by Wendy Bell, CLE
Editor’s note: A big thanks to Snugabell for their support of TLB and all breastfeeding women; please be sure to take a moment to thank Snugabell on their Facebook page for their show of support! You can also follow Snugabell on Twitter and Instagram: username @snugabell. Be sure to check out their special at the end of this article.
Have you heard of elite sports teams using visualizations in their training? They will gather together, but instead of actually doing a workout or physically training, they will sit together and visualize their event: they think of the venue, their opponent, and they move through each and every step of the event, from prep to (hopefully) winning.
Pumpin’ mamas can take a tip from this training tactic. It’s used in elite training for a reason: it works! If you’re having a hard time letting down for the pump, it’s time to settle down and look inward. Count backwards from 20 and center yourself. As you count, continually focus more on the numbers and forget the physical space you’re in; forget the pump; forget the bottles. Just breathe in and out and get to zero.
When you get to zero, think of your sweet baby. Think of a nursing session that went particularly well – a specific session. Remember the details and walk yourself through it. Mentally settle yourself wherever you were. Think of holding your baby, getting comfortable in your seat, and positioning the baby to latch. Remember the details of the latch: how was baby positioned? Were her eyes open? Was she cooing? Remember those first quick, shallow sucks and the seemingly magical way your baby knew exactly what to do for your milk to let down. Remember how it felt when your milk let down and those quick sucks turned to long, deep suckles and periodic swallows. Remember how you and your baby both relaxed through the rest of the feeding. Think of the scent of your baby and the way he feels snuggled up with you, cozy to your body.
When you’re done “nursing” your baby through this visualization, then you can look down and see what the bottles have collected. You may be surprised at how much milk came out while you were mentally with your babe!
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