Breastfeeding does not just provide nutrition to a child; it also fosters bonding between the mother and her baby. Moreover, it also provides several health benefits to both of them. We’ve spoken about the positives, but we can’t disregard that this period of nursing your baby can be quite physically taxing. This stress on the body may also lead to an agitated mind, causing anxiety and mood swings etc. Grand Master Akshar says, “Yoga can be a boon for a new mother; both to increase the milk supply and also for mental well-being.”
If you are a new mother who is nursing and has been experiencing any issues, it’s time to perform these yoga exercises for self-care. Yoga adds strength, flexibility, and stamina to the body. By practicing yoga regularly while breastfeeding, you gain the advantage of also easing any discomfort associated with nursing.
Yoga and breastfeeding can prove to be a valuable tool for lactating moms. Please note that you MUST start any form of exercise, only after consulting your gynaecologist to assess if birthing injuries like a C-section, episiotomy, etc are healed.
Start with these poses (recommended by Grand Master Akshar) at a slow pace, only after a thorough warm-up routine. Pay attention to your breath and alignment for safe practice.
Here are the asanas:
1. Surya namaskar
Surya namaskar or the sun salutation is a flow that consists of eight powerful yoga poses done in repetition with 12 counts for each side, and a total of 24 counts to complete one cycle. Though best practiced early in the morning on an empty stomach, the surya namaskar can otherwise be done at any time of the day.
Grand Master Akshar says, “Its regular practice leaves one feeling energetic, healthy, and calm throughout the day.”
2. Chakrasana (backbend)
Here’s how to do it:
Lie on your back.
Fold your legs at your knees and ensure that your feet are placed firmly on the floor.
Bend your arms at the elbows with your palms facing the sky. Rotate your arms at the shoulders, and place your palms on the floor on either side beside your head.
Inhale, put pressure on your palms and legs, and lift your entire body up to form an arch.
Relax your neck and allow your head to fall gently behind.
3. Bhujangasana (cobra pose)
Here’s how to do it:
Lie down flat on your stomach, with palms placed under your shoulders.
Keep your feet together, with toes on the ground.
Inhale and lift your head, shoulders and torso up at a 30-degree angle.
Keep your navel down, shoulders broad and head slightly raised upwards.
Hold the posture for 10 seconds.
Slowly bring your torso down, and then exhale breath (rechak) – this breathing technique is therapeutic