Cathrine Mathiesen

Yoga for breastfeeding

In what other ways can yoga be beneficial at the small baby stage?

We all know the importance and advantages of breastfeeding so I’m not going to list them here. Some women manage, some don’t, most try but some don’t, for whatever reason. Personally I love it. I love the closeness and intimacy with my baby. I love the little breaks and quiet times it gives us. I love the feeling of being capable of nurturing my baby, it seems a natural extension of bringing her into this world. I feel proud that how she is growing into a happy and chubby girl is all due to what my body provides. I love that I lose the extra baby weight without having to go to the gym every day, my baby grows and I shrink, it’s a direct transferral of energy that benefits us both.

Yoga can help breastfeeding women in a number of crucial ways. First of all, to stretch and release the neck, shoulders and upper back, which can get tense and sore due to the uncomfortable positions we sometimes end up feeding and carrying our babies in - repetitively. Secondly, to create an openness in the chest and under-arm area to encourage and stimulate the production of milk and to avoid congestion and hardness of the breasts. And thirdly, to strengthen our core tummy and lower back muscles so that we can support ourselves better when feeding and carrying our babies. As in any situation, deep relaxation (such as in Savasana) and breathing (such as full yogic breath or Ujjayi) is encouraged to increase the intake of oxygen you need for milk production, and develop the patience and peace of mind needed to comfortably sit still for long periods of time without feeling restless or even bored. I have put together a small series of postures for breastfeeding mums. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes, can be done anywhere and feels really nice.

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