Yoga Poses for Better Breastfeeding

Yoga Poses for Better Breastfeeding

Many moms that are breastfeeding will experience pain in their neck, shoulders, and back. Nursing your baby is a beautiful gift but it does leave the upper body feeling taxed. There is a lot of hunching over involved in nursing. There is also the issue of not getting enough sleep. Sometimes, your baby is going to have you up in the middle of the night because it’s time to eat. There are yoga poses that can relieve the pain you’re experiencing as well as give you a little extra energy. 

1. Supported Back Bend

This heart opening pose helps to stretch your upper body. You can use a pillow, bolster, or a block to support your back. This will give you a greater arch in your back and additional relief. Lay down on the floor and get the block or bolster under your shoulder blades. You can put your legs in a butterfly pose, bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, or lay your legs out straight in front of you. Yogi’s choice here. Lay here for as long as you can and breathe deeply into the stretch.

2. Half Bridge

This pose can get the heartrate going and will give you a nice back bend. As you’re often hunched over, this helps to keep the muscles equalized in flexibility. You want to lie on your back and bend your knees so they are close to your buttocks. You should be able to touch your fingers to your heels. Then you want to lift your hips up by first tucking in the tailbone to the sky. Tuck your shoulder blades together to get the heart open. Once your back is up, interlace your fingers behind your back.

Don’t worry too much about how high you lift your hips. The main focus is arching the back and stretching out the chest.

3. Cat-Cow Stretches

Cat-Cow stretches are good for giving you mobility in the spine when it’s been static for some time during nursing. Start off in a table top position with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. As you exhale, start with a rounding position by tucking your tailbone under. You want to dome your back and lower your head (cat). To perform the cow position, breathe in and reach your tailbone and head to the sky. This will automatically arch your back. 

4. Reclined Cobbler’s Pose

This restorative pose opens up the heart area and supports the spine. Nursing mothers will often feel pain in their mid-back and shoulders, again due to hunching forward. This pose is great for this type of problem. You want to stack blocks, pillows, or your bolster so they sit at a 45-degree angle. You want to rest your sacrum at the base of the bolster. Gently lie back onto the bolster or pillow. Let the spine rest and be fully supported by the bolster. Relax your head and neck into this pose and allow your chest to open naturally. Bring your arms to the side with palms facing up.

5. Extended Triangle Pose

Extended triangle pose is another chest opener as the body does some twisting. It’s also good for To best take advantage of this pose, stack your top shoulder over the bottom shoulder. Straighten the top arm so it’s parallel to the floor. Lift your arm all the way up. You might also wish to keep your hand on your hip and focus getting a good torso twist.

These stretches are really helpful through the months of breastfeeding. They relieve your shoulders and back. While your baby will grow and require less nursing, it will also get heavier. This can be challenging to manage. These yoga poses are also going to strengthen the parts of your body that will be taking the weight. In order to best take care of your baby, you have to remember to also take care of yourself. It’s just as important to nurture your body.

 

Bio:

Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali)

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Carly Grace Milyo

Born in New York City,  Carly Grace grew up in Atlanta and graduated from The Westminster Schools.  Carly received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Virginia Tech in 2012. During her college career, Carly began practicing yoga as an escape from her intense ACC Cheerleading training. The rigor and requirements Carly upheld as an ACC athlete combined with the social expectations and action packed schedule expected of an Alpha Phi left Carly depleted both physically and mentally.  Before Carly found yoga, she used running, partying with friends, and restricting her diet to maintain a sense of control in her life. It was Carly's true desire to find more purposeful and authentic friendships and to invest her time in cultivating her greater well-being and spirituality that lead her to yoga. 

The creativity and physical challenge of yoga captivated and inspired Carly. Yoga was the first thing Carly practiced where the perfect-ten mentality was not required; in fact, perfection is the antithesis of yoga principles.  After hanging up her poms poms and retiring from her ACC Cheerleading career, Carly quickly found herself  invested in the In Balance Yoga Community in Blacksburg, VA.  With encouragement and affirmation from Studio Owner, Becky Crigger, Carly set out for New York City to train with Dana Trixie Flynn at Laughing Lotus Love Skool.

Yoga Alliance 200 E-RYT, Carly has studied and practiced with many influencers and teachers all over the United States.  Carly currently teaches Thunderbolt Power Yoga®;  a powerful alignment based vinyasa flow inspired by some of her greatest influencers including, Dana Trixie Flynn and Baron Baptiste.  Carly infuses creative ideas and sequencing into her classes. Her purpose as a teacher is to inspire people to move like themselves. Carly is committed to helping students be audaciously playful in both their practice and in their lives. 

You can catch Carly Grace teaching at her studio Thunderbolt Power Yoga, at off-site events such as the infamous FIT Yoga Series with Carly Grace at W Atl Buckhead, at music festivals, corporate conferences, and more!  Be sure to look out for Carly's quarterly Boombox Power Yoga® Class offered alongside a live DJ, accompanied by her pink boombox, and enhanced with a 16 inch disco ball. 

In the mean time, you can follow her adventures on instagram (@yoga__barbie) or give her a wave when you see her drive by in her infamous pink jeep!