This topic had been boiling in my head for quite a while but the timing was always wrong. Meditating while breastfeeding or breastfeeding during meditation – is a tricky, slippery subject.
Meditating while breastfeeding: it’s more than nursing
The distinct proximity, the unique bonding between the mom and her newborn is established through nursing. It’s more than a free time for the mom to check emails with one hand or see what’s new on Amazon. It’s a flow of energy that she, mom sends to her offspring. A message she conveys, a lesson she teaches, if you will. And the more clear and positive it is, the better a newborn will absorb also the vitamins and any other nutritional values.The author of this post, a breastfeeding individual, has asked herself many times: what am I thinking about while breastfeeding?
The danger of getting bored while breastfeeding
In fact, the nursing process can take up to 40 minutes and can get quite boring. All kinds of creepy thoughts might crawl into mom’s tired brain. This is dangerous for both, since mom naturally sends the negative information to the baby. When I started analyzing the thinking process that occurs in my head during breastfeeding I was surprised (not to say alarmed and ashamed) to discover how much trash sits in my head. All that trash is being transmitted to the baby via direct channel.
Distracting and amusing myself during breastfeeding
Smartphones. Phone talks. Books. Other people around. Silent eating.
There are a lot of ways a mom can amuse herself with while breastfeeding. If she feels she goes nuts from boredom and frustration of the very fact of her existence, why not. But what ways are better than others? What ways are not recommended (smartphone emitting radiation etc.) Is it OK or not entertain myself every time I breastfeed in these external ways?
The answer is yes and no. If you feel, that you are not into meditation right now, or there is something urgent you need to check on the phone. If you are starving and all you can think about is food… or every nerve is stretched and the stress is overwhelming… then yes. It’s better to peek into the smartphone, read a funny story, a joke, chat with a friend, eat. Pick up the good vibes at any cost. But don’t make it a habit. Breastfeeding is the unique time and it will not last forever. Don’t make it the email-checking time. There can be enough patience and it’s always better to do breathing exercises and transmit clear positive messages rather than mess up with whatever you have to do. It’s all about patience and regular practice.
How can I stop the trash thoughts during breastfeeding?
The techniques are the same as in meditation. Choosing an object of concentration (it doesn’t necessarily have to be the baby. I would even say that it should not be the baby since she will sense it and might get nervous). Concentrating on the flow of your breath is the simplest. But you can also concentrate on existing mantras or your own words that run in your head and make you feel good. Plain, straight words, shoot like arrows and work only for you in this specific moment. For example: “This is my real moment of truth” or “let all the world stop right now”.
It takes time to master the skill. Just like you go to the gym and work out, here is some mental work out to do. Meditating while breastfeeding is easier, in my opinion, than meditating alone in a sitting position, since there is more activity going on. Focusing on your own breath is one way of concentration. But you can also concentrate (and it’s quite easy) on the sensation of the flowing milk. Think about it as a one-and-only moment of contributing something fundamentally vital to the baby: nourishment combined with spiritual care.
Breastfeeding and meditation: similarities and differences
The main difference is, that meditation can be done alone, while breastfeeding involves another creature
or two. The little one is extremely sensitive to any mood swift, thought or emotional flow. And, for an undisclosed reason, negative thoughts leak in abundance especially during breastfeeding (did I mention the word boring?) Boredom, tiredness, low energy level – all these make mom an easy target for unwanted mental guests.
Here is where similarities can help – if you are meditating on a daily basis, there should be nothing difficult in switching yourself into the right mode. The common factors of meditation and breastfeeding are the intimacy, sensitivity and concentration. It’s easy – if only you remember about meditating while breastfeeding. All you need to do is to stay conscious and focused on the chosen object, to keep your mind fresh and light as possible. Don’t let yourself get lost in the labyrinth of thoughts, and if that happens there is always way back to the center of your concentration – the chosen object of mediation.