7 ways to Relieve Back Pain While Breastfeeding

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Back pain while breastfeeding is a common issue that many lactating women face. The seemingly simple act of nursing a baby can often lead to discomfort and pain in the back, making an already challenging time even more difficult. Understanding the causes of this back pain and learning ways to relieve it can help make the breastfeeding experience more comfortable and enjoyable for mothers.

back pain while breastfeeding

In This Article:

What Causes Back Pain While Breastfeeding?

Several factors contribute to back pain while breastfeeding. One primary cause is the prolonged sitting or hunching over that often accompanies nursing sessions. Holding a baby for an extended period of time can strain the muscles in the back, leading to discomfort and pain. Additionally, poor posture while feeding can exacerbate this issue.

Additionally, the physical changes that occur during pregnancy and childbirth can also contribute to back pain. The strain of carrying the baby during pregnancy and the process of giving birth can affect the alignment of the spine and lead to muscle tension in the back.

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7 Ways to Relieve Back Pain While Breastfeeding

Supportive Seating:

Investing in a comfortable and supportive nursing chair or using pillows to provide proper support for the back can help alleviate back pain during breastfeeding sessions.

Correct Posture:

Maintaining a good posture while nursing is crucial. Sit up straight and use pillows to bring the baby closer to breast level, rather than hunching over to reach the baby.

Stretching and Exercise:

Engaging in gentle stretching and strengthening exercises can help alleviate back pain. Consult with a healthcare professional for appropriate exercises to target back discomfort.

Proper Lifting Techniques:

Practice proper lifting techniques when picking up and holding the baby to reduce strain on the back muscles.

Massages and Heat Therapy:

Gentle massages and applying heat to the affected areas can help relax tight muscles and provide relief from back pain.

Use a Nursing Pillow:

Utilise a nursing pillow to support the baby’s weight and position the baby at the breast, reducing the strain on the back and shoulders.

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Consult a Healthcare Professional:

If back pain persists despite these measures, it is important to seek advice from a healthcare professional. They can provide personalised recommendations and guidance tailored to individual circumstances.

Exercises for Lactating Mothers to Relieve Back Pain

Seated Spinal Twist

Sit cross-legged on the floor or on a mat. Twist your upper body to one side while placing your opposite hand on your outer thigh for support. Hold the twist for 15–30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. This exercise helps to relieve tension in the back and improve spinal mobility.

Cat-Cow Stretch

Get on your hands and knees, with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Arch your back up like a cat, and then relax it down like a cow. Repeat this movement 10–15 times. The cat-cow stretch helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back and abdomen.

Pelvic Tilts

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Slowly tilt your pelvis upward, flattening your back against the floor. Hold for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this movement 10–15 times. Pelvic tilts are effective for strengthening the muscles in your lower back and abdomen.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

Sit or stand with your back straight. Pull your shoulder blades back and together as if you are trying to hold a pencil between them. Hold for 5–10 seconds, and then release. Repeat this movement 10–15 times. The shoulder blade squeeze helps improve posture and reduce tension in the upper back.

Child’s Pose

Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels. Stretch your arms out in front of you and lower your chest towards the ground, bringing your forehead to the mat. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The child’s pose helps to stretch and relax the muscles in your lower back and hips.

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Breastfeeding Positions to Help Avoid Back Pain

Cradle Hold:

This classic position involves holding the baby in the crook of one arm while using the other hand to support the breast. To minimise back strain, use a cushion or pillow to support your arm and bring the baby up to breast level. This can help prevent hunching, reducing strain on your back.

Side-Lying Position:

This position involves lying on your side with the baby facing you. This can be a comfortable option for nighttime feedings, and it can also help alleviate back pain by allowing you to rest and relax while feeding. Use pillows to support your back and ensure that you and the baby are in a comfortable position.

Cross-Cradle Hold:

Similar to the cradle hold, this position involves holding the baby across the body with the opposite arm supporting the baby’s head and neck. This position can help reduce back pain by allowing you to switch up your feeding position and prevent strain on one side of your body.

Reclined Breastfeeding:

In this position, the mother reclines back slightly, allowing the baby to lie across her body. This can be a comfortable position for both mother and baby and can help minimise back pain by reducing the strain on the mother’s back.

Laid-Back Breastfeeding:

Also known as biological nurturing, this position involves reclining back in a comfortable chair or bed and allowing the baby to rest on top of you. This position can help reduce back pain by minimising the need to hunch over and allowing both mother and baby to relax during feeding.

Conclusion

In conclusion, back pain while breastfeeding is a common issue that many lactating women face, but it is not something that should be endured. By maintaining proper posture, incorporating exercises, and exploring different breastfeeding positions, mothers can effectively relieve and prevent back pain, allowing them to better enjoy the bonding experience with their baby.

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Sources :

  1. https://www.verywellfamily.com/4-best-positions-for-breastfeeding-with-back-pain-6265778

https://lolalykke.com/blogs/mamahood-manuals/8-tips-to-relieve-back-pain-while-breastfeeding

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