05 Aug Reflexology is Proven To Increase Lactation
As we are in the middle of National Breastfeeding week I have decided to write on the benefit that Reflexology has brought to increasing and maintaining lactation.
As a midwife,neonatal nurse,public health nurse ,lactation consultant (IBELC) and reflexologist I have worked in the area of supporting mums with establishing and maintaining their breastfeeding for some time.
As breast milk provides all the nutritional needs for the baby it is one of the global priorities of Public Health that breastfeeding should be supported and encouraged as first choice for infant nutrition.
Lactation is a complex process .It not effect only if there is enough breast tissue,but by the endocrine system,genetics, psychology and environmental issues.
If the mum is in a stress state adrenaline and cortisol are produced.Adrenaline suppress oxytocin which is the Let down hormone allowing the milk to come into the breast.Cortisol when it cross into the milk makes the baby fidgety. back arching and screaming at the breast.So stress has an impact on milk production and delivery.
Postnatal reflexology is very beneficial to increase milk supply,to refresh hormones and boost the immune system after the pregnancy and birth process.Reflexology is deeply relaxing for both mind and body reducing mums stress state and so allowing breast milk to be probuced in increased amounts and to flow easier to the baby.
In Reflexology many points are stimulated including the Pituitary Gland (master Gland ) which secretes prolactin which is the hormone which triggers milk production. Oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter produced in the hypothalamus and released from the posterior pituitary gland, creates a “let down” reflex of milk to the breast. Oxytocin also has a influence on anxiety ,stress responses and interpersonal bonding.
Postnatally it is very important to eat healthy and wholesome foods,to drink lots of water , to rest as much as possible and to drink fennel tea.All of the above will will help to increase milk production.
Reflexology has been scientifically proven to increase lactation in mums with fully term and preterm babies.
Reflexology can start as soon as is wish after birth.
Reflexology reduces the production of adrenaline and cortisol which can hinder the establishment of breastfeeding.
In Ireland where our Breastfeeding rate is so very low Reflexology is a positive, non intrusive treatment with benefits for Mum ,Baby and Dad, the whole family.