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.
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)
- Website: https://www.siddhiyoga.com/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/siddhiyogaacademy
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/siddhiyogainternational
- Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/siddhiyogainter
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/meerawatts
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meerawatts
- FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/siddhiyogateachertraining