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Breastfeeding doesn’t have to be stressful – Ines Beltran, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent

25 Aug

Having a new baby and getting into the breastfeeding routine can be stressful.  However, studies have shown that breastfeeding is so healthy for moms and their infants that it worth the effort.  Breastfeeding is a normal process; it offers essential nutrients and a nutritionally balanced meal, breastmilk is easy to digest and it fights diseases.

cross_cradle_2000x1100_4x3[1]Stress affects breastfeeding and can make you more likely to get sick or have trouble sleeping. Stress may cause stomach problems, headaches, and mental health conditions. However, breastfeeding can help mothers relax and handle stress better. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby has a soothing effect.

These steps would help ease stress while breastfeeding:

• Get informed. Learn all you can about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to make it work for you to help you get through the rough spots. The first few weeks of breastfeeding are the hardest, but it does get easier. 

• Learn how to relax. Try to find a quiet, comfortable, relaxing place to nurse. This will help make breastfeeding more enjoyable for you and your baby. Use this time to bond with your baby, listen to soothing music, meditate, or read a book.

• Sleep. Getting enough sleep will make you less stress, help you to cope with challenges and stay healthy. Try to sleep whenever possible.

• It really does take a village to raise a child. Talk to your family about supporting your goals of breastfeeding and how you need their support. 

• Physical activity improves your mood. Your body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, when you exercise. These relieve stress and improve your mood. If you are a new mother, ask your doctor when it is okay to start exercising.

•Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, or smoking, all of which can harm you and your baby. It is also unhealthy to overeat in response to stress.

• Ask for help from a professional if you need it. Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with problems. Talk to your doctor about taking some medicines to help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and help promote sleep. However, not all medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding. Read more about stress and medicines that are safe to take while breastfeeding at

https://womensmentalhealth.org/specialty-clinics/breastfeeding-and-psychiatric-medication/

 

 

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