As new moms, we're often told that breast is best. Of course, there are the obvious health benefits for baby, like boosting their immune system, and that precious bonding time you get to share. However, it's not always a walk in the park.
In some cases, breastfeeding can be tough for moms and babies and for a number of reasons. Moms can struggle to find a position that works for them, while babies can have trouble latching on. All this can lead to feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. It's not a fun place to be when all you want to do is feed your baby. Now, according to Romper, researchers have discovered that relaxation therapy could be the answer to all of these woes.
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These moments are sacred and pure. It’s taken me four babies but I’ve fallen deeply in love with this process. When i had phinneus nearly 8 years ago i NEVER thought i would be this mom. It just didn’t feel possible. But here i am. So thankful and so full of pride. I’m really liking getting to know this part of me.
An experiment conducted in Malaysia discovered that moms that fed while listening to relaxation tapes ended up feeling less stressed than others who didn't. Not only did these women find it easier to nurse in general, but their milk had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than other participants in the study. Babies loved the recordings, too, as they slept longer, ate more, and gained weight at a faster rate than their peers.
The lead author of the study, Nurul Husna Mold Shukri, said the results were promising even though they only tested one type of relaxation. Shukri says that the findings make it likely that the same effects can be replicated if the mom listened to anything that they personally find relaxing. In this case, the 64 moms were provided with a "modified audio-guided imagery protocol designed for breastfeeding mothers". In other words, they used a guided meditation to help them feel calm and relaxed during this time.
By the time that the participating babies were three months old, the study found that they were drinking 8 ounces more than the babies who didn't listen to the recordings. A similar study back in 1989 found that moms of premature babies produced 63% more milk after listening to a 20-minute recording. While this is a great piece of information to tuck in your back pocket, it might not work for everyone.
The most important thing is that a baby gets fed, not how it gets fed. Whether you opt for formula or breastfeeding, you're still doing the best for your child.