The stress of having to recover completely from having a baby, accompanied by sleepless nights can cause any new mother irrespective of how prepared they are to feel overwhelmed. Additionally, the stress of having to work, cope with illness, and financial issues may also take a huge toll on the wellbeing of a new mother. Unknown to most people, the stress of having to go through all these may affect your breastfeeding plan in a number of ways.
You may find it surprising to know that stress is capable of indirectly affecting your breastmilk supply in two ways. First, it affects your milk supply and the quality of your milk. Each time you are stressed, your body reacts by releasing adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol. Although these hormones are capable of helping your body to better handle or deal with stress, over time they begin to have a negative effect on your body emotionally and physically. Reports have revealed that stress does not directly affect your milk supply level, how often your baby nurses will determine the amount of milk you are able to produce. If he or she happens to consume more milk, your body will continue to produce more. Medications and several forms of illness may also cause stress and affect your breastfeeding plan.
While we mentioned that stress is not capable of directly affecting your milk supply, it is capable of indirectly affecting how you breastfeed your baby.
How You Can Reduce Stress when breastfeeding
Generally, reducing stress is of great benefit to you and your baby and there are several ways you can do so. They include;
- Try to do a light workout; while most mothers decide to stay at home caring for their baby, it is advised that you either take a walk or participate in some light exercise. If you are not feeling too energetic to workout, you could decide to exercise in the living room or in the comfort of your room to prevent unwanted attention. During each of your exercise sessions, your body gets endorphins which will help you relieve stress.
- Take a Bath; this has been described as the favourite stress reliever mothers could try out, and this is because it does not require hard work. You could decide to make it special by adding Epsom salt as well as other essential and soothing oils.
- Staying up late; depending on your schedule and how much your baby sleeps, you could decide to have some alone time right before baby wakes up or right after they have gone to sleep. During this time, you could decide to relax and watch your favourite TV show or some do some meditation. You could also decide to spend this time with your partner. This quality time will also help relieve stress.
- Shopping; you could choose to visit one of the local stores to shop for personal items. The happy feeling you get when you buy that new pair of shoes will relieve stress.
- Relaxation is also known to increase oxytocin levels which helps with letdown and is a natural feel good drug.
- You can also visit a Hypnotherapist or PSYCH-K facilitator at Mind Spirit Body and enjoy a session of calming, stress relieving therapy.
Stress when Breastfeeding
Doesn’t need to be a challenging issue in a new mums life. If you would like to find out how Mind Spirit Body can help you reduce stress when breastfeeding your new baby book a session Today!