Breastfeeding can be so rewarding, but it is not always easy. Many mothers struggle even with having an abundance of support. Breastfeeding takes a toll on the mental and physical health of new mothers. It will eventually get easier and more comfortable, but in the meantime, there are a few relaxation exercises for breastfeeding mothers that can help.
Studies have shown that mothers who practice relaxation exercises feel less stressed and produce fewer stress hormones in their breastmilk. It, in return, allows babies to sleep better and wake up less often. In addition, the mom’s lower production of cortisol, the stress hormone, helped babies gain more weight than those mothers with higher cortisol.
Here we will go over a few relaxation exercises mothers can do to relax during breastfeeding and outside breastfeeding.
Exercises During Breastfeeding
As mentioned earlier, breastfeeding can hurt and, therefore, is stressful. Here are a few things mothers can do during breastfeeding that distract them from the pain, helping them feel more relaxed.
Listen To Music
Music can play a huge part in the brain, and listening to it during breastfeeding can help a mother relax. While listening, mothers should try to focus on the words and melody of the tune. Doing this will take their mind off breastfeeding and can help boost happiness.
Read Or Listen To Audio Books
Reading while breastfeeding is a great way to distract the mother’s mind from pain and soreness. Focusing on a story can be enjoyable and help relax new moms.
Mediating and being mindful is another great way moms can focus on their thoughts and help relax their bodies. New moms can start by creating an environment that is relaxing and calm. They should turn off any TV or background noise and possibly play calming music without lyrics. One should take slow, deep breaths while focusing on each sense. What do you see? What do you smell? Hear? Taste? Feel?
Try to get in touch with the baby by looking into their eyes and focusing on them and the body’s feelings.
Exercises To Do Outside Of Breastfeeding
Relaxing the mind and body outside of breastfeeding is also important. Physical exercises and breathing exercises can have so many benefits to a healing mother.
Yoga has so many benefits for people of all ages. That’s why it is considered one of the most effective relaxation exercises for breastfeeding mothers. First, it allows the mother to feel more like herself. In addition, it also helps mothers relieve stress that could be building up due to lack of sleep and can help sore muscles that come with new breastfeeding positions. Yoga also helps soothe the mind and relaxes the body to prepare for motherhood’s challenges. Twenty minutes a day can be so beneficial.
Practice Breathing Techniques
Motherhood and breastfeeding can be stressful, so a good breathing technique can help a mother feel less stressed. When a mother starts to feel overwhelmed, they can take a deep breath through their nose, hold that breath for a few seconds, and slowly release the breath through the mouth. Repeating this a few times throughout the day can help calm a stressed mother.
Practice Muscle Relaxation
Muscle Relaxation can help release some stress in mothers. These tensions may have arisen from having a newborn in the house or breastfeeding in new positions. One exercise is to lay down in a quiet area. Staring at the toes, start flexing and releasing the muscle. Moms should work their way up their body slowly, flexing and releasing each muscle. Mothers should try to focus on each part of their body for about thirty seconds. The whole process should take about thirty minutes.