Experts still can't say for sure whether depression itself interferes with a person's ability to breastfeed, or whether the breastfeeding difficulties come first and contribute to depression, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
. Heather Bartos, MD, IBCLC, the founder of The ME Spot Movement
says it's possible that the same hormone imbalances that contribute to postpartum depression interfere with breastmilk supply. "Following birth, a mom’s estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, thyroid, and cortisol shift dramatically as her body readjusts from pregnancy to postpartum," she explains. "These hormones have a direct impact on both the brain chemicals that are responsible for emotional wellness, but also milk production."