Mild Exercise in form of yoga is advisable to all women and breastfeeding moms to get back in shape post-delivery, it is an ultimate healer for many pre and post-pregnancy-related health issues. Regular practice can stimulate the pituitary gland to cause an increase in the prolactin hormone, which produces more breast milk. The exercises focus on the chest region.
Recommending Parvatasana, Yastikasana, Hastapadasana and Cat Pose. All these asanas can be practiced during breastfeeding as they open the front of your body and lengthen your spine and back muscles. All these postures help to compress, stretch, arch, and reinforce all the major muscles of the body. Also benefits the digestive system and respiratory system. These postures help to strengthen your body and your mind. All new moms can use more stamina and strength to give the best to their babies.
The Cat-Cow Pose may help in reopening the chest and easing the tension in the spine. It can prove an effective counteract against the usual hunched-up position that most breastfeeding moms adopt while nursing.
- Place your body in a way that your hands and knees with your fingertips pointing to your mat’s top and knees hip-width apart.
- Begin with the Cow Pose inhaling and letting your stomach drop towards the floor. Lift your chest and chin upwards with your gaze directed towards the ceiling.
- Broaden your shoulders drawing them away from the ears.
- Moving next to the Cat Pose exhale and pull your stomach towards your spine at the same time rounding your back and dropping your head towards the floor.
- Inhale returning into the Cow Pose and exhale while coming back to the Cat Pose.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Come onto the floor on your hands and knees. Set your knees directly below your hips and your hands slightly forward of your shoulders. Spread your palms, index fingers parallel or slightly turned out, and turn your toes under.
- Exhale and lift your knees away from the floor. At first keep the knees slightly bent and the heels lifted away from the floor. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis and press it lightly toward the pubis. Against this resistance, lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling, and from your inner ankles draw the inner legs up into the groins.
- Then with an exhalation, push your top thighs back and stretch your heels onto or down toward the floor. Straighten your knees but be sure not to lock them. Firm the outer thighs and roll the upper thighs inward slightly. Narrow the front of the pelvis.
- Firm the outer arms and press the bases of the index fingers actively into the floor. From these two points lift along your inner arms from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders. Firm your shoulder blades against your back, then widen them and draw them toward the tailbone. Keep the head between the upper arms; don’t let it hang.
- Adho Mukha Svanasana is one of the poses in the traditional Sun Salutation sequence. It’s also an excellent yoga asana all on its own. Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes. Then bend your knees to the floor with an exhalation and rest in Child’s Pose.
Stick Yoga Pose (Yastikasana)
- Lie down in a supine position (straight on the mat). Extend your arms beyond your head and legs are straight and stretched (outstretched). Ensure, there should be least gap between your legs and arms.
- Inhale and feel the stretching from toes to fingers. Maintain the pose if you can.
- Exhale and come to the original position. Perform it 3 to 5 times.
Standing Forward Bend (Hastapadasana)
- Stand straight with your feet together and arms alongside your body such that your weight is equal on both feet.
- Now while inhaling extend your arms over your head.
- Now while exhaling bend little forward towards the feet and rest your hands on your feet.
- Then, stretch your arms and spine to bend further and rest your hands either on the floor or beside your feet. The legs and spine should remain erect.
- Stay in this position if you can comfortably while breathing deeply.
- Now while inhaling slowly come back to the standing position with your arms overhead.
- Finally bring your hands down while exhaling.
- Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position and close your eyes.
- Use your thumb from your right hand to close the right side of your nostril. Deeply inhale through your left nostril.
- Use your ring finger to close your left nostril as you release the right nostril and repeat the process.
Nursing the baby can be physically demanding especially during the early days causing numerous health issues.
Regular yoga practice can positively influence the health and vitality of breastfeeding moms by helping them feel happier and more relaxed.