…Contemplating the Core Elements of a Modern Breastfeeding Lifestyle
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Conscious Breastfeeding: Honoring Your Rhythms

Dedicated to Liz-a special mom in my practice.  She will be honoring her rhythms with her baby this weekend and reestablishing their conscious breastfeeding relationship.

Your input… thoughts and questions are invited.

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A wonderful summer…it is now when most of us allow ourselves to relax and spend more time outside in nature.  Typically it is when we plan our holidays and look forward to getting away.  Travelling requires us to make subtle or not so subtle adjustments in our daily routine.  We may be completely out of our comfort zone trying new foods and activities or doing similar things in different surroundings.  We may find that our digestion and sleep are altered…

I am reminded of one of my many trips to Japan.  It is a long plane ride and a half a day time difference which poses a big challenge of jet lag.  On my third trip, I decided to just go straight to bed on arrival so that I would wake up with the dawn and be in fine fettle.  Although it was not yet dark outside, I tucked myself in and fell into a deep sleep.  Suddenly I was awakened by what I thought was a bad dream.  I thought I was in my NYC apartment with someone trying to break down the door.  I soon realized that I was not in the States, but in a business man hotel in Tokyo.  The noise I had attributed to robbers was the clanging of the steel door and the shaking of my bed.  Still disoriented I jumped out of bed to try and look out the window.  This was my first and hopefully last earthquake… thankfully it was  very short, although it seemed a lot longer as it was happening.  I later learned that one should avoid windows and doors on such an occasion.

Segueing from my earthquake moment…Giving birth is intense and can also be a bit disorientating.  Typically there will be a disruption in the diet, sleep and many other changes going on in a mother’s body that will precede meeting her new baby or babies.  Having co-existed as one unit, she must now get to know her baby as a separate and unique individual.

For babies it is an even bigger shock… to be suddenly thrust out into a new world.  They have been in relative darkness for 9 months and have been experiencing gentle, steady motion throughout their time in the womb.  Mother’s heartbeat and body are intimately known to them.  Now they are on their own.

-As Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance notes…”Restoring a sense of rhythm to our lives is crucial to discovering Wholeness.”

This is echoed by the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda, Ltd., the first school for Ayurveda education in the USA  established in 1981, which recommends that…

… cultivating inner awareness and reclaiming our connections to nature’s rhythms (cyclical, daily, seasonal, lunar, and solar), carries the potential for self-healing and profound peace.

In other words… the Wise Earth (Sadhana) path of practice is embracing the integration of body, mind and spirit through nature’s nourishers of Food, Breath and Sound.  Each of these is integral to our existence:  we literally cannot function without breath; we are immersed in the sound of our mother’s heartbeat and rhythms from the moment of conception; we are dependent for sustenance and growth on the bounty of nature’s food…which of course includes breastfeeding.

So take time to rest, eat plenty of fresh whole foods and get outside often with your baby.  Wearing your baby will gently transition them into our world.  The gentle motion of walking with them close to your heart is comforting and grounding; it will help your baby to relax and will create natural intervals between their feedings.  Exposure to the light stimulates their pineal gland and establishes circadian rhythms that will set your baby up for healthy sleeping patterns.

Honoring our rhythms throughout life and especially during this important life passage is imperative…and fundamental for you becoming a Conscious Breastfeeding mom.

1 comment

1 Jeanine Byers Hoag { 08.28.10 at 4:47 pm }

I agree with everything you said about babywearing and rhythm. Beautifully expressed, too, here in your blog! I breastfed my son exclusively for the first year of his life and then, did extended breastfeeding and child-led weaning.

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