Issue 94 is out now
Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

01st August 2016

THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY A WOMAN would need to express. It could be for a social occasion or appointment, because she's returning to work, or for some women they have to express every feed due to inverted nipples or a baby with a cleft palate. I'm not writing this article as a breastfeeding expert, although I think feeding four of my own, including twins, and expressing for my surrogate baby gives me the title of Novice Expert! One ideal scenario would be a warm comfy sofa, big cosy blanket, warm drink, restful background music, pillows to adjust for your own support, and privacy. Let's just say you have none of these, and you don't even have a baby to look at, how can you help yourself? World Breastfeeding Week is 1-7 Aug. To celebrate Jay Kelly offers support

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

01st August 2016

Melissa Corkhill

By Melissa Corkhill

01st August 2016

1 WARMTH Even if the room you are in isn’t warm, use blankets, coats, whatever it takes to be warm. Personally, I cannot function physically or mentally when cold, let alone relax. If it’s a cold environment, think warm thoughts. Imagine the sun shining on your skin, or the glow from a warm fire, a hot drink heating you up from inside.

2 BREATHE This seems like an obvious point, but I mean breathe properly. Most people have become habitual with shallow breathing. When we stop and breathe deeply through our nose, we take the air down to the bottom of our lungs. Abdominal breathing has a profound effect on our stress levels. We bathe the parasympathetic nervous system in calming oxygen when we take deep abdominal breaths – diluting and defusing stress hormones.

3 WATER So many people are living dehydrated, and that’s even without making milk for another being. Water is crucial. Warm water (or at least room temperature) is best. Caffeine, fruit juices etc don’t have the best effect on our bodies. If our body has to do something with the fluid that goes in, for example extract sugars, then it isn’t being absorbed as well as we need it to be. Water or herbal teas are the best drinks to devour. Also regular sipping is better.

4 MINDFUL EXPRESSING Our minds don’t tend to differentiate between real and imagined, and so imagining the mind-body connection happening is a really cool trick. If you are struggling due to not having the baby there, use your imagination, or the bank of memories you have. Imagine the smell of the gorgeous little head, imagine the cute tiny fingers touching, the softness of their skin, and the beautiful eyes staring up at you. If you are expressing at work, and have sad feelings because you’d rather be at home feeding your child, then imagine that you are. Daydream! Knowing that you are still providing for your baby can help in this situation.

Jay is a hypnotherapist and member of the Fertility and Birth Network (FAB) fertilityandbirthnetwork.co.uk. She has four daughters and is a surrogate mother.

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