Yoga and Breastfeeding

I’ve been so inspired by @carleebyoga for months and after lots of hesitation, I finally decided to post my very own #breastfeedingyoga picture… an experience that’s slowly becoming the new normal for my baby and I. Mostly I share this because I am in love with this whole movement geared toward #postpartumhealth and since #breastfeeding and #yoga are two of the things that I love doing the most I feel compelled to share my journey so I can hopefully inspire other moms to try it too.

Personally, breastfeeding didn't just come naturally and at the beginning it was probably one of the most painful experiences my life.I remember how I would cry and ache each time I nursed, showered or put on clothes.The pains of going through mastitis.The worry of a shortened milk supply,then an oversupply of milk that gave my baby really bad colic. And what’s worse, how throughout all this struggle I felt like I was already failing as a mom.#Postpartumblues anyone? 
So here are my two cents: Many times as new moms we have these enormous expectations of ourselves and our bodies. There’s nothing wrong in striving to be the best, I think, but the biggest shift came when I realized that I had to practice a lot more self-care. And most importantly, that whatever I did, whether it worked or it didn’t, that neither outcome would make me less or more of a good mom. 

Eventually, with lots of patience and self-care my baby and I got it! Nursing is now one of my favorite parts of the day. I love the connection and closeness that we share as he nurses, and the way he smiles and coos after he feeds. Adding yoga to the mix has added some fun to this experience.It also brings me into a space of gratitude because it forces me to be present and reminds me of how unbelievable, powerful, and miraculous the body of a woman is. 

I hope that by sharing this a mom who’s struggling with breastfeeding realizes that many of us have struggled too. And that whatever hurdles you’re faced with, if you’re patient with your baby and with yourself you can overcome anything. That self-care is the key for caring for others. And lastly, that whatever outcome you have, whether it’s what you wanted/expected or not, whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed, that being present is the greatest gift you can give your child.

 

ErikaRuiz - Breastfeeding Yoga