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Breathing with Breastfeeding

Updated: May 11, 2022

When we are first getting comfortable with breastfeeding it can be stressful, full of pain and tension. We often hear fairy-tale stories of how great it is, how much bonding and the old breast is best pressure and so on. But in the moment we often forget to breath, relax and be calm. My first experience involving my breath effecting milk flow was when I was back to work at three months postpartum. I worked 4+ hours 3-4 days a week. I had to pump every time I breast fed so that I had enough to leave my baby while I was gone. I visual saw in the breast pump bottle that I had very little to give and it seemed only 2-4 ducts flowing milk. I was always super stressed and uncomfortable pumping and felt I had a low milk production. Sometimes I even pumped in my parents living room. So you can imagine how comfortable this was. Remember the pump usually doesn't produce as much breast milk as actually suckling, so this though likely was false. One night I sat down in my babies room him in one hand and the pump in the other, after a long day, feeling overwhelmed I took a slow, low, deep inhale through my nose and a long slow smooth exhale and realized that it triggered my "let down" and then I had 6-8 or more milk ducts releasing so much more milk than ever before. Finding a relaxing functional breath and space while feeding or pumping your milk is key to successful production of milk. Taking yourself out of fight or flight / sympathetic to a rest and digest/ parasympathetic state where your body and mind can function properly. Photo Credit Luiza Braun

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