Sounds like an oxymoron right? How can you relax while pumping, an act most moms find stressful or at the very least, tiresome. Relaxation is helpful during pumping. Stress can inhibit letdown, thereby reducing yield and could potentially affect supply. So how does one relax while pumping?
Set up a zone for pumping. Have pictures of your baby close at hand with no work or stressful distractions. Sometimes, dimming the lights can help.
Routine is important. Routine signals to your body that it’s time to pump milk so following certain motions or steps can tell your body to get ready for pumping.
Watch your posture. Don’t sit leaning over the pump; instead, get the pump set up and turned on, then lean back slightly. Try to sit in a comfortable seat. Even better: one where you can put your feet up!
Think of your baby. As great as your pump is, it is a piece of machinery so your body doesn’t respond to it the same way it does to your warm, cuddly baby whom you love. While pumping, look at pictures or videos (everyone has a smartphone these days!) of your baby if you are away. You can also bring a onesie or blanket that smells like your baby. If your baby is nearby, talk to them while pumping!
Listen! Listen to whatever music relaxes you or lifts your mood. Sometimes, that droning on of the pump can sound like nails on a chalkboard. However, if you find the rhythmic sounds of your pump soothing, just close your eyes and listen away. Some moms find listening to water sounds can increase yield. Running water like babbling brooks and waterfalls are often found on relaxation cds or yoga music so give it a try and see if it helps.
Don’t watch the bottles. Sitting there, staring at the milk dripping into bottles can sometimes reduce letdowns and yield. Check on them occasionally, but distract yourself in other ways mentioned above.