21 Apr 10 Expert tips for breastfeeding mums during the Coronavirus
Natasha Lunn, an Australian International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Medela support partner – shares some practical help for pregnant women or breastfeeding mums and their families to stay happy and healthy during the Coronavirus pandemic.
I work with many mums offering advice, support and understanding. Being pregnant or starting a breast-feeding journey can be challenging at the best of times, and even more so now, while we navigate COVID-19.
That’s why I want to share these 10 valuable tips to help women remain positive and calm:
1. Get out and go for a walk.
Endorphins from exercise will help with stress as well as a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun. Just remember, in these times of COVID-19, to keep a 1.5m distance if you run into someone outside of your family unit.
2. Do something you love!
Whether it is cooking, crafting, exercising, painting or dancing, enjoy an activity to keep your cup filled – feeling great about everything you are! Keep your babe close by wearing them in a sling, wrap or carrier to help promote those feel-good oxytocin or ‘love hormone’ vibes alive as well.
3. Since we are all home together, bring on those lovin’ vibes with your partner.
Remember, a good ‘snuggle’ with your partner is a great feel-good boost too! Having sex and an orgasm is great for releasing oxytocin and endorphins, our natural pain-killing hormones – and is great for supporting your relationship during this time.
4. When it comes to breastfeeding and pumping, create a ritual to help with the letdown response
The letdown is a conditioned response – we react to a set of stimuli like being around our baby and nipple stimulation to make it happen. But introducing other stimuli that’s the same every time can also be helpful – like having your favourite drink, sitting in the same spot, binge-watching a series on NETFLIX, having your snacks close by (I recommend having snack stations set up everywhere you breastfeed by the couch, next to your bed etc).
5. Take a bath with your baby.
Go in with zero expectation to breastfeed. Just relax and enjoy the warmth and skin-to-skin time. If they latch, even better!
6. Get expert help and support tools if you have supply or painful challenges
If you experience a drop in milk supply or you’re experiencing pain, it’s important you talk to a an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or contact the Australian Breastfeeding Association’s Breastfeeding Helpline. Many of us are now doing telehealth consultations in line with the new COVID19 restrictions.
Some ways you can increase your supply include feeding or expressing frequently (at least eight times in 24 hours, preferably more often). A pumping bra and double pump can be very helpful – like Medela’s new personalised Flex™ technology breast pumps.
You can also try ‘hands-on’ breastfeeding (massaging your breast while feeding or pumping) to increase milk output. You may also require a nipple shield if you have challenges with pain.
7. Nourish yourself
Make sure you’re eating well, staying well hydrated, and getting lots of rest when you can.
8. Stay connected – virtually
While we may be forced to isolate, make sure you stay connected to your friends and family via phone and video conferencing. There are also many mums’ communities and information online, like Medela’s Mums Room.
9. If you are feeling particularly anxious or depressed, support is there
PANDA (the Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia) helps women and their families who are suffering from perinatal anxiety or depression.
10. This too will pass!
Now more than ever is the time for pregnant women and breastfeeding mums to prioritise their wellbeing. Just like the airlines recommend, put on your lifejacket first! Remember COVID19 will pass – as will the emotional challenges of newborn life. We will come out of this stronger.
For more information about Coronavirus for pregnant and breastfeeding mums, you can visit Medela’s special COVID19 information hub for mothers here.
CHILDmags is excited to announce we are giving away a pump from the newly launched Medela Flex™ technology family – which adapts to fit every mum’s personal breast shape and lifestyle needs.
Medela’s Swing Flex™ single pump is valued at $289.95.
For more information visit: http://www.medela.com.au