Yes. Both short-term and long-term stress can affect your body. In fact, stress can make you more likely to get sick or have trouble sleeping, stomach problems, headaches, and mental health conditions. But, breastfeeding can help mothers relax and handle stress better. Skin-to-skin contact with your baby has a soothing effect.
Take these steps to help ease stress while breastfeeding:
Get the facts
The first few weeks of breastfeeding are the hardest, but it does get easier. Learn all you can about the benefits of breastfeeding and how to make it work for you to help you get through the rough spots.
Try to find a quiet, comfortable, relaxing place to nurse. This will help make breastfeeding more enjoyable for you and your baby. Use this time to bond with your baby, listen to soothing music, meditate, or read a book.
Your stress could get worse if you don’t get enough sleep. With enough sleep, it is easier to cope with challenges and stay healthy. Try to sleep whenever possible.
Surround yourself with supportive people
It really does take a village to raise a child. Read these suggestions on how your family and friends can help support your breastfeeding goals.
Physical activity improves your mood. Your body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, when you exercise. These relieve stress and improve your mood. If you are a new mother, ask your doctor when it is okay to start exercising.
Don’t deal with stress in unhealthy ways
This includes drinking too much alcohol, using drugs, or smoking, all of which can harm you and your baby. It is also unhealthy to overeat in response to stress.
Get help from a professional if you need it
A therapist can help you work through stress and find better ways to deal with problems. Medicines can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and help promote sleep. But not all medicines are safe to take while breastfeeding. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine.