Mindful Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding - one of the most natural things you can do for your baby.

Which begs the question – why do so many new mothers struggle with this ‘natural’ activity. The stress, difficulty and guilt that large numbers of new parents feel around breastfeeding is immense. There are so many factors feeding into this. Inadequate feeding support, pressure to conform, inaccurate and counter-productive advice, desire to be the ‘perfect’ mum…

Let’s throw all this out of the window.

 Are you a new or soon-to-be parent? Do you want to breastfeed your baby, but have concerns? One of the best techniques for maximising your success and happiness in feeding your baby is Mindful Breastfeeding.

What is Mindful Breastfeeding?

Adapting to motherhood can be challenging and many new families have felt overwhelmed and anxious at times. That anxiety has a physical effect, which can be at the root of many breastfeeding problems. So the first thing to do is to establish and strengthen the connection between the emotional and the physical self. Calming the emotions improves milk production for breastfeeding and expressing.

 This is the expected outcome of applying Mindfulness practice in Breastfeeding. This valuable technique supports and enhances your breastfeeding journey. 

Mindful Breastfeeding Practice includes the use of deep relaxation, affirmations, journaling exercises and breathing exercises. The focus is on building a sense of calm empowerment, confidence in your ability to nourish your baby, tuning into your instincts and bonding with your baby.

There is great power in focusing your mind on the present moment, and allowing everything else to go past you. In being mindful, we improve our feelings of calm and relaxation. This allows the mind to support the body as it repairs and recovers. It’s so important for postnatal recovery, but is often missed.

How does Mindful Breastfeeding help?

When new parents are able to put themselves in a state of calm, they are better able to make good decisions. They trust their instincts and respond appropriately to circumstances. This is much better than slipping into flight/flight mode. It happens – but it’s hardly a desirable response to our babies simply needing us. 

One obvious and positive outcome of being mindful as you breastfeed is improved milk production. Lactation is greatly influenced by Oxytocin – commonly known as the ‘love hormone’ as it brings with it feelings of love, bonding and relaxation. Oxytocin is a shy hormone and will only be released when the conditions are right. That is, when we are free of stress and feeling calm. 

Mindful Breastfeeding Practice . . .

. . . has been shown to:

–  Increase breast milk supply including expressed breast milk;

–  Enable parents to be more relaxed;

–  Improve confidence in their parenting abilities and enjoy time with their baby more.

Being in a state of relaxation . . .

. . . one of the techniques used in mindful breastfeeding, can result in:

–  babies taking more milk;

–  growing faster;

–  sleeping longer. (Husna et al, 2019)

All great outcomes and terrific for the health and wellbeing of parents and their babies!

For more information on how you might benefit from Mindful Breastfeeding Practice, contact Charlotte on 07737 087729

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