Breast feeding and back pain

Posted by Alina on Thursday Oct 23, 2008 Under body mechanics, feeding, useful tips

Breast feeding often results in some back, neck, and even shoulder pain for the mother. Being aware of and correcting body mechanics can have a big impact on preventing and/or relieving some of this pain.

Breastfeeding in sitting:

1. Choose a comfortable seat, with neck/head support if possible.

2. Use armrests or place pillows to support forearms/elbows.

3. A small pillow or rolled up towel at low back for lumbar support may help.

4. Bring the baby to the breast rather than leaning down to the baby. This may require placing the baby on a couple of pillows or placing an extra pillow under the Boppy or the My Breast Friend.

5. Try to have the baby’s weight resting on pillows so that your arms are relaxed.

6. It often feels good to elevate the legs and rest them on a foot stool.

7. Periodically perform a body position check: shoulders down, head/ neck in neutral (not forward), back relatively straight, abdomen slightly tucked, legs relaxed.

Breastfeeding lying down on your side:

1. Place pillow under your head.

2. Place the arm you are laying on straight out in front of you, may bend elbow to bring hand under head.

3. Make sure your head is aligned with the rest of your spine, not excessively forward.

4. Bending hips and knees and placing pillow between knees should help relieve back pain.

5. Placing a pillow behind your back, or having your partner close behind you to lean on and rolling 1/4 of a turn back may also help relax the back muscles.

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