Stress can negatively affect breastfeeding moms and newborns alike. Here are several ways how to keep low-stress levels.
Pregnancy and motherhood are the most singular experiences a woman can have in her life. Of course, stress is a constant companion in the nursing period, and if left unchecked, it can have a lot of negative consequences on both mother and child, as well as other close family members.
Additionally, from a hectic sleep schedule to constant diaper changing, on top of keeping up with the house chores, stress can quickly accumulate. It can lead to a weakened immune system, loss of energy, decreased milk volume, and even depression.
Keeping a good life balance is essential in creating a healthy environment for you and your little one to develop and thrive, as well as overcome any breastfeeding challenges that might arise along the way. Here are several ways in which you can reduce stress.
Build a support network
During the nursing period, having a stable support network of family and friends is crucial in tackling the everyday challenges of raising a newborn. The emotional and practical support can help you save a lot of energy and reduce stress in a very significant way.
Get enough rest
This may be a tough one considering all of the challenges during breastfeeding. However, establishing a daily breastfeeding routine goes a long way into getting those few precious hours of uninterrupted sleep. Additionally, on top of a diet rich in galactagogic foods, it helps with milk production, which in turn can help reduce stress to you and your little one by promoting a safe and healthy nurturing bond.
Taking your little one for a walk, or a 5-minute light exercise can help reduce stress dramatically, due to the production of endorphins. They are natural mood-elevating chemicals that reduce the amount of cortisol in your system. Make sure you consult your doctor before you start any exercise regimen since your body is still recovering from the trials of pregnancy during nursing.
Take some ‘me’ time
Finding a few minutes to relax each day is a perfect way to reduce stress. Oftentimes, breastfeeding itself is a calming activity as it releases large quantities of oxytocin (the bonding hormone). Skin-to-skin contact with your little one is another stress-relieving activity which helps you build the mother-child bond. When possible, even indulge in your favorite pastime activity whenever your baby is having that afternoon nap.
Consult a therapist
Having the counsel of a trained psychotherapist in these tumultuous times is another very useful way of reducing stress. More importantly, As the stigma around psychological health decreases over time and people are more open about their emotional health, it could be extremely beneficial to ‘unburden’ yourself from your daily worries and struggles, and replenish your battery.
Happy mothers raise happy children, and reducing the amount of accumulated daily stress can help in quite a substantial way. Of course, a certain amount of stress is unavoidable but it’s important to remember to enjoy every precious moment with your lovely little one. Watching them grow and develop into lively, healthy children is the greatest reward each of us can hope for.