It is NOT taking a break from breastfeeding!
In the contrary, a nursing vacation (sometimes called ‘The pump-in weekend’) is when you and your baby spend at least 36 hours doing nothing but breastfeed, cuddle and relax together.
This does not mean that you are imprisoned by your bed. You can watch movies, read your favourite book or magazine, knit or even nap.
The important thing is to spend uninterrupted skin-to-skin time with your baby and to respond as quickly as you can to his/her nursing ques.
If you have a low milk supply and you have tried different methods to help boost your supply, you’re a perfect candidate for a nursing vacation!
The time you will spend with your baby, will greatly benefit the both of you. It will not only boost your milk supply, but it can also improve your baby’s development as well as calm him/her.
The focus point is on you and your baby. The main idea is to trick your brain into thinking that your baby is going through a growth spurt and needs more milk.
This is why it is important to feed or pump as often as possible. The more you breastfeed or pump, the more milk will be produced.
You need to spend most of the three days doing skin-to-skin contact with your baby, to promote the production of certain hormones in both you and your baby.
Skin-to-Skin contact promotes the production of the following hormones:
1. Oxytocin (‘Love Hormone’)
2. Prolactin (‘Parenting Hormone‘)
3. Opioids (‘Pleasure Hormones’)
4. Norepinephrine (‘Adrenaline’)
The more you feed or pump, the more milk you will start to produce. Non-nutritional sucking, also known as comfort nursing is a great way to boost your milk production.
Read more about the process of milk production and how it works.
A nursing vacation gives you more quality time with your baby. You get to know each other better and even bond quicker. As a matter of interest, adoptive mothers often use breastfeeding as a way to bond with their adopted babies, even if they have little or no milk themselves. They do this, by supplementing via a SNS, with donor breast milk or formula.
Read more about all the hormones that are released before, during and after nursing.
You and your baby get to relax and this gives your body and mind time to heal itself, where needed.
When we don’t relax enough, we don’t give our brains a chance to interpret and perceive all the new information and knowledge obtained. This can have negative effects on our physical and mental health.
What if my baby is not ‘into it’?
Some babies might not be ‘into it’, only because they’re not used to it. Don’t put pressure on your baby. Let them lead the way.
Checklist and tips:
You can do a nursing vacation, even if you are a single mom. The secret is to plan ahead. Make sure you have all your things scheduled and organised.
Preparation is key. Get activities to keep them occupied. You can even let them join in. Skin-to-Skin is beneficial to them too. And do not be afraid to ask for help!
Other pages on breastfeeding problems in connection with this page