Can yoga aid breastfeeding? There are two ways to answer this question:
The short answer is yes.
The longer answer is… also yes.
What the science says:
A study from 2011 states that yoga can increase the production of breast milk in lactating mothers. Partly in fact, due to the potential mental effects of yoga. As well as the physical benefits of yoga. Yoga is synonymous with calmness, relaxation, and mastery of the mind. The link between the spirit, soul and mind is an interesting solution for providing confidence to those anxious and shackled by stress. As a result, the relaxation of the body and mind allows for the body to produce the hormone Oxytocin, which is significant for producing breast milk.
The physical side focuses on stretching certain parts of the body, especially the breast and the chest. This is needed to improve blood circulation around those regions and strengthen the respiratory muscles for respiration. Another important factor is deep breathing. In addition, the study suggests using pranayama techniques to help ease the mind. Whilst maximizing the capacity of the lungs. This is important as the philosophy of yoga is to relax the body and calm the mind. By being comfortable, regions of the brain become stimulated, which leads to the release of prolactin. This is the hormone that aids milk production.
The best yoga stretches to do:
The optimal time to perform yoga is in the morning. Also, performing on an empty stomach is the best way to enhance your yoga experience. This will go a long way to calming your mind to start the day.
There are a few specific exercises that are essential to easing pain in the neck, shoulders and back.
Here are a few examples: