Welcome to the November Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month's theme is product reviews, and you'll find some great posts from other bloggers at the bottom of this post.
If you're a nursing and/or pumping mom, you may have wrestled with the demons of declining milk production, inhibited let down while pumping, and the overall stress of motherhood.
In the last few yeas some CDs have come on the market up to try to address these problems with guided relaxation exercises and meditations. This makes sense because both rituals and relaxation can help with milk let down and production. I listened to each of these CDs, and am sharing what I learned about each one here.
More Mama's Milk, produced by Earth Mama Angel Baby, contains 3 tracks over a new age music score, read by Lori Dorman, a co-founder of Earth Mama Angel Baby. It is not explicitly focused on helping mothers who pump, but it could certainly be used while pumping.
The first track is a 12 minute visualization/relaxation exercise which asks you to imagine holding, touching, and loving your baby, and also a bountiful supply of milk. It aims to evoke a strong emotional and presumably hormonal response in the service of making more milk. The second track is a 20 minute is intended to be listened to while breastfeeding. The first half of this track is a relaxation exercise which includes blessings for your baby, visualization of walking through a garden, and a focus on appreciating the time you're spending nursing. The second half of this track is strictly a music score for those who want to stay in the relaxed state longer. The third track is a 20 minute meditation on motherhood. It's less relaxing and more focused on imparting messages about motherhood, particularly about nurturing yourself. I liked the compassionate and breastfeeding-focused messages in this meditation, but they might not be as effective over time as the first two tracks. This is the most directed and most emotive of the three recordings I reviewed, and it's also my favorite of the three.
Pumping Secrets, by Jenniffer Milone, is a mom-designed CD aimed at helping mothers pump more milk. The feature which sets this recording apart is the sound of a baby nursing, with cooing, gulping, giggling, squealing, and fussing. These sounds are heard over a piano score, and there is no narration. Pumping Secrets contains three tracks: a 50 minute breastfeeding track, a 10 minute double-pumping track, and a 20 minute single pumping track.
The creator of Pumping Secrets is a mother of three who pumped at work, and who found that she could pump more milk if she listened to a recording of the sounds of her son nursing. Will listening to the sounds of someone else's baby nursing help you make and let down milk more easily, or will it just sound a little strange? It's certainly true that making milk is a hormonal process and our hormones can be triggered by emotional responses to sounds, smells, and visualizations. So, it seems worth a try. It would also certainly help to imagine that you're listening to the sounds of your own baby while using this CD. I have one copy of Pumping Secrets to give away. To enter to win it, leave a comment below by November 24th. U.S. addresses only, please.
Breastfeeding Meditation, by Sheri Menelli, a certified hypnotherapist, contains two programs: an affirmations track, and a meditation track. These tracks are provided with and without music. It is not explicitly focused on helping pumping mothers, but could certainly be used while pumping.
The affirmations track is about 13 minutes long, and consists of positive, first person statements about breastfeeding ("I make plenty of milk for my baby") and about one's body, over a new age music score. For someone who likes hearing affirmations, they may have a calming and supportive effect, though I'm not sure how one might respond to some of the statements if they are, in fact, not true. Statements like "my baby latches on perfectly" and "I eat well and I eat wonderful, nutritious foods" might actually be more discouraging than encouraging. The second track is a 12 minute meditation which consists of a guided progressive relaxation exercise, followed by many of the same affirmations included in the first track. I enjoyed the relaxation exercise, but again felt that the affirmations would not have helped me make more milk or feel more confident about breastfeeding or pumping. While the overall tone of the recording is calming and supportive, I think that the recording would have been strengthened by more relaxation practice and less focus on affirmations which might not fit for everyone.
Check out these posts on different nursing products from other bloggers (updated throughout the day):
- Breastfeeding Mums: The Food of Love
- Babyfingers: Bravado Essential Nursing Tank
- Half Pint Pixie: Gorgeous nursing bras - they do exist!
- Mama Knows Breast: Utterly Yours pillow
- Blacktating: More Milk Plus tincture
- Mama's Magic: Breastfeeding basics (and bling)
- Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Medela Sleep Nursing Bra
- Hobo Mama: Save your shirt and your dignity! (nursing pads review)
- Layla Beth: Favorite nursing products