Music is the Food of Love in more ways than we know.
Research has found that listening to music while you breastfeed can significantly help reduce anxiety and stress helping you and your baby to relax while feeding.
When we relax we produce Oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland which helps smooth muscle contract. It is responsible for the ‘let-down’ process.
The ‘let-down’ process squeezes the milk from the milk-producing cells, while the baby is suckling, down the ducts and out into the baby’s mouth. Some mums can feel this ‘let-down’ process, while other mothers do not.
Any music that you find soothing and enjoyable to listen to will be beneficial to keep you calm and relaxed.
It is easy to set up and cheap – you just need your speaker or phone.
You can listen to specific CDs already prepared with calming relaxing music or just your favourite playlist. Or an audio book.
It may be something you have listened to and enjoyed during pregnancy or labour. Your baby will remember this music.
Sing to your baby.
It also helps whenever or if you are pumping or expressing, at home or at work.
Feher, Berger, Johnson Wilde 1989, University of New Mexico found that mothers listening to a 20-minute audio on relaxation expressed up to 63% more breast milk than a randomized group of control mothers.
Among these mothers who had babies in neonatal units, where stress and anxiety is high, the increase in milk volume was 121% compared to the control mothers.
Keith, Weaver, Vogel 2012, Georgia College and State UniversityUSA
Found a small study of 162 preterm mothers while listening to music and expressing using a pump, produced significantly more milk with a higher fat content during the first 6 days of the study.