Nursing Vacation – Does it Really Helps Breastfeeding Mothers
Most babies take to suckling naturally and have no problem breastfeeding, but there are others who are a bit fussier and who do not like to suckle on the breast, making breastfeeding a lot harder for mom. If your infant falls into the latter category, and you feel you have tried everything but are not getting any results, it may be time for you to take a nursing vacation!
What Is a Breastfeeding Vacation?
A breastfeeding vacation, also known as a nursing vacation or the pump-in weekend, is spending at least thirty-six hours cuddling and relaxing with your baby while you try to breastfeed. A nursing vacation does not require you to be trapped in bed, but you can spend the time doing things you find relaxing, such as reading, watching movies or series, knitting, or just napping. The aim of the nursing vacation is to allow you to spend as much time alone with your baby, ensuring that there is a lot of skin contact and no distractions so that your baby gets as much time as they need to learn how to feed.
Should You Go on a Breastfeeding Vacation?
Not everyone needs to go on a nursing vacation, but if your baby is refusing to suckle no matter what method you try, this may be something you should do. Mothers with a weak or slow flow of milk will also benefit from this vacation promoting breastfeeding. Nursing vacations require a mother and child to spend a lot of time together, strengthening the bond. It also helps to keep up the milk supply and will help to relax your baby and help to improve development.
What Should You Do on a Breastfeeding Vacation?
When your baby isn’t nursing as well as he should, your milk supply can suffer since your body assumes your baby doesn’t need the milk. One of the main aims of the breastfeeding vacation is to trick your body into thinking that your baby needs more milk due to a growth spurt so that your milk supply keeps flowing.
While on your nursing vacation, the point is to spend as much of those three days simply spending time with your child and nursing. You will need to be prepared to pump as well since your baby will need time to learn. Ensure that there is a lot of skin-to-skin contact between you and the little one so that certain hormones start to get produced in both of you.
What Are the Benefits of a Nursing Vacation?
Here are some benefits of a nursing vacation:
1. Releases Necessary Hormones
Hormones, such as oxytocin, prolactin, norepinephrine, opioids and pheromones, are released during the breastfeeding vacation. These hormones help promote maternal caregiving behaviour, increase milk production, improve mother-baby bonding, reduce pain, and perform many other responsibilities that benefit you and your baby.
2. Increases the Production of Milk
The more your baby nurses and the more you pump, the more milk you will produce. This is because your body will feel like your baby needs more milk if more is being used. Comfort nursing is common during breastfeeding vacations and is a way for your baby to take comfort from you, even if he won’t get much nutrition out of it. This also helps to improve the production of milk.
3. Helps Bonding
Nursing is one of the most intimate activities between mother and child, and it improves the bonding between the two. Even adoptive mothers of babies have been known to comfort nurse their babies, though they do not produce any milk. This releases hormones like opioids and oxytocin and helps mother and child bond.
Nursing a newborn child is a challenging task, and it can put a lot of stress on you. Babies also feel stressed if they are already struggling to nurse, so a nursing vacation takes the two of you away from what is going on outside and helps you both relax and focus on the task. When you are relaxed, you will also feel less anxiety and will be better able to nurse your child.
Tips to Follow While You Are on a Breastfeeding Vacation
Here are a few tips that you may find useful:
- Make sure that any activity you choose to do is relaxing.
- Rest as much as you can.
- Sleep with your child.
- Ensure you have someone to look after other children or the home if you need it, so you won’t need to worry.
- Eat healthily and prepare for your vacation by freezing food or having someone prepare meals for you.
- Prepare a nursing basket for yourself that includes everything you will need, including distractions like a book or some snacks.
- Try your hand at power pumping.
- If your baby only ends up suckling for a few minutes before giving up, let it be and try again later. Do not force them to keep drinking.
What If Your Baby Doesn’t Support Your Nursing Vacation?
Not all babies make your breastfeeding vacation easy, and some even refuse to support it by continuing to fuss. The key here is not to give up but to gently try to coax your baby into drinking from the breast. Never force your baby to drink, as this will have the opposite effect. You should always ensure that your little one is clean and comfortable and that you engage with him whenever he awakens. You do not need to always play with him, but any contact and communication that supports learning are encouraged. You can show your baby some attractive patterns or different colours to keep his mind engaged.
While it can be challenging for mothers who struggle with breastfeeding, nursing vacations have been known to help, so go ahead and try it.
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Is Comfort Nursing Beneficial for Babies?