Is hot yoga safe while breastfeeding? We discuss this in detail and also give an answer to your other queries about breastfeeding and yoga.
The many health advantages that breastfeeding provides for both the mother and the child make it a gratifying experience for all parties involved.
However, nursing your infant may be a difficult task, mainly owing to the physical strain it places on the body. Most nursing mothers may have poor posture, causing them to hurt their backs, shoulders, and necks.
Most new mothers, understandably, may consider performing moderate workouts as a method of practicing self-care throughout their pregnancy. Yoga practices daily while breastfeeding may be beneficial in alleviating the physical pain that comes with nursing.
How Soon After Childbirth Should You Resume Yoga Practice?
If in doubt, see your doctor. It is best to get a medical advice on such matters as each body and delivery experience might differ.
Expert yoginis recommend waiting at least three weeks before returning to the mat. This is necessary so that your heightened hormones can decrease and normalize. Some people find that a postpartum period of 4-6 weeks is a perfect time to resume your yoga.
You will come to know when it’s time to start yoga practice again if you pay attention to your body signs. Also, take into account your feelings, how you’re sleeping, and how you’re recuperating.
Starting at home in a warm environment, you may wish to try some Bikram pregnant yoga series postures to initiate the process.
You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga Without An Instructor?
Is Yoga Good While Breastfeeding?
Yoga is a great method to establish a connection between your mind, body, and soul to get comfortable with the flow of things after a long period of absence.
Yoga does more than just help you go back to your weight before your pregnancy. It also lends a helping hand to your different organs such as joints, spine, rib cage, etc. to get back to their natural positions, sizes, and alignments after pregnancy.
Following are some of the advantages that you can reap from practicing yoga while breastfeeding.
After Pregnancy, the Abdominal Muscles Become Weak
Not only do they become weak from lack of activity you had while pregnant, but they also get stretched out to their limits, as much as the size of a watermelon! The abdominal muscles stretch to let your baby grow inside your belly.
However, once you start practicing yoga, you will see a difference over time.
Try to keep your abdominal muscles tight throughout all of your postures – you’ll be surprised at how much this will invigorate your whole practice as well as assist you in maintaining balance.
Also, keep in mind that solid abdominals can help support your spine and prevent lower back discomfort while carrying your developing child.
Yoga and Swollen Joints Are A Good Combination
In addition to being present throughout pregnancy, the hormone called relaxin, is also present in the human body for nine months following the birth of your child. This hormone assists your body in expanding and extending the pelvis during the process of delivery as it softens the ligaments present in your body.
Since ligaments are also responsible for holding your joints together, weaker ligaments would imply joints that are loose and it may cause postpartum knee or back pains.
This would mean that you would need to exercise with more caution to avoid joint damage. Yoga in such cases can be very helpful.
Concentrate on increasing the strength of the muscles supporting the joints, particularly the ones that carry the brunt of the body’s weight. You can also incorporate some pelvic exercises to strengthen your back and thereby reduce back pain.
Apart from yoga, walking, especially going up and down the moderate hills, is an excellent workout for strengthening leg muscles, as does plain old walking.
When it Comes to Breastfeeding Mothers Doing Yoga, Hydration is Vital
As a nursing mother, you’ve undoubtedly already discovered how much extra water the human body requires. Since your body produces milk throughout the day, it needs water for fueling the process.
So drink plenty of water before and after your yoga practice. Throughout the course of your practice, keep your hydrated by taking a few small sips in between the asanas.
It’s important to be careful with your sensitive breasts – which implies that specific postures can be highly uncomfortable, and you would find it difficult to lay down on your stomach comfortably.
You might like to read: Can You Get Stretch Marks From Yoga?
Yoga and Weight Loss
Losing weight after pregnancy might take some time. However, it is desirable not only for cosmetic reasons but also for health-related factors like heightened risk of diabetes or heart issues. On the practical side as well, you will soon be running after an energetic toddler and would need your energy levels up!
Yoga burns many calories, so it’s a good idea to return to it after childbirth, but it’s also good to include it in a balanced diet. However, be sure to check with your doctor on how soon can you start practicing yoga after child birth.
Is Hot Yoga Safe While Breastfeeding?
Yes, it is safe to do Hot Yoga or Bikram yoga while breastfeeding. Let me explain how you should go about it.
Check to see that all of your incisions have fully healed before continuing. If you have had an episiotomy, this is also something you should consider and might want to wait for some time before starting your practice.
Most importantly, you should not gamble with your life. Seek your doctor’s clearance before beginning an exercise program after surgery.
It may take up to six months for the wound to heal. Regular or experienced practitioners of hot yoga might be able start even earlier.
Even though you may be able to begin exercising sooner, you should still adhere to Bikram’s recommendation to do just the bare minimum of stretching.
To begin safely and gently, build up to a full stretch gradually or alter postures similar to those used during pregnancy for a safe and progressive return.
If you want to reduce the likelihood of any breast milk leakage, nurse your kid before beginning your yoga practice. Also, make sure that you are wearing a good sports bra which will ensure that you are properly supported.
A Bikram yoga session will invigorate your body by exposing it to extreme heat and humidity. As you sweat, your body will rid itself of electrolytes and water, as well as other waste products.
Hence, going to a hot yoga session will make you sweat a lot, so keep yourself sufficiently hydrated during the practice and maintain that hydration with the aid of electrolytes.
Is It OK To Breastfeed After Sweating?
Though engaging in a mild to moderate fitness routine is safe and healthful, excessive activity may result in a breast infection and reduce your milk production.
The flavor of your breast milk may also get altered slightly as a result of this. However, these changes in the taste of breastmilk are only short-term and not too substantial.
Lactic acid may build up in your body due to intense activity and then enter your breast milk, imparting a bitter flavor to your otherwise sweet breast milk. You might thus want to wait for some time before breastfeeding your child, instead you could give them milk that you had pumped before the workout.
While some infants are unaffected by these changes, others might recognize the difference and refuse to take the feed.
You might like to read: Can Bouncing On A Yoga Ball Break Your Water?
How To Reduce the Likelihood of Breast Refusal After a Workout
- Pour or manually express a tiny amount of breast milk from each breast before nursing and discard it before continuing. After that, breastfeed your child.
- Right before you go to the gym, breastfeed or express your breast milk for your infant to keep them warm.
- If your infant expresses a desire not to continue, don’t push them.
- If your child is old enough, you may wait a short period before attempting again. Alternatively, if you have it, you may give your kid a bottle filled with breast milk that you have already collected.
- You should not, however, put off feeding a tiny infant. Newborns and early babies need feedings every two to three hours, on average.
- Following your exercise and before feeding your baby, take a shower or wash your breasts to remove sweat from the skin.
More FAQs About Breastfeeding And Yoga
How soon can a nursing mother start exercising?
A nursing mother can start exercising after around two months. Also, the mother should have recovered from childbirth and should be ready to exercise.
What are the advantages of practicing yoga while breastfeeding?
Yoga assists in facilitating the production of breast milk in nursing mothers. It also helps in improvement in blood circulation, helping in the secretion of prolactin, and stimulating the pituitary gland.
Can I Restrict My Calorie Intake To Reduce Weight While Breastfeeding?
It is highly advised to not restrict your requisite calorie intake to reduce weight, while you are breastfeeding.
Consuming less calories than required, will lead to a nutrient deficiency in your body. This is because, your body will find ways to ensure that your breastmilk has sufficient calories, which would mean a lower stock for your functioning.
You might like to read: Can You Do Yoga Teacher Training While Pregnant?
The most challenging aspect of exercising for a new parent is undoubtedly finding the time to do so. It may be tough to manage all of the responsibilities of a family, a home, and a job while still finding time to engage in physical activity.
You may need to hire a nurse or make plans for your spouse to watch the children so that you can get some exercise.
In the end, you should do what you can and don’t be concerned if your efforts are irregular. It’s essential to remember that even a tiny amount of physical exercise is preferable to doing nothing at all.
So leave behind your inhibition, get on your feet and regain your body’s strength and vitality through the power of Yoga!