'The affirmations have helped me massively and I'm trusting in her more to know how much she needs. Thank you again so so much for your support. I've really enjoyed our feeds the past 24 hours, the relaxations really help.'
Being a new parent can be stressful and many new families have periods of feeling anxious and overwhelmed. Mindfulness in Breastfeeding can be a useful tool to enable you to get the most from your breastfeeding journey, using what we know about how our emotional and physical bodies connect.
Using mindfulness techniques, we can teach ourselves to move to a more calm and relaxed state, which allows our body to repair and recover at a cellular level, imperative for postnatal recovery. Being in a calmer state also allows parents to make better decisions, trust their instincts and calm the flight or flight response when it comes to parenting.
Oxytocin (also known as the love hormone) plays a large part in lactation, and this can only be released at its best when we are in a state of relaxation and calm.
Using mindful breastfeeding has been shown to increase milk supply and pumping output, enable parents to be more relaxed, have confidence in their parenting abilities and enjoy time with their baby more.
Relaxation, such as the techniques used in mindful breastfeeding, can result in babies taking more milk, growing faster and sleeping longer (Husna et al, 2019).
Together with discussion and teaching of the biological and physical aspects of breastfeeding, a Preparing to Breastfeed workshop includes a focus on relaxation, bonding, breathing exercises, journaling and trusting our instincts. Families are given time to explore their thoughts and ideas around breastfeeding and can leave feeling knowledgeable and empowered going forward.
Mindful Breastfeeding is offered to all postnatal clients and depending on your wishes, this may involve affirmations, guided visualisations and other mindfulness tools.
Relaxation has been shown to benefit both parent and child, leading to more confident parents and settled babies.
The mindfulness tools used during consultation are tailored to your situation. Some situations where Mindful Breastfeeding can be particularly useful include:
– Parental Stress and Anxiety
– Low Milk Supply
– Difficult Breastfeeding History
– Breastfeeding Aversion
A bespoke NICU parent and baby service includes a Mindful Breastfeeding session with parents in their home to support them whilst their baby is under the care of medical teams and not yet discharged.
This includes time spent discussing the parents concerns, writing affirmations, guided relaxation specific to your journey and discussion around self-care and ongoing support, together with practical support with expressing and preparing for their baby to come home.
A follow-up feeding assessment once baby is home is included. Please see the Breastfeeding Support page for more details.
If you are a practitioner working with families and would like to add a Mindful Breastfeeding session to your classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.