Breastfeeding creates a strong bond between the mother and child. The benefits that go along with nursing your baby are endless. Breast milk alters itself to provide specific nutrients for your baby. It contains antibodies that help fight off harmful viruses and prevent infections. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to have health issues such as ear infections and diarrhea. However, these health benefits come at a price. Mothers who breastfeed suffer from aching necks, shoulders, and backs. Luckily, there are several yoga poses that can help combat the aches and pains of breastfeeding.
Most yoga poses that help with breastfeeding pains are heart openers. This is because heart openers relieve tension from the neck, shoulders, and back. There are several heart openers to choose from, but one great one to try is the Sphinx Pose. The Sphinx Pose is done while lying flat on your belly. It can be done on the floor, or on the bed for an added layer of comfort.
- Lay down on your stomach with your palms and forearms pressing firmly into the ground below.
- Keep your should down and away from your ears.
- Make sure not to overly bend the back in this pose, especially if you are still recovering from birth.
A block or bolster can be added to any heart opener for additional relief. Blocks and bolsters are traditionally added to heart openers that are taken on the back. Simply place the block or bolster under your shoulder blades and let your body release completely. This should help release tension that lies deep in the shoulder blades and upper back.
Even though heart openers are great, they aren’t the only poses that help breastfeeding mothers. Chakravakasana (Cat-Cow Stretch) helps to fight that hunched-over-feeling that most breastfeeding mothers suffer from.
- To practice Chakravaksana, start on your hands and knees.
- Make sure that the spine is straight, the hands are shoulders width apart, and the knees are hips distance apart.
- Begin to arch your back and bring your gaze up towards the ceiling.
- Hold this arched position for a few seconds and then slowly begin to release.
- Now round your back while bringing your gaze down. Hold this rounded position for a few seconds and then release.
- Repeat arching and rounding your back until your spine feels mobile and loose.
- Make sure to exaggerate the rounding and arching of the back to get the most out of this stretch.
It is important to keep both mama and baby healthy to get the most out of breastfeeding. Newborns feed often and can cause a lot of aches and pains from constant feedings. These pains lessen as your baby grows and as they nurse less often. It’s important for mothers to take care of their own health so that they can provide the proper nourishment for their baby. A happy mama is a happy baby!