Breastfeeding and Stress
How do you relax during breastfeeding and combat breastfeeding boredom?
Breastfeeding stress reduction is key, your milk supply depends mostly
on your mood.
When a mother is anxious, her breast milk supply usually
decreases dramatically. Some studies show that a defective
let down reflex is also connected to stress.
Breast feeding in itself is calming. The hormones Prolactin and Oxytocin are released during breastfeeding, which gives a mother the feeling of tranquillity.
So now, instead of giving up on breastfeeding, let's look at some
ways to control the breastfeeding stress and make life easier for you
and your baby.
How to Decrease Breastfeeding Stress
- Sometimes it helps to feel your baby's skin against your own, cuddle with him/her or sing to your baby; this will help with milk flow and will also help you both relax.
Have a snack before breastfeeding your baby. You must care for yourself first, before you can see to your baby's needs. A mommy that is dehydrated and that does not eat healthy, is more prone to anxiety. Good snacks to have while breastfeeding: Whole grains, vegetable and proteins. Breastfeeding diet guidelines.
Keep distractions to a minimum. There should be a special, comfortable place where you breastfeed your baby, where it is calm and peaceful.
A warm shower can calm you and will also assist with milk flow.
Sometimes, getting yourself busy with something else during breastfeeding can help you relax.
If you and your baby are not comfortable whilst breastfeeding, you will both feel fairly stressed out afterwards, physically and emotionally. Read more about breastfeeding positions here. Find the most comfortable position for the both of you.
There are safe herbs that you can take, to calm yourself and your baby. (Herbs and breastfeeding).
Getting at least eight hours of sleep daily, will decrease stress tremendously.
Breastfeeding and exercise. Stay active and get those endorphins pumping! Endorphins released whilst exercising will create a feeling of well-being. Read more about the safety of exercise while breastfeeding.
Deep breathing, meditation and massage therapy can help with relaxation.
Talk to your family and friends. Let them know how you’re feeling. Or write down your thoughts.
Get yourself a hobby, find something that you enjoy doing.
Boredom and Breastfeeding
Let's face it, breastfeeding can become tedious. It doesn’t matter
how much you love breastfeeding or have looked forward to breastfeed,
breastfeeding may become like a chore on some days… feeling like this, is normal! ;-)
Breastfeeding can become a full-time job, and sometimes you might
feel like all you ever do is breastfeed. It’s okay to want some time
for yourself, you deserve it!
You can use a breastfeeding sling
to free your hands during breastfeeding, or lie down while you breastfeed and watch a movie.
Once you and your baby get accustomed to nursing, it becomes easier to sit and breastfeed
without holding your baby, especially when your baby starts
holding on to the breast by him/herself.
Decrease Stress Levels whilst Breastfeeding
A few things you can do, while you breastfeed…
• Read: Reading while lying down is actually real easy, this is an obvious choice, but most people do not give it a second thought. Reading can make the time go by quickly. If you don’t like reading, you can always get yourself an audiobook.
• Listen to music: This can be enjoyable for both you and your baby.
• Plan ahead: Make a shopping list or plan for your next holiday.
• Eat: Keep this special time for some healthy snacks like fruit or nuts.
• Start your own website like this one, about something you love or play games online. (Make sure you are comfy).
• Watch television: watch a good movie or your favorite program.
• Take up a hobby like learning how to write a novel.
• Pray: Sometimes our lives are so busy that we hardly ever get time to pray for our children and husbands.
• Groom baby: Cut your baby’s nails, clean your baby’s ears and nose etc.
• Phone family or friends that you have-not contacted in a while.
• If you have older kids you can chat to them or play some board games with them.
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