When I was pregnant with my daughter in 2016 I planned to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned and I made the choice to formula feed shortly after her birth. I want all mothers to know that ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you breastfeed or formula feed. All that matters is that you love your child and you are providing all you can for them.
Breastfeeding comes with a lot of added benefits, so if you are able to breastfeed I would highly suggest it. I do not have much experience or knowledge with breastfeeding so when my friends at Breastfeedo.com said they would be interested in writing a guest post for me, I was so excited. My readers will now have access to information about the relationship between Breastfeeding and Relaxation. Enjoy!
Guest post from my friends at Breastfeedo.com:
The next post is handling two main points regarding the mutual relationship between relaxation and breastfeeding:
- Relaxation would improve your breast milk supply. During the first month, you should learn some relaxation techniques to support your breastfeeding journey and breast milk supply.
- Then, breastfeeding itself would take care of your mood and bring relaxation to you.
The whole idea of relaxation and breast milk production is the stress hormones “Cortisol, Adrenaline.”
When you are worried or tensioned for any reason, your body starts to be alarmed and stress hormones are secreted.
As a result, the blood vessels constrict “shrink” and the blood supply to your mammary glands is down. Hence, both of your breast milk synthesis and secretion are dropped.
Note Mammary glands in your breasts are responsible for storing and releasing your breast milk.
More on that, when your breast milk dries, you get worried again, so you try to push yourself towards making more milk.
Follow the next simple but effective relaxation tips while lactation.
Prepare the right atmosphere
Pick your favorite room or corner that is away from any disturbance/interruption.
Play your favorite soft music or an audio galactagogue.
What is audio galactagogue?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, pumping and breastfeeding mothers can produce 63% more milk if they listen to 20 mins audio recording which is a simple and free relaxation technique.
You can put your headphones and follow the instructions of Feher audio recording while pumping or breastfeeding.
Even, you may sing your favorite songs and your baby loves to hear your voice and feels safe and relaxed.
Try to apply the skin to skin contact between both of you. There is a breastfeeding position called biological nurturing which allows an amazing skin to skin contact and more milk supply.
Biological nurturing = laid back breastfeeding position
Breathe Breathe Breathe
Breathing deeply while breastfeeding will enhance your relaxation state. Inhale for 4 or 5 counts from your nose and hold for the same period, then exhale for a longer period 6-8 counts.
That would enrich your blood with oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide.
This improvement in your blood circulation can boost your milk supply.
Set your priority
Delegate some of your home duties to your spouse or any family member. That would allow you to focus on your first priority which is breastfeeding.
Avoid relaxation barriers
One of the most common factors that interrupts your good mood is when your breastfed baby starts to cry.
And remember that baby crying is the only baby language he uses, either when he is:
- Wants to be held
Also, your baby may cry for unknown reasons. In the first 4 months, his gut is growing and it is something painful and may cause some colic and spasm.
So, don’t put your self under emotional stress due to your baby crying. It is common and crying episodes increase at night time.
Helpful relaxing tip
Breastfeed your baby before crying where baby crying is a late hungry cue. Instead, watch your baby for the early signs of being hungry like:
- Hand licking
- Rooting and searching for breast
- Waking up and opening his mouth
Knowledge is power. These breastfeeding facts will help you to relax
- Do I have enough milk to breastfeed? 90% of mothers have plenty amount of breast milk and they are capable of breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months after baby birth.
2. What to eat and what to avoid? You don’t need to eat special types of food to boost your milk supply. Obviously, poor mothers all over the world who had an inadequate intake of food are producing enough milk.
- Your baby learns how to suck while he is in your womb. It was seen that your baby is sucking his thumb during the 18th to 22nd week of pregnancy. It is a survival skill for him to gain his precious food from your breast.
- Why do I have a little milk in the first week? Normally, you wouldn’t produce much milk during this period. The milk of the first days is called colostrum and it comes in small quantities.
- Colostrum is highly concentrated breast milk
- Your baby stomach capacity is around 5-10 ml per feeding
Breastfeeding itself has a positive impact on your emotional & psychological state
How? Thanks to lactation hormones Prolactin and Oxytocin hormones.
The good news about prolactin is it was noted that elevated prolactin levels in breastfeeders resulted in:
- Mothers have better moods than formula feeders
- Also, they have Less anger and depression risks
So, what about Oxytocin?
This amazing hormone is capable of:
- Decreasing your cortisol levels in your body during breastfeeding
- Besides, it decreases your blood pressure
Important Stress, anxiety, and emotional stress can decrease the levels of oxytocin hormone and hence breast milk extraction.
No doubt that better sleep is a wonderful relaxing method
And here is the thing: breastfeeding would provide more sleep periods for both mom and dad.
According to this study, new parents enjoy around 45 mins more of sleeping in the case of breastfeeding than in formula feeding case.
Get your efficient sleep hours to boost your productivity regarding:
- Breast milk production
- Enhance your metabolism
- Get rid of stress hormones and toxic substances from blood circulation
Other benefits of breastfeeding related to relaxation
No worries about infection. If you get infected “ex: influenza”, your body creates the antibodies for this specific infection and the antibodies transferred to your baby through breast milk “acquired immunity”
In case of breastfeeding, you wouldn’t bother yourself about which formula type to pick for your baby. Breast milk is a living substance which changes its composition upon your baby’s need.
Surely, all new moms are concerned to lose their pregnancy weight. So, enjoy your breastfeeding period as every day you burn extra 400 calories if you are exclusively breastfeeding.
Check out Breastfeedo.com for more information on Breastfeeding!