Oxytocin is often called the relaxation, cuddle, love, and mothering hormone. It’s a super hormone that plays a vital role in labor, skin-to-skin contact, and of course, breastfeeding.
Oxytocin is fantastic, but why?
How is oxytocin connected to breastfeeding?
Oxytocin is crucial for breastfeeding. It triggers the milk ejection reflex, known as “let-down.” Letdown is when breast milk releases from the alveoli, the milk-producing and storing lobules. Letdown is the beginning of a productive feeding.
What affects oxytocin release?
Some factors can reduce your oxytocin levels, impacting breastfeeding:
- Breast surgery (especially if breast nerves were affected)
- Fear or embarrassment
- Alcohol consumption
The good news? Most of these issues can be addressed and improved through various techniques and healing methods. IBCLCs are trained to help you understand and address these issues
How can you boost oxytocin for better breastfeeding?
If you’re experiencing decreased oxytocin, there are a few simple things you can do to enhance its release:
- Relaxation: As a new mama, it might seem like a joke to recommend relaxation, but simple relaxation can be highly effective. You don’t need a beach getaway to relax. Try deep breathing, meditation, or imagining soothing scenes like water flowing. Even just smelling your baby can help encourage your body to release oxytocin.
- Reducing Stress: Identifying and managing stressors in your life can significantly boost oxytocin production. List out the things causing you stress and work on strategies to reduce or eliminate them.
- Ensuring a Deep Latch: A proper latch during breastfeeding is not just important for feeding efficiency, but it also helps in maximizing the benefits of oxytocin, reducing discomfort, and enhancing the overall experience.
In your journey of motherhood, remember the powerful role of oxytocin in breastfeeding. As you navigate through its ups and downs, know that simple, thoughtful actions can significantly enhance your experience. We at The Lactation Collection are here to guide and support you, ensuring your breastfeeding journey is as joyful and fulfilling as possible.
If you feel that something is off about your breastfeeding experience, reach out for help. Mother’s intuition is powerful, and we’re here to support you. You can email us at email@example.com or schedule a consultation.
We’re here to support you mama.