Exclusive Breastfeeding, Tips for Launching Breastfeeding with Relaxation
For mothers who have just given birth, breastfeeding their baby can be one of the best experiences. But sometimes there are problems that can hinder breastfeeding. This problem has the potential to hamper the exclusive breastfeeding program, namely breastfeeding babies from birth to six months of age without additional food and drink. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding to further optimize child development and health.
Some problems in breastfeeding are related to the mother's health condition that requires an examination by a doctor to identify the source of the problem and discuss with the mother to find a solution, for example through medication. However, there are other factors that make the exclusive breastfeeding program not smooth. One of them is the mother's psychological condition.
Excessive worry often encourages the emergence of psychological conditions that can hinder exclusive breastfeeding. Worried about not being able to produce enough breast milk, for example, when in fact the mother's milk production is sufficient but it becomes hampered because of the stress of not enough breast milk.
Generally mothers with first children who experience this problem because it is a new experience. Mother's psychological condition affects the success of exclusive breastfeeding, especially related to milk production. Increased psychological stress can interfere with the flow of breast milk. To overcome this problem, mothers can try to undergo relaxation during the breastfeeding period.
Benefits of Relaxation for Smooth Breastfeeding
A study in Malaysia whose results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2019 found the benefits of relaxation therapy for mothers and babies. In the research, researchers divided two groups of mothers and babies, namely those who underwent relaxation therapy and those who did not. As a result, babies whose mothers followed therapy had a higher body weight. The baby's sleeping habits are also better. In addition, the mother's stress level is smaller according to the Perceived Stress Score index.
The study states that relaxation can affect the volume and/or composition of breast milk, which has a positive impact on infant growth and sleeping habits. Therefore, the mother should ensure that she is in a relaxed state during the period of exclusive breastfeeding. To achieve this condition, mothers can undergo relaxation either through special therapy or independently at home.
How to Relaxation to Launch Breast Milk
There are a number of ways of relaxation for the success of exclusive breastfeeding. There are many of them that you can do yourself at home when you have free time.
1. Breathing exercises
Mothers can achieve a relaxed state by practicing breathing. One of them is the abdominal breathing technique. The trick, sit comfortably on the floor, fold your legs, and place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Then inhale deeply through the nose, exhale through the mouth. Feel the contraction of the abdominal muscles during this process while closing your eyes. Do it for about 10-15 minutes.
2. Listen to music
Music can help mothers relax, especially when breastfeeding or pumping milk. Choose soothing music, such as classical music. The mind will be calm when listening to this type of music. Mothers can build a good mood or mood by listening to favorite music.
Meditation has long been recognized as a powerful relaxation technique. Meditate when conditions allow. Because meditation requires a quiet and calm atmosphere. There is no specific way to meditate. You can just shut your eyes and focus on one thing that soothes you. You can also pray.
Reading can also be a way of relaxation to launch breast milk. Read books that you enjoy, can be novels or women's magazines. Reading helps divert the mind towards something new and interesting.
Perform relaxation techniques that feel most appropriate and easy to do. If necessary, see a doctor or therapist to get professional input for the smooth running of exclusive breastfeeding.