This article is a guest post written by Andrea Bell. You can learn more about her career at the end of the post.
5 Best Yoga Tips for Breastfeeding Mothers
If you recently had a baby, you know how tight your upper body muscles can get, especially when you’re sleep deprived. The trapezius is a muscle that runs all the way up to the back of your neck across the top of your shoulders and down towards the spine. This particular muscle becomes rigid due to breastfeeding.
This can become a real challenge when medications don’t have any effects. I’m writing this piece today to let you know that there is another more natural option to help you feel healthier and more relaxed during your breastfeeding period.
Yoga is an ancient Indian practice and has been around for a long time. Many of those who made it a part of their lifestyle have witnessed a positive change in their overall health and vitality.
Studies show that practicing yoga daily for even a few minutes is not only good for your physical health but is also proven to improve your mental state. Today, we are giving you five yoga tips to make this beautiful transition into motherhood, and nursing your child easier.
- Meditate for a few minutes everyday
Meditation is the highest form of yoga. It allows you to reaffirm your self-worth and reassure yourself that you are doing the best you can for your child.
A newborn can be very demanding and as a new mother, the experience is as beautiful as it is stressful. Meditation gives you a chance to focus and hold in your mind the powerful thought of how much your child means to you, how that you made a conscious decision to be his nurturer.
Meditation allows you to be grateful for the life you have created. Being mentally aware and ‘in the now’ will ease the process of nursing a child.
- Practice body strengthening yoga poses
Back pain is a common complaint among new mothers. Breastfeeding, sleeping in the wrong position, and continuous stress all lead to chronic back pain. When you start nursing, you feel like you are constantly in a fetal position. You need to open up the front of your body and lengthen your back muscles.
Your back and shoulders benefit from the simplest of yoga postures. You can take a few moments for yourself when you put your baby down to sleep. To alleviate your body from pain; here are some easy yoga positions to help you start out.
Child’s pose: Rest your forehead on the mat and reach your arms out in front of you, as you bring your hips back towards your heel. Take a deep breath in, as you inhale you will feel your stomach against your thigh and the exhale. Repeat the process at least 20 times.
Cat pose: Balance yourself on your knees, make sure you are comfortable, spread your hands ahead, and inhale to the count of five and release your breathe like you are emptying your stomach.
Surya Namaskar or sun salutation: It is many yoga poses all in one routine. It is both meditation and exercise. Surya namaskar means a salute to the sun and its practice warms up your whole body and integrates the mind.
It stretches, compresses, arches, and reinforces all the major muscles of the body along with the digestive system and respiratory organs. These postures are designed to strengthen your body and your mind, and all new moms can use more power and strength to give the best to their babies.
Also known as yoga breathing techniques, pranayama is a basic restorative pose to help you breath better. Pranayama opens you to peace and calm. Better breathing works as a natural pain reliever.
This pose stretches your muscles to reduce any source of pain and also increases physical flexibility. Breathing exercises help you focus your attention and trains you to take deep breaths throughout the day helping in better blood flow, improved concentration and a positive mental outlook. Deep breathing is beneficial for your whole body, and also releases the toxins from your body.
- Yoga for better sleep
Being a new mother, you can hardly ever get uninterrupted sleep, at least for the first few months. Practicing yoga will help reduce stress by calming your mind. Studies have shown that people who practice yoga during the day, sleep better at night.
Yoga techniques help in disengaging the mind, pulling it back to the center making you feel more serene and calm. Better sleep will help you stay stress-free in most situations.
- Yoga for emotional balance
Many new mothers have a hard time balancing their emotions after giving birth. Yoga is one of the best methods to cure an unhealthy thinking and emotional pattern as it frees the mind from the all worldly frenzy. It provides you an outlet to release all the negative energy and frustration.
Yoga stabilizes your blood pressure by making your body less responsive to stress hormones. Practicing yoga at least once a day stops the mind from wandering. Calm thoughts result in improved physical health and therefore regular breastfeeding.
Yoga can help enhance your internal and external beauty such as trimming your body, giving you healthier-looking hair and radiant skin.
If anytime during your practice something doesn’t feel right in your body, please invest yourself in child pose right away and wait till your breathing evens out. If you had a C-section, it is best to take some extra precaution or discuss with your physician before starting on any kind of exercise program. Stick to simple breathing techniques till then. At a later stage, you can also try yoga retreats – the new passion of yoga lovers.
About the Author
Andrea Bell is a content producer and writes about fitness and Yoga related topics as a passion. She have attended multiple Yoga retreats and openly share her experience, tips, suggestions regarding Yoga, fitness and mind body relaxation.