In my family, breasts are called “milkies” and on some days, I feel like a 24-hour drive thru Milk Bar. When I first learned of “nursing on demand,” I had no idea how much demand could increase when milk was made available (not linear growth, exponential growth!) What to do? I chose to listen to music. Music made the milk flow. And that meant less crying (for Ayla) and more satisfaction and weight loss (which, in my case, translated into more pastries rather fewer calories).
What I found heartening is that there is scientific research to back up my intuitive response. In one research report, published in the Italian Journal of Pediatrics (1989), when mothers of premature babies listened to a relaxation and visualization audiotape, they produced 63 % more milk than those who did not.
In 2003, the BBC reported that researchers at the University of Leicester, UK decided to experiment with music and milk production in cows—hypothesizing that cows would react similarly to lactating mothers. The researchers found that each cow's milk yield rose by 3% (0.73 litres) a day when slow music was played. The cow’s favorite tunes were Bridge over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel, Everybody Hurts by REM, Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and Lou Reed’s Perfect Day.
My only qualm with the BBC report is the cow’s taste in music. Apparently milk production in cows is low when Jamiroquai is played, but in my home, Space Cowboy leads to astronomical milk flow!