Breastfeeding Issues Following Traumatic Brain Injuries

Breastfeeding Issues Following Traumatic Brain Injuries

Breastfeeding Issues Following Traumatic Brain Injuries

Breastfeeding Issues Following Traumatic Brain Injuries – Traumatic accidents have the potential to lead to a wide variety of injuries. Sometimes, people emerge from a car accident completely unscathed. In other accidents, injuries that people wind up with are severe. This is the case for those individuals who sustain a serious traumatic brain injury. According to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics:

  • Around 50,000 people in the United States die every year due to complications from a traumatic brain injury.
  • Even those that survive could live with numerous medical complications that impact their quality of life.
  • Some of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury include firearms, auto accidents, and falls.
  • Traumatic brain injuries are among the leading causes of death among children and young adults who are involved in an auto accident.

These statistics demonstrate just how big of a problem traumatic brain injuries can be. Sometimes, it can even impact other areas of the body that might not even seem related.

The Relationship Between the Brain, the Pituitary, and the Hypothalamus

The body is controlled by a delicate axis of hormones that keep all of the organ systems in check. All of this starts in the brain at the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a small organ attached to the brain which releases hormones. These hormones control multiple bodily functions including:

  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Muscle contractions
  • Sexual development

The hypothalamus releases a variety of hormones that travel to the pituitary, which also releases hormones that control a wide range of bodily functions. This even includes breastfeeding, which is monitored via:

  • The hypothalamus releases prolactin hormone-releasing hormone (PRH).
  • This hormone travels to the pituitary and triggers the release of prolactin.
  • Prolactin moves to the breasts and triggers the release of breast milk for breastfeeding.

In some cases, this relationship can be derailed, and there might not be enough breast milk for the baby.

Breastfeeding Impacts from a Traumatic Brain Injury

When women sustain a traumatic brain injury, this entire axis could be thrown off. This can lead to severe issues with breastfeeding, which poses a problem for mothers with babies at home. The mechanism of this complication is as follows:

  • Damage to the brain following a traumatic accident can lead to issues with the hypothalamus.
  • An injury to the brain could also lead to trauma within the hypothalamus directly.
  • Either of these mechanisms could lead to a drop in the levels of prolactin hormone.
  • This causes a reduction in the milk production and the release of milk from the breast tissue.
  • Ultimately, this leads to problems with breastfeeding.

There are many benefits to breastfeeding which include bonding with the infant, the support of an infant immune system, and the basic nutritional support from breast milk. If women have trouble breastfeeding, they would need to switch to formula. While formula may have adequate nutrition, it doesn’t provide any of the other benefits discussed above and is incredibly expensive. This can add to the stress that families feel following a traumatic accident.

Watch YouTube Video: Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury. This 3-D video provides an in-depth look at a traumatic brain injury and the symptoms to look for.

Help from a Lawyer

When someone is involved in an auto accident and sustains a traumatic brain injury as a result, it may take some time for the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury to appear. When that happens, it could take even longer to connect the dots to the original accident. During this time period, it is not unusual for families to have questions. In these situations, it can be helpful to meet with a car accident lawyer in Sacramento. An experienced attorney has the tools necessary to place families in a position to recover from their injuries.

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Sacramento Car Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Traumatic brain injuries can have a devastating impact on someone’s quality of life. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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Breastfeeding Issues Following Traumatic Brain Injuries:

Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Unsplash. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Breastfeeding Issues Following Traumatic Brain Injuries.

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