By Sharaddha Iyer
As all mothers have experienced it, breastfeeding comes with its own challenges and can be a tedious task, but the joy and benefits for both mother and child is tremendous.
Having said that, it can be quite a confusing thing for mothers and some could also experience many problems during this period. It’s quite common to be stressed, worried and anxious about the changes, the new habits, etc, most of which arise from adjusting to the changes in the body, irregular sleep pattern and stigma related to breastfeeding which doesn’t allow mothers to breastfeed freely and openly.
Feeling of loss of control over the body, feeling isolated and sometimes, a sense of weirdness sets and could cause low self-esteem, extreme mood swings and exhaustion. Apart from that the backaches and posture misalignment are also some of the common issues faced by breastfeeding mothers. But remember, this is a phase that your body goes through to recover from the miracle of childbirth. You should be proud of yourself.
Here are a few yoga asanas you could perform after consulting with your doctor and preferably, under the guidance of a expert:
A balancing pose which is known to mildly stretch out your back and helps with stress reduction.
* Balance yourself on your right knee by bending your left knee & wrap the left foot behind the calf muscles taking the leg from top.
* Bend both elbows, wrap the right palm over the left joining the palms together and interlock the elbows into Garudasana arms.
This pose is great for moms looking for a quick, light stretch for their back, chest and shoulders, parts where you might often experience pain during the breastfeeding stage.
* Lie down on your belly, place your forearms down in line with the shoulder, lift the chest and look straight forward
* Make sure your pubic bone is on the mat and shoulder blades are together.
A classic pose in yoga routines and a great, light pose to get started. Also known as the Cat Pose, it helps release tension from your spine, stretching the back muscles and helps you relax.
* Come onto your fours, placing your knees on the mat in line with the hips and arms down in line with you the shoulder
* As you inhale, arch back, lift the chest and chin and as you exhale you round the back and send the shoulder blades away from each other; the head comes in towards the chest.
Poses like Utkatasana, Virabhadrasana 1 and 2, Trikonasana, Parsvakonasana along with Ashtanga Namaskar and Adho Mukha Svanasana is excellent to bring strength and agility in the limbs and keep them supple and strong and keep you physically healthy over all. Poses like Sukhasana, Shavasana and Makarasana are excellent to make the body and mind feel calm and keep up with the routines and sleepless nights.
Pranayamas like Anulom Vilom Bhramari Pranayama, Ujjayi, along with kriyas like Simha Kriya and Kapalbhati are excellent to develop control and patients in the mind working on the parasympathetic responses bringing stability and strength in the mind, which is much required with a newborn baby.
Overall, yoga as a lifestyle has proven to help new moms and is an excellent tool from which breastfeeding mothers can benefit. However, this is not a substitute for medical advice.
(The writer is a master Yoga trainer, Sarva & Diva Yoga)
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