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Protecting your breastfeeding journey during times of stress.

Having a new baby and the associated sleep deprivation is stressful enough aside from all the other nonsense the world is throwing at us at the moment. No wonder a lot of the moms I see are feeling stressed and anxious, particularly with how to protect their milk supply.

So, what can you do to protect your post-partum and breastfeeding journey?

LIMIT THE BACKGROUND NOISE: Try to focus on TODAY. Limit the amount of social media and news you expose yourself to. Find one or two good sources of information and stick to those so that you are up to date but not exposed to a constant stream of doom and gloom.

When stressed, or anxious, the adrenaline released by your body can slow down the release of your milk producing hormones.  Stress and breastfeeding hormones don’t mix well. Which leads to my second tip:

SELF-CARE: It is not selfish to take care of yourself as a new Mum. Getting enough rest, good nutrition and engaging in stress relief time (a bath, a walk, a nap) is essential.

FEED, FEED, FEED: an empty breast is a breast that will produce more milk. Spend this time focusing on your baby and feeding as often as baby needs to. This will protect your supply like nothing else. If feeding isn’t going well for you, please contact a lactation consultant to get the help you need.

USE WARMTH AND SMELL TO ENCOURAGE A GOOD “LET DOWN”: Using warmth on your breasts prior to a feed or pumping session can really encourage your let down (flow of milk). This is also true for smell. Having something that smells like your baby releases all the good hormones!

SKIN-TO-SKIIN CONTACT: Spending time in skin-to-skin contact with your baby sets your feeding up for great success and is always a win. The benefits are endless, but in summary, it increases your confidence, and your baby will generally sleep better, feed better and as a knock on effect you will cope better.

For more tips and tricks to get breastfeeding off to a great start see @growlactation.

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