Meditation for the Nursing/Bottle-Feeding Mama
In postnatal yoga classes, I often have moms need to opt out of the postural practice to feed her baby. I can sense her frustration: she sees if a pacifier can hold the child over for a few breaths or waits to see if a smile or coo can distract him/her. But, when the baby needs to eat, the baby needs to eat. Mom gets a bit disappointed to not fully participate with the others, but wants to nurture her baby. In these times, I offer meditation! Meditation is the perfect activity to do while feeding your baby to continue the integration of body, mind, breath, and spirit. As long as Mom has an upright spine (no slouching—bring Baby to breast if nursing), feels her breath moving in and out, and focuses her awareness on the present moment, she is meditating. Start by sitting comfortably, use a nursing pillow (a yoga bolster is a FABULOUS tool in place of a nursing pillow), bring Baby to you and enjoy.
I simply call this meditation "Holding Baby Scan:"
Feel baby in your arms, gaze lovingly at your baby, and focus on your hands.
Feel the warmth of your hands, feel Baby in them, feel your hands on your baby as the foreground against the background of your body. Breathe here.
Feel your heart—front and back with your awareness on your breath and baby’s breath. Feel your shoulders and the position of your arms holding Baby, but not having to grip. Soften the shoulders where you can. Feel the pelvis connecting you down while supporting the upright alignment of the spine and Baby in your arms. Breathe here.
Stay here feeling your breath and this loving warmth for as long as you can.
When you are done feeding your baby, you can place him/her down on the receiving blanket after burping and rejoin the asana practice. You never left your yoga practice!