The challenges of breastfeeding during a pandemic
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
The recent coronavirus pandemic has isolated new moms even more than normal. It is so important to be able to cope through these unique times. Let's first be thankful for the silver lining that more moms are able to easily continue to breastfeed because they are staying home with their babies and not challenged by pumping in the office, etc.
As a yoga teacher, I routinely think of mindfulness or being present with your baby while breastfeeding. Mindfulness can help lift your mood and keep you less stressed during these times. Some simple breathing techniques can help relax the body.
One is the 4-7-8 breathing technique which involves breathing in through the nose for 4 seconds, holding for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. This breathing pattern can help reduce anxiety, help people go to sleep, and may even help induce a letdown while breastfeeding.
Breathing into the belly rather than into the upper chest helps to calm the body and mind, notice that your baby breathes the same way as that is our natural way of breathing.
As we find ourselves in repetitive postures during these early days of breastfeeding, there are some simple stretches to relieve the sore muscles that often accompany breastfeeding.
- Eagle arms (see photo) is great for opening up the shoulders and upper back.
- Rolling the shoulders up and back while opening up the chest by interlacing the hands behind the back can help reverse shoulder slouch.
- Stretching the neck by aligning the ear over the shoulder and extending the opposite arm away.
- If you have an exercise ball you can lay on it face up and have your neck hang back and do some gentle rolls to help extend the spine and reverse the curve of the shoulders.
June 2020-Prince Lactation Support