Breastfeeding: a free course in mindfulness

Breastfeeding takes time. Several times per day you need to sit down with your baby and wait until he or she has had enough.

A disadvantage? Or major gain? Admit it: is it really unpleasant to sit on the couch with your baby? And the only thing your child asks from you is that you are there. You. As a person. Nothing more. Just your attention.

And that is mindfulness.

Mindfulness is nothing but being attentive to the moment, several times a day. No multi-tasking, no worrying, for a moment not thinking about ‘later’.

And the effects are positieve. Less stress, better sleep, improves mild depression. No wondere there are more and more mindfulness courses. These usually take 8 weeks. With homework: to be attentive to the moment by sitting still several times a day. The effects are proven, so more and more insurancepolicies cover the costs of these trainings.

Your baby offers you a free intensive mindfulness training. With the softest, nicest, loveliest and strictest trainer ever. Your baby.

If you really focus on feeding your baby you will notice something special. Probably your baby will drink more calmly. And as soon as your attention wanders or you start to worry about your to-do-list your baby will respond. Drawing your attention back to the moment with little sounds, handmovements or even letting go of the nipple. And the only respons from you need to offer is to bring your attention back to your baby.

Without stress. Lightly. Just think ‘oh, you are right, I was feeding your and got distracted; you are so lovely!’. Bring your attention to your back and feet. Are you sitting comfortably? If not, gently ease yourself in a position where you are more relaxed. Focus on your breath: feel the soft body of your baby against yours and breathe gently. You do have help: oxytocine. The hormone that helps milk flow also has a relaxing effect on you. An added bonus.

Feeding mindfully takes as much time as feeding uncomfortably. It’s just more fun and has a positive effect on your welbeing. You learn to appreciate the moment. A proper mindfulnesstraining.

Does your partner feel left out? Ask him (or her) to sit next to you. To observe the breathing of your child, the drinking rythm, to admire those little hands on your breast. That way you have a moment of peace together. For a moment not being busy young parents off to the next task.

Easy? No. Meditation is simple but oh so difficult from time to time. Worth while? Oh yes.

Give it a try. You will enjoy the benefits the rest of your day. And according to mindfulness professionals the rest of your life.

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