Did you just start nursing and noticed after nursing your back hurts? Or maybe when you are done nursing it is hard to stand up straight?
Here are 5 ways to help you manage and decrease back pain that may come from the nursing posture.
1. RAISE BABY TO YOU
Always try to bring the baby to you instead of you leaning down to your baby. Use pillows to help bring baby up to you. All those pillows you have kicking around from pregnancy can come in useful again and really take the strain off your upper back and your arms. You will be carrying your baby enough, so give your arms a break while nursing and use pillows as much as you can both to support the weight of your baby and to support your tired arms!
2. HAVE CORRECT SITTING POSTURE
This can be hard when you are trying to learn how to nurse, but once you have that down this should get easier and you can pay more attention to your posture. Make sure to sit on the front of your sit bones, rather than leaning back in a semi-reclined position. Putting a pillow behind your low back for support, and sitting with your hips slightly higher than your knees will help ensure you are in this position.
3. LIMIT LOOKING DOWN AT BABY (or your phone!)
In the beginning it is difficult not to spend the whole feed looking down at your baby, admiring this new addition to your life, and of course it will take some work to get your baby comfortable with the process. However, once you both get used to the tricky task of nursing, it is important to look up as much as possible to give your neck a break! This can help reduce neck pain and headaches from always looking down.
After sitting hunched over learning to nurse, it is important to counteract this postural strain by stretching. A good rule of thumb is to stretch into the opposite position you were sitting in. Standing or sitting up tall, lowering your shoulder blades and turning your thumbs out with your palms facing out is likely the opposite of the position you were in while you were nursing. Hold this for about 10 seconds and take a few deep breaths. You can also open your chest up by lying on a long foam roller (or a rolled towel if you don’t have one). Place the roll on the floor, sit on one end of it and lie back with it running the full length of your spine all the way to your head. bend your knees to take strain off your low back, hands by your sides with your palms up. Not only does this feel amazing, but it gives you a jump start to feeling better, try to stay there for a least a few minutes. Give your baby some tummy time while you stretch!
5. GET ADJUSTED – BOTH of you
Often we see women for lower back and pelvic pain during pregnancy, but this commonly switches to neck and upper back pain and headaches from always looking down at your new addition (feeding, changing, admiring!) Seeing a chiropractor will help keep your back and neck moving, loosen the tight muscles in your spine and help with headaches. Sometimes no matter what you do, nursing can be a struggle! Often women experience breast pain, worse on one side than the other, or find baby keeps coming off the breast during a feed. This can be an indication that perhaps your baby is the one who needs the adjustment! Without full motion of the neck, babies can have a hard time maintaining a latch and pull away. If you aren’t sure about chiropractic for babies feel free to ask us, it’s a gentle and safe treatment and can make all the difference for both of you!
Our bodies are amazing and the power inside us is unstoppable. Feeding is hard and challenging, but so rewarding for you and baby. Bottle feeding? That’s ok! The same rules apply! Often you’re in the same posture as when you are breastfeeding so be sure to use these tips as well. Regardless of your feeding method, we know you are doing your best and doing a great job mama! So keep it up! Try these tips to help you feel even better – and share them with your friends.
Source: Hamilton Chiropractic