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A woman anxious about breastfeeding her brand new baby, starts listening to some old guided imagery

23 Feb
A woman anxious about breastfeeding her brand new baby, starts listening to some old guided imagery tapes set up in an old cassette player by the rocker, and the milk starts flowing!
I’m a new, breastfeeding mother who is here to praise guided imagery and smart husbands!

I got off to a rough start with breastfeeding my brand new 6 pound daughter after she was born this past November. I was worried when the baby lost weight in the first days after she came home, even though I knew this was typical for breastfed babies, it was still unnerving. Comments from my mother, disguised as questions did not help matters. ("Are you sure she’s getting enough? Don’t you think she should have some formula, just in case?" Grrrrrr.)

The more tense I got, the more trouble I had with my milk letting down in a timely way. This transferred to the baby, who was getting worse instead of better at latching on to the nipple. This, combined with sleep deprivation, made me a bundle of nerves.

My husband got the bright idea of digging up some old guided imagery tapes. I had some very old relaxation tapes in a box in the closet from years ago (some of yours, some of Emmett Miller’s, some made by my old therapist) and I started playing them on our only remaining cassette player, which he’d set up by the rocking chair in the baby’s room. The difference in my milk production was astounding!!! I immediately went into my old relaxation habits at the first sounds of those tapes, and the milk just flowed.

I thought you’d get a kick out of this and would want to pass along this information - guided imagery has a place in breastfeeding!

Ellen & Henry & Baby Lilah in upstate New York
Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award