Before our little ones arrive, many of us imagine eventually settling into a quaint and blissful breastfeeding experience. Baby nestled into our arms, quietly suckling until their little bellies are full. Baby is happy. Mom is happy.
But for most of us new moms, even if we eventually get into a rhythm, breastfeeding is a physical, mental, and emotional expedition—like scaling a mountain…in the snow……without a puffy winter coat…and no cell phone service. In fact, 67% of us report feeling really stressed about it.
While the physical challenges of breastfeeding are visible—painful nipples, engorged breasts, leaky boobs—the mental and emotional stresses are silent lurkers. And ones we wrestle with the most.
The thing is that research shows that there are strong connections between a mom’s stress level and her breastfeeding outcomes. In other words, the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to experience bumps on the breastfeeding road, whether it’s with regard to starting to breastfeed, how long you breastfeed, the exclusivity of breastfeeding, or quality (i.e. nutrient density) of your breastmilk.
So the mental and emotional stress of breastfeeding—and postpartum in general—can be counterproductive to milk production…therefore exacerbating an issue that is contributing to your stress. Not helpful, right?
This piece was originally published on Babe by Hatch. Read the full article here.