The benefits of Reflexology after childbirth is a reality, and for a mother who wants to bet on breastfeeding, this therapy can be a great support and help in the initial process, since breastfeeding a newborn is not always it is an easy task.
The maternal hormonal changes that occur in the postpartum are those that trigger the rise of milk, frequent sucking and emptying of the breast. They are absolutely necessary to ensure adequate milk production in the following days. The correct functioning of the breast depends on both the maternal hormonal system and the emptying of the breast.
During pregnancy occurs a hormone called prolactin. This hormone is responsible for stimulating the mammary alveoli (the place where milk is produced). But during pregnancy, its stimulating effect will be blocked by the progesterone produced by the placenta.
After delivery, the progesterone brake stops and prolactin begins to stimulate milk production. The person responsible for the production of prolactin is the pituitary and the sucking of the nipple will produce a reflex that will cause the pituitary to release prolactin.
For the milk produced in the mammary glands to get close to the surface and the baby can remove it, another hormone called oxytocin is needed and the pituitary will also be responsible for releasing it, causing its production through the stimulation of the nipple. This hormone contracts the mammary alveoli and forces the milk to exit through the ducts and reach the milk sinuses (a process called the ejection reflex).
The emptying of the breast stimulates the mammary gland causing the release of prolactin. In addition to this, it happens that milk contains a substance that slows its own production, so the emptier the breast is, the more milk it will make.
At the beginning of lactation, prolactin and suction are very important, later a good, frequent and complete emptying of the breasts will guarantee a good lactation.
Psychological factors also influence this processAnd while stress, anxiety, and other sudden unpleasant physical stimuli inhibit prolactin release, there are others, such as hearing the baby cry for food, which makes the pituitary work harder to produce oxytocin.
Through reflexology you can:
1 - Work the Nervous System It will help me induce the mother to a deep state of relaxation, alleviating, if necessary, any stress or anxiety that she may have. Being calmer will help to start the breastfeeding process much more safely and with more patience. The baby, who is the reflection of his mother, will also be calmer in this process, avoiding anxiety in sucking.
2 - It's a good time to work the Endocrine System, this will help balance the great hormonal decline that occurs after childbirth, and stimulate the pituitary, responsible for the production of prolactin and oxytocin. In addition, the presence of adequate levels of insulin, corticosteroids, thyroid hormones and growth factors is also necessary for the proper functioning of the breast.
3 - Stimulate the reflex in the chest area, will help stimulate all parts of the breast.
4 - Breast emptying is important before the Reflexology treatment.
My experience tells me that women who choose to breastfeed often have received no cultural legacy to help them in this task. Even the information received during pregnancy does not teach in the same way as what has been seen to be done and has been assumed to be natural. These women will need support during their hospital stay and in the weeks or months that follow.
Finding qualified personnel before and after delivery, joining a group of mothers to support breastfeeding, making sure you have good unconditional support from your family and relying on reflexology, could be key pieces to achieve success in breastfeeding.
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