Tulsa Breastfeeding Support
Authored by: Missy David, Birth Doula with Tulsa Family Doulas
Are you planning to breastfeed, but maybe feel a little frightened after hearing how difficult it was for your friends? Never fear; encouragement is here!
All About The Breast
It was just a matter of time before someone decided to make a parody of the popular Meghan Trainor song All About That Bass with a Breastfeeding theme. If you haven't seen All About The Breast yet, here you go, and you're welcome!
What I love about this video and the rewritten lyrics is the lighthearted positivity in it. Check out some of these lyrics:
"Yeah, Momma, I'll tell you don't worry about your size. Because your baby just wants to be held close to you at night. You know, at first you may struggle and want to give up the fight, but just stick with it and soon you and baby will be alright."
Did you know your attitude and stress level can affect your success in Breastfeeding? They can, because Breastfeeding, among other things, is all about those hormones!
Prolactin is a hormone secreted by the Pituitary Gland and causes the body to make milk.
Oxytocin causes the "let down" reflex and allows the muscles of the breast and nipple to eject the milk.
Emotions In Breastfeeding
Part of the neuroendocrine (big word that means brain and hormones) component of Breastfeeding is emotional. This means your milk production and how it's released from your body is directly tied to your emotions. This is why many lactating mothers may leak milk when they hear other people's babies crying!
Here's what you need to know: When you are stressed or worried, your body produces stress hormones or "fight or flight" hormones, which are adrenaline, catecholamines and cortisol. Notice that Prolactin and Oxytocin are NOT on that list, which are the hormones you need to produce and release milk!
Just as it was important for you to relax in labor so your body could produce the Oxytocin it needed to contract and birth your baby, you need to chill out in order to successfully breastfeed. Here are some ways you can relax and keep it All About The Breast:
- Get sweet with your Honey - Oxytocin is produced during love-making and orgasm, and it's a lot of fun! Many women experience leaking during love-making, so just keep a towel handy and "keep the pipes running!" While you may not be ready physically or emotionally for intercourse, that doesn't mean you can't snuggle and be affectionate. Do what you are comfortable with, but get sweet!
- Cheers! - You steered clear of alcohol all during pregnancy, and now you're wondering if it's okay. Most health care professionals approve the occasional drink (notice that's not plural) while breastfeeding. A glass of wine can help you unwind, and beer can actually help milk production. Just enjoy it right after a feeding to give your body a chance to process it before the next feeding. Rule of thumb: if you can still feel the effects of the alcohol, so can your baby.
- Take a bath - I know it's hard to take time for yourself when you're so concerned with every breath, cry, whimper and wiggle of that sweet new squish, but it's important for your mind and body to take care of yourself. Ask your partner or your Postpartum Doula to keep an eye on your baby for a few minutes so you can soak and relax your muscles and mind.
- Your tricks - Everyone has their own routines and tricks for relaxing when they need to. What are yours? Yoga? Music? Exercise? It's important for your overall health, and for your success at breastfeeding to take care of you and de-stress!