Without exception every Parent that I see for breastfeeding support is struggling with their emotions. Pretty understandable, I’m sure you’d agree. When breastfeeding isn’t going well then it’s stressful and disheartening, for some it feels devastating. They feel like they’re unable to do one of the most natural things in the world. Babies needs to feed, grow and develop. Parents feel a huge amount of responsibility for this teeny tiny person that they’ve created.
But what many parents don’t know is that those emotions, the stress, anxiety and fear, directly affect how breastfeeding works and how you connect with your baby. Here’s why:
It’s the love hormone that makes us ( and our baby) feel all good inside. As well as flowing freely when there’s super-good vibes around it also has several ejection functions. When it comes to breastfeeding it allows our body to let-down milk from the storage sacks to your milk ducts and out of your nipples. When we’re stressed or fearful our body uses the lack of oxytocin as a sign that milk shouldn’t be released. This function goes back to the days when it could have been dangerous for us to let milk down…..like when there was a predictor around.
When oxytocin flows it works wonders. Mums relax, baby relaxes, everyone in the room relaxes! and the milk flows too. So seeking out some of that love hormone is top of the list when it come to Mindful Breastfeeding.
Deep-rooted feelings about Breastfeeding.
Let’s face it, just the word breastfeeding can bring up some pretty strong emotions. You only need to look at the comments section on any breastfeeding article to see the far reaching views that people have on how (and where) babies should be fed. As soon as we’re born and as we grow up we establish our own feelings and opinions on breasts and breastfeeding which are often based on what we see and what is said around us. Recognising this in ourselves and those around us can release some of the stigmas towards breasts and breastfeeding and ultimately help us to relax.
We also live in a society where breastfeeding isn’t seen very much. Normalising breastfeeding for ourselves by seeing it often, is one of the best ways to feel comfortable and relaxed about feeding our babies.
Following our parenting instincts
There’s a million and one ways to raise a baby. And you’ll probably hear about a good few of them in the early months of Parenthood. We hear them from friends, family, books, the internet and the news. When expecting a baby we might have a really good idea of the sort of parent we want to be. Only for it all to change the second we hold our gorgeous baby in our arms.
Becoming more mindful helps us to connect, not just with our baby but also with the voice inside of us. When we become stiller we can hear our own inner wisdom and need worry less about other’s expectations.
So in a nutshell, Mindful Breastfeeding is about understanding that our brains play a vital part in our body’s milk making system as well as how we connect with our baby help them to learn to feed. It’s about having not just the practical help and expert support (which is vital) but also some good tools that you can use to help you relax, get that oxytocin flowing and enjoy your breastfeeding and parenting journey.
Want to know even more about Mindful Breastfeeding? There’s an online course for parents at www.thebreastfeedingschool.com or join the facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/736801936492856/