I read this report a few days ago about how hospitals unintentioally discourage breastfeeding through various interventions.   It’s sad that we know the benefits of breast milk for babies, and yet new families often aren’t supported in their goal to breastfeed.


I started thinking about how yoga can help moms who are committed to breastfeeding, even if they’ve had challenges getting started.  One of the challenges with breastfeeding can be getting both mom and baby comfortable for feedings, which can last 10-50 minutes (or longer sometimes).  In my new mom’s class (which is starting again on April 24), we work a lot on the upper body so that it’s comfortable to hold and feed a baby several hours each day.   You can see a short article here that mentions some of the postures we focus on in class:


The Breastfeeding Guru has tips for how to start your yoga practice after you give birth, and when to breastfeed in relation to exercise. Another challenge is just finding the time to dedicate to feeding as well as to everything else (nevermind yoga!).  I know in class, it’s helpful to feed a baby before class because then the baby is content and (hopefully) will give mom some solid time to practice!  

Sometimes a innovative position can be helpful, like side lying while breastfeeding.   This mom talks about how to feed from the side lying position without having to move to switch sides.   She calls it lactation yoga, because it reminds her of some yoga positions she’s practiced. 


The greatest impact yoga may have on encouraging moms through the first few months of a baby’s life is in cultivating patience.   A newborn requires an intensive amount of energy, especially from the feeding parent.  In the new moms class, one goal is to help each mom find the present moment, and connect to their baby and to themselves.   One mom I worked with said that the hours of feeding her baby kept reminding her of the patience she cultivated on her yoga mat, one breath at a time, one pose at a time.  I hope that remembering how it feels to be connected on the yoga mat helps new moms (and all new parents) be connected through the long hours and days and months of a new baby’s life.  


Finally, a very cute video – am I weird for wanting to be this mom someday?   Warning – there’s a breast in this video, don’t watch if that’s not cool with you J