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  • United Kingdom

Birthlight yoga to support breastfeeding

For Baby Nurture and Baby Yoga teachers, Breastfeeding Counselors, Postnatal Doulas, Health Visitors, Nursery Nurses and other professionals. The day imparts embodied practices not taught elsewhere that can make a difference in the initiation of breastfeeding and in giving mothers the confidence to continue at turning points when they think of stopping.

The substantial development of research and findings for breastfeeding over the past three decades has established its short and long-term health benefits for the mother and child (see The Lancet ‘Breastfeeding: achieving the new normal’ vol 387 No 10017, January 2016). Yet there is no consensus about effective promotion interventions. The rates of breastfeeding in the UK, although currently improving, are still among the lowest.  New ways to support new mothers to breastfeed are required worldwide.

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At Birthlight, our focus is the mutual comfort and enjoyment of mother and baby, before and after birth
Birthlight has always positively welcomed bottle-feeding parents in Baby Nurture and Baby Yoga groups but the aim of this CPD is to raise new mothers’ confidence with breastfeeding. The day will offer a trove of simple practices, techniques and resources tested in years of teaching and based on research, observation and experience.

“…where breastfeeding is concerned, experts can only give information, or advice, or care.  But breastfeeding mothers need more than that.  They first need a shared self-confidence.”
 Michel Odent

Participants in the CPD will gain awareness of:

  • Sensitive periods  in the first year and specific body-based  approaches required for mums/babies for the initiation and consolidation of breastfeeding
  • The power of ‘safe circles’ of mothers with their babies for continuity of practice
  • How ease with posture facilitates intimacy for infant feeding and how to promote it beyond main guidelines for baby positioning. If mum is well positioned, then she can help baby’s position as it suits them both
  • Yoga-based ways to help mothers overcome challenges of breastfeeding at different stages (when stopping is an option not a necessity)

Practices taught will include:

  • Yoga-based tips for spinal alignment/support to facilitate ‘latching on’ and comfortable feeding in various positions (traditional sitting and side positions and ‘laid-back’ breastfeeding-biological nurturing)
  • Upright ‘Relaxed holds’ that eliminate the need for ‘winding’
  • ‘Instant relaxation’ techniques for new mums
  • Yoga techniques for teaching access to  ‘deep rest’ that helps new mothers cope with sleeplessness and fatigue
  • Yoga  responses to baby cues for babies who cry shortly after feeds
  • Yoga practices to help alleviate reflux and colic

Participants will acquire additional knowledge of:

  • How to practically help mothers memorise the feeling of letting go and ‘relax from minding’ while breastfeeding their babies in ‘joint relaxation’
  • How to use feeding  to promote sensory integration contributing to babies’ brain development (involvement of the five senses)
  • Yoga-based resources to support mothers to breastfeed for longer through enjoying mutuality with their babies through feeding (mutual rhythms awareness)
  • Practices to help mothers reclaim their bodies from the early months WHILE breastfeeding their babies (toning from within)
  • Practices involving fathers

Birthlight prioritises simple and effective body-based support over and above technical information as the most important factor for the establishment and continuation of successful breastfeeding to the full six months period recommended by WHO. It would be great if we could create evidence, but helping one mother at a time and facilitating small circles of mothers in the community has real value. This CPD is based on this value. Thanks to granddaughter Rosie and daughter Mary for allowing me to refresh the contents of this CPD day by day over the last nine months.

This CPD has a 6 hours credit. A Certificate of Attendance will be given to those attending the full day and providing course feedback.

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