How to Relieve and Avoid Back Pain from Nursing
Back pain during or caused by breastfeeding is common and can generally be deduced down to poor posture and breastfeeding techniques. Stress may also cause back pain because of extra tension, so sit back, relax and get ready to get comfortable.
When it came to nursing my baby, I thought I was doing everything right, until a few weeks after my baby was born, I started to get a constant pain in my upper back area. Here are some tips that helped me to reduce my back pain the came from nursing and also some tips on how to avoid that pain in the first place.
Poor Posture during Breastfeeding
Poor posture while nursing is one of the biggest issues that causes back pain. When you slouch or hunch to reach your baby, it creates stress and strain on your spine, although you may find that you lean over to your baby without realizing you are doing it, until your start to get an ache in your back.
Always bring baby to you, rather than your breast to your baby. Try to make sure that you’re not hunching over or slouching to reach your baby. Grab some props if you need. You may need more than one pillow. Use the pillows to support baby’s weight wherever you need them to feed in a natural position.
If you find your back starting to hurt, try feeding in different positions. They side-lying position is very easy on your back because you baby is supported by the couch or bed where you a laying down. If you're used to feeding on one side of the couch, try sitting on a different side. A slight angle change like this will change where the pressure points are and reduce the strain on one area of your back.
Find a comfortable chair to relax in while breastfeeding. Take the time to get comfortable before latching your baby. Expect and understand that you are going to be spending a lot of time feeding your baby, especially in the early weeks, so get comfortable.
7 Ways to Relieve Pain from Nursing
- Use a heating pad on the sore parts of your back, shoulders or neck while you are feeding. This will help relax the muscles and hopefully reduce the strain on your back. Heat is also simply a great tool for pain relief.
- Try different feeding positions. If your back, shoulders or neck hurt especially when using a certain feeding position, mix it up. Use different positions so that one part of your body isn't taking the hit all the time. You can try the football hold or the side-lying position.
- Use a carrier to nurse in. A baby wrap works great at these times. It can help support baby’s weight and hold him in position without you doing much work. It can relieve the work from the aching muscles in your back. Plus, wraps provide coverage so they are a great option when you have company or when you need to go out. If your baby falls asleep, you can leave him in the wrap and go about doing whatever you need to get done. Or you can fall asleep yourself. I would go for the second choice.
- Get a back massage. It can help relieve strained muscles while making you feel more calm and relaxed.
- Try gentle stretching and back and abdomen exercises. Even though you want to take is easy after you've had a baby, gentle exercises that stretch and strengthen your core can be extremely helpful in reducing your back pain from nursing.
- Acupuncture may help relieve back pain.
- Relax and reduce stress as much as possible. Tension can cause excess strain in your muscles and cause back, neck and shoulder pain. If you’re feeling stressed, take some time out to do whatever you need to do to get back into a peaceful state. For example:
- Take a warm bath.
- Make an appointment for a massage or enlist family or friends to give you a massage.
- Sleep whenever you get the chance.
- Focus on relaxing each time you sit to feed your baby. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
Usually, back pain during breastfeeding is caused by poor posture or breastfeeding form. If you follow the tips discussed in this article, your back pain should be easing up on you soon. It’s also a matter of gaining the strength and endurance in your back muscles. This will greatly improve shortly. Soon, breastfeeding will be easy, natural, comfortable and pain-free.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.