Exercises- Mindfulness While Breastfeeding

Start slow and remember that all instructions are optional. Stop the exercise at any time if you start to feel overwhelmed or like you are losing consciousness of the world around you. Let’s get to it.

  1. When your baby is hungry and wants to eat, find a comfortable seat to hold your baby, either on the ground or in a chair.  Do not force your baby to feed if they are not hungry and do not continue with the meditation if you cannot let down your milk. You can do this alone, or with other breastfeeding mothers.  Try to find a place where there are fewer distractions for you and your baby.
  2. Begin feeding your baby, allowing that your baby’s crying or other cues might not have been because they’re hungry. You can always return to this exercise when your baby is ready to eat.
  3. Once the two of you are comfortable, you can close your eyes, which can help allow you to focus or, if you would rather, you can soften your gaze towards your baby.
  4. Bring your awareness to the inhales and exhales of your baby’s breath. Then move your attention to your own inhales and exhales. Take as much time as you want to explore your own and your baby’s breath.
  5. Now, take a breath in and move your attention to your feet.  Start to notice sensations in the soles of your feet, your toes, the top of your feet, and into your ankle joints.  Sensations may include buzzing, tingling, pressure, tightness or temperature.  You might not feel any sensations. That is normal. There are no right ways to be mindful. The main goal is to open to what you are noticing.
  6. Now, shift your attention to your legs. Notice any sensations in your legs. Again, it is okay if you do not feel any sensations, simply pay attention to your legs. 
  7. Next, move your attention to your hips, perhaps noticing the connection of your hips to the chair or the ground.
  8. Continue to move your attention to your torso, the mid-part of your body.  If you are leaning against a chair or a wall, try to notice the parts of your body that are being supported.  
  9. As you breathe, notice the parts of your body that are in contact with your baby.  Notice the movement and temperature of your baby against your body.  
  10. Bring your awareness to your baby’s sucking, noticing any sensations caused by your baby’s eating. You can also bring your awareness to your baby’s breath. 
  11. Gradually move your awareness to your arms and hands that may be supporting your baby. Notice any sensations. It is okay if you do not feel any sensations, simply pay attention to your arms and hands. 
  12. Bring your attention to your shoulders.  Shoulders are often a place of stress, so notice any sensations that might be present here.
  13. Move your attention to your neck, and any sensations that might be there.
  14. Next, focus your awareness onto your face. Notice sensations in your whole face. Notice your jaw, your eyes, and your lips.
  15. Take a breath in and out. Let go of your awareness in your feet, legs, torso, and head.  
  16. Come back to the movement of your breath and your baby’s breath.
  17. You can continue to notice your breath until your baby finishes eating.

 

Conclusion

 

We’re all done now. Use this exercise when breastfeeding or, if you are experiencing difficulty breastfeeding, during the baby’s feeding or napping time, or while soothing your baby