10 Healthy Ways To Relieve The Stress Of Breastfeeding
By Angela Ilagan | | breastfeeding, breastfeeding anxiety, health, lactation, mother, stress, stress management
Breastmilk is the best for your baby — you might have heard this over a hundred times or even more. It is a natural, inexpensive, and typically the most convenient way to feed your baby.
Research even has shown that breastfeeding is vital to keep your baby’s stronger, healthier, smarter, and helps prevent future illnesses. On top of that, it also creates a special bond between you and your child.
There have been many discussions about the benefits of breastfeeding to you and your child’s health. But, we hardly ever talk about the other side of the story — the fact that breastfeeding is tough and can sometimes cause a huge amount of stress to the mother.
Under stress while breastfeeding?
Some mothers might find it easy to breastfeed their baby without much pressure, but this isn’t the case for everybody. For some, breastfeeding leads to worries and stress.
Aside from everyday exhaustion, sleep deprivation, work, and other stuff — you might also be concerned whether you’re actually producing enough milk for your baby’s needs or if you’re feeding your baby properly. And these concerns can put your mind and body under stress.
Studies have indicated that stress is one of the factors that can significantly affect your milk supply. Take note that when a person is under pressure, the body releases certain stress hormones. These stress hormones main function is to temporarily protect our body against any perceived dangerous or stressful situation, which makes us more alert — the problem only kicks in when stress becomes a vicious cycle. And when your stress response system is prolonged, it can negatively affect your emotional, mental, and even physical body.
Moreover, when your stress hormones are high, your happy hormones decrease. This is why endless loops of pressures in breastfeeding can lead to a slow down in milk production, not on the quality of milk that you’re producing.
Dealing with breastfeeding stress the healthy way
Breastfeeding can be both satisfying and overwhelming. It takes a lot of patience, good stress management, and practice. So, If you’re under pressure right now, remember that there are plenty of ways you can deal with the stress of breastfeeding.
Here are healthy and simple ways to deal with your breastfeeding anxiety:
1. Eat well-balanced and nutritious food
As they say, food is medicine. Can’t stress more enough the importance of eating right and healthy. This might sound too redundant but again choose fruits, whole grain, and vegetables than high-fat food.
2. Do some exercise
To help you deal with the pressure of breastfeeding, you need to let your body release more endorphins and serotonin. These hormones can boost our mood and feel-good feeling. And physical activities are one way to increase these happy hormones.
If hitting the gym is impossible with your busy schedule, just go out and take a stroll over the community.
3. Get plenty of naps when you need to
This may sound very difficult especially if you’re taking care of a newborn baby. However, naps are something mothers need to learn in the process of child-rearing. Take a nap when your baby is sleeping.
No matter how hard it is to squeeze in your hectic day, remember that naps are always good to relieve your stress.
4. Stay Hydrated
Even if there’s no significant effect in drinking more fluid to increase your milk supply, still being dehydrated can slow down milk production, research shows. Plus, staying hydrated isn’t just about producing milk better, but for your own needs as well.
5. Practice mindfulness or get spiritual
Nothing beats having peace of mind out even in a stressful situation. So, do whatever activity or anything that feeds your soul and brings you inner peace.
6. Brush off Criticism and stay away from toxic people
Don’t let the opinion of others get the best of you especially when they haven’t been in your shoes. Remember that it’s easy for some people to throw negative comments. Sometimes even the people closest to you can become a source of pain and hurt. So, just brush it off — however, if it’s constructive criticism, then take it as an opportunity for growth and maturity.
7. Don’t bottle it up, share your feelings
There’s no harm in trying to open up your feelings towards the people you trust and are most comfortable sharing your struggles with. You can get comfort from mothers who had been in your situation and those who are also experiencing the same hardship as yours.
8. Get professional help
If you’ve been too overwhelmed and constantly having problems with breastfeeding, paying a visit to a lactation specialist can be very beneficial. A lactation specialist can help you figure out some underlying issues concerning your breastfeeding problem.
9. Take some time to do something you enjoy and brings relaxation
Taking a steamy bath, reading books, listening to calming music, watching movies or dramas, painting, dancing, or even shopping —do something that can relieve the stress of breastfeeding even for a short time daily or weekly. You’ll be amazed how these small acts of therapy can do wonders.
10. Consider using nipple balm
Aside from letting your nipples air-dry after each time you feed your baby to alleviate the pain of bleeding or cracked nipples, you can also try using nipple balm. Nipple balms are designed to help soothe tender and nursing nipples.
Consider using Mummy's Miracle Nipple and Lip Balm — it is made with all-natural ingredients and it’s hypoallergenic. This product is perfectly intended for your nursing needs. On top of that, you no longer need to wipe off before nursing!
Just remember that your overall well-being shouldn’t be ignored just because you became a mom. So, do whatever is best to relieve your stress.
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What about you? Share in the comments below how you handle the stress of breastfeeding.
Love + miracles,