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Download Relaxation

The EXPRESS study aimed to see whether listening to a relaxing recording while expressing milk increased the amount of milk participants could express, and whether it improved their mental health. Study results are coming soon. You can download the recording used in the study here, for personal use. Please note there are seven seconds of silence before the recording starts.

This recording is a modified version of an original by Sheri Menelli called "Breastfeeding Meditation" (2003). The University of Oxford has a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, no-charge, royalty-free, irrevocable copyright licence to reproduce, prepare derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, sublicense, and distribute this work.

Download Relaxation

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First, give yourself a moment to settle into your surroundings. Make sure you are as comfortable as you can be with the settings on the pump or your hand position. Now take a breath in. And hold it. And let it out with a sigh. Take in another breath. And hold it. And again, let it out with a sigh.

And once more take in a breath and hold it. And then let it out at your own pace. Just close your eyes and allow your eyelids to relax to the point where your muscles feel as though they could fade and disappear. Imagine that you are in your favourite place in nature. This is a safe and tranquil place. You can imagine the breeze gently caressing your body, the sound of a rushing stream. And you take a nice, big breath and smell clean air. The sun is a perfect temperature as it shines down upon you. Feel how wonderful it is to just let go.

The muscles around your scalp relax. And that relaxation is moving down through your forehead. Just softening those muscles around the eyes and the eyelids. And allow your eyelids to feel heavier.

It feels so nice to release all tension in your body. The relaxation continues. The relaxation continues to drift over your cheeks and through your nose. The mouth and the jaws release and let go and you notice your teeth parting slightly.

As the shoulders drop and the arms loosen, you notice your body is feeling more and more relaxed. Softer and softer. Even your mind is becoming more serene. Feel how nice it is to let the relaxation move into your heart and your chest and then down through your internal organs.

Let it move down through your tummy and into your hips. You'll find that with every breath you exhale, you relax even more. The relaxation is floating all the way down through your legs and into your feet and your toes.

And when you feel the relaxation in your toes you can even imagine that any tension, stress and fear that remains is leaving your body out through the toes and moving into the earth.

As you know, giving breastmilk to your baby is an important job, even when it is just a drop. Cherish the time to step away from the outside world and you will be well rewarded with more milk. Your body and mind need an opportunity to relax. This is your opportunity to let your milk flow. Your mind works so hard for you, so it's time to let your mind relax too. To allow you to let go of all of the other intrusive thoughts, just imagine that you are in your favourite place in nature.

And in this place in nature you feel, see or sense a path. As you walk along this path it meanders until you find a large book in front of you. Open this book and now place all of your to-do lists, thoughts and concerns into this book. Free your mind of every thought. Except for the thought of cherishing your baby. Now close this book. You can go back and pick up the items in the book at another time, after you have finished here.

You are one with nature. Your body can feed your baby. Even when there have been challenges, you can grow to trust your body and the milk it can make. You and your baby are together, here inside your mind. A wave of relaxation floats through every cell of your body as you concentrate on thoughts of being in skin to skin contact with your baby. That tiny body resting on your chest brings a calm and serenity to your mind and body. The thought of the baby's soft skin touching yours instantly causes the breasts to let down their milk.

And as you exhale and say to yourself 'my milk lets down', you feel the warmth and the tingly- ness of the milk flowing down into both breasts. Yes, the milk for your baby flows into your breasts. It brings you so much joy to know that each drop is a gift for your baby.

Imagine your baby nuzzling at your breast and smelling your milky smell. Picture holding your baby comfortably in your arms, close to you. You and your baby together. You are both so comfortable and so relaxed. The thought of the baby so close brings more milk into your breasts.

You can love your body. It does such a fantastic job of bringing milk for your baby. Milk flows down the milk ducts, drop by drop, then more and more, little jets of milk joining together into a greater flow. There is no one right way to make milk – this is your way. You grow more confident every time you see your baby. Providing your milk is very fulfilling. It empowers you. You grow more comfortable with your body.

Expressing your milk can be easier and more comfortable with each passing week. And you also find that you and your baby love the time that you spend together. Your bond grows stronger. Your nipples, milk ducts and breasts are all strong and healthy. Your breasts can do a wonderful job of feeding your baby.

Now talk to your baby. Remind your baby that they are wanted, loved and welcomed. Let the baby know what it means to be their mother and provide milk for them. You are so new to this and you need to give yourself extra patience as you learn how to become their mother.

As your milk flows, you choose happy thoughts that make you feel good. You'll find that these happy thoughts allow you to feel centred. Filling you with peace and joy. You are so perfectly balanced. You enjoy providing milk for your baby. Take time now to thank your body. Thank your body for each drop of milk it produces for your baby. Thank your body for your good health. Thank your mind for clearing so that you can dedicate this precious time to your baby.

If you prefer to stay here relaxing for a while, then that's ok. If you are expressing one breast at a time you might want to switch to the other breast now. Just count yourself up from one to five when you feel ready to finish this meditation. If you feel ready to finish now, I'm going to count up from one to five and when I reach five you will be wide awake. At one, coming up, up, up. Good, at two let your fingers and toes begin to move. At three, feeling more and more energy as you continue to come up, taking a big stretch and a deep breath. And at four let your eyes clear beneath your lids. And at five open your eyes, feeling plenty of energy, feeling great, feeling wonderful, having lots of milk coming into your breasts now.

Updated: Friday, 13 January 2023 16:21 (v4)

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