regain bone density?

And what about the people that do? And is it genetic? Is it dietary? Is it lifestyle? Is it literally none of that? And who knows? Yeah. Or are you just screwed? That’s how I feel. Yeah. But I mean, there are those people that you look at that you’re like, you’ve had 12 kids and OMG, you have no teeth left. Like you’re, you look frail.

You have a, lordosis. This is literally what I was thinking this whole time, like hours of looking at this where I’m like, I’m still breastfeeding two and a half years later. And I still, you know, haven’t regained what I feel like is my full strength after that pregnancy. I feel like I know my teeth are worse.

I and I’m just like, Oh, oh, am I just like prolonging my low bone density? Is that what I’m doing by not weaning yet? Like, I don’t know. But I guess this does kind of bring into mind the perfect quote unquote baby spacing question. Mm hmm, is that enough time? Eighteen months to two years is what we usually tell people, which I guess by the studies that are in, in your…

Right, say most people breastfeed six months to one year, there’s another year between, we would regain bone density. Hmm. It’s interesting. I think I would, you know, if I was counseling people, I’d be like, listen, if your mom, your aunt, your other aunt, your grandma, and your great grandma all had hip fractures and back fractures, we might not want to breastfeed for four years.

Right. Or, or maybe we have five years between kids. Or maybe we can get insurance to approve you for a scan because that’s the other thing, I mean, screening for this is not cheap and insurance is constantly changing the rules on how old you have to be to get scanned and, you know, family dynamics and genetics and things like that because they don’t want to pay for it.

For sure. And, you know, this, this is part of the puzzle in my mind of how long it actually takes to heal from birth. Because, you know, it’s not six weeks, despite what many people think. No, and there are chiropractors that say five years, and I believe that. And that’s exactly what I’m thinking, is I’ve seen, you know, a lot of different sources talk about three to five years of what we call, like, complete healing.

So, yes, like, soft tissues heal much faster, retighten.

Yeah. What? Anyway, we’re just feeling better and better about our baby spacing, aren’t we? I mean, and there is something to that because, you know, right before I got pregnant every time was like the best that I had felt and it was about four or five years. Yeah. So I mean, I think it’s You know, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a baby like two years after your last one, but I think it’s something to consider.

Like, hey, maybe increase some of your weight bearing activities. See if that, I don’t know, maybe that’ll help you retain some density. Maybe we just consider, like, what that might do to your body and protecting it somehow, you know? So the answer is not supplementing calcium. Yeah, apparently not. Okay, so sometimes in lactation, though, when we are dealing with low supply or when I see the ovaries kick back in and we start menstruating again, we do recommend 1, 200 milligrams of calcium a day with magnesium because sometimes that does help to kind of tamp the dip right before your period.

It is, but also I kind of wonder how much more calcium is playing a role in lactation than we know about currently. Yeah, I would really like to kind of look at on more of a cellular level, like aside from just putting calcium into milk, how much calcium are we using in the process of activating the mammary glands, keeping those healthy?

And also, I kind of wonder about people that don’t respond to the pump, that go back to work, they start pumping, and because they’re pumping, their ovaries kick back in, and then they’re not responding to the pump over and over and over again, and calcium also Creates basically electric or meet mitigates the electrical impulses between cells.

So I just wonder how that’s affecting mocha direction reflex to, yeah, that’s what I think to what’s going on. Calcium. Sorry. We just got to the end of the episode with like a hundred more questions. Bye everybody. All right, that’s it. We’re going to get calcium on the show for a full interview. Is there a calcium specialist out there that we could talk to?

Does anyone know one? This is our shout out. If you know. Somebody who would call themself a calciumologist, we would like to interview them. Thank you. Thank you. Okay, cool. No, this was really good and I, I don’t want, I’m glad that we had some questions because obviously this is just another point to make for lactation research.

Absolutely. And women. If this affected men, we’d know by now. Yeah. I bet there’s some dairy cow studies on it. I’ll have to look. Oh my gosh, we absolutely should. We should though. Cause you know the cows aren’t out there doing weight, they’re not doing CrossFit, they’re not doing weight bearing exercises.

They are getting eaten though, so there’s that. Oh that’s true, they might not last 80 years. But, like, I wonder if there’s a higher incidence of stress fractures, like, among dairy cows. Anyway, now I just have more to read, so it’s fine. Fun! Okay, well, so the, the takeaway here is don’t go taking a bunch of calcium to try to fix it because you can’t.

Yeah. And really know that your body should restore its calcium. And bone density when you’re done breastfeeding. So that’s good. And what’s the other takeaway? I feel like, and we should be very mindful of like compensating really for, for that loss in bone density with like building muscle strength in our back and posture and all of that.

Mm hmm, yeah, weight bearing exercises, and if you have family genetics where a lot of the women in your family have osteopenia or osteoporosis, Talk to your doctor. Yeah, maybe, maybe consider that. Mm hmm. Okay, I like this message. Me too.

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Well, I, I don’t have an award, but I do have a review to read before we go. Awesome. Let’s hear it. It’s actually our, it was our first review for beyond the boob. Oh. That’s really cute. From Catherine 466. And she says, I’m so happy these two started another podcast. This is so fun to listen to and very informative.

Oh, good. I’m glad you’re having fun. Thank you. No, and really everybody else who listens to this and Beyond the Boob, like if you already left us a review here for this one, go leave us a review for that one too, please. Yeah, that’d be awesome. It would be awesome. Thank you guys for all that you do and thank you for listening to another episode of the Milk Minute.

Yeah the way we change this big system that just isn’t set up to help us at all is by educating ourselves and our family members and sometimes our health care providers. Mm hmm. And if you want more from us, you can catch us on Patreon at patreon. com slash Milk Minute Podcast for behind the scenes.

I’m going to have a baby soon. That’s where all of that stuff is going. And you can email us at milkminutepodcast at gmail. com if you have an award you’d like to share or if you’d like to nominate somebody and rate, review and subscribe. Thanks for having me. That’s pretty much it for me. Thanks everybody.

All right. Love you. Bye.


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