Are you having trouble with milk supply? Could stress be to blame? Studies suggest relaxed mothers makes more milk than their stressed out, anxious counterparts.
A 1989 study by Stephen Feher, published in the Cochrane Review, followed over 70 mothers with infants in the NICU. All the mothers in the study pumped breast milk for their babies. 38 of the mothers were given a 20-minute relaxation tape, while the 31 mothers in the control group did not receive one. The result? The group of mothers who listened to the tapes made 121% more milk than the control group.
So what is the belief behind the milk boosting power of relaxation? Stress hormones are an inhibitor of the milk producing hormone, oxytocin. Without oxytocin, milk is unable to pass from the ducts to the areola, and on to the baby.
There’s good news! If you are experiencing trouble with lactation, Stephen Feher has re-recorded his relaxation exercise and it is now available on iTunes for FREE!
And finally, a fun tidbit: Mariah Carey’s song, “All I Want For Christmas is You” boosted milk production in goats in the UK.
Seriously though mamas, try to relax. Set aside some time everyday for you to do a relaxation exercise or to meditate. You deserve it and so does your baby.