While breastfeeding can make the bond between you and your baby stronger, it also invites several problems like a sore neck or experiencing back pain after sitting for long hours. While feeding, you may tend to crane your neck to look at your baby or hunch over to find the right position to feed. Although experiencing back pain while breastfeeding is very common, but if you do not take corrective measures to reduce the pain it may aggravate. Below we have the article, where it has been discussed what causes back pain and various tips to relieve it.
What Causes Back Pain While Breastfeeding?
There are various reasons that may cause back pain while breastfeeding. Some of them are:
1. Postpartum Weight Gain:
Post-pregnancy weight gain may trigger back pain that you might be carrying. It can be because your breasts have become relatively heavy for your frame.
2. Left-Over Back Pain from Pregnancy and Labor:
Hormone relaxin which helps the ligaments in the pelvic area to relax and the joints to lose, is also responsible for relaxing and loosening the muscles and ligaments that support the spine, leading to instability and pain. As your body goes through a lot during pregnancy and labor, you experience back pain.
3. Improper Feeding Position:
Lifting heavy weights may also aggravate backaches, and carrying a baby for hours daily in an awkward position can also trigger the same. It is important that you lift your baby and position your baby correctly but you must also pay heed to your position and support yourself well while breastfeeding your baby.
4. Previous accident:
Some previous accidents which had harmed your back may increase your back pain and cause you discomfort. Breastfeeding will only add to your already existing back pain.
5. Lack of Sleep:
Sleep deprivation can result in many problems and complications. Starting from headache to neck pain and even back pain. Sleep deprivation will only aggravate your condition.
Tips to Relieve Back Pain While Nursing
Here are some tips to relieve your back pain.
1. Be Mindful of Your Breastfeeding Position
A breastfeeding position is very crucial in managing back pain. Sitting in the wrong position while breastfeeding the baby is the most common cause of back pain which many mothers unknowingly do. You must check your feeding position and try not to lean forward or slouch. Do not sit in an uncomfortable position. To avoid back pain, you can try breastfeeding while lying down.
2. Use Pillows for Support
You may almost always lean forward to feed your baby. This puts a lot of pressure on your back. You may prop your baby’s position up by using some pillows to get support. Using a nursing pillow can prove to be your life.
3. Use the Right Chair
It is very important to you choose the right kind of chair. Avoid sitting in a deeply cushioned chair that makes you sink into it because this may cause back pain. Instead, it is recommended that you choose a firm chair and sit in an upright position. A better posture and sitting position will provide you relief from back pain.
4. Get a Massage
A relaxing back massage can prove to be a great way to loosen the strained muscles and will make you feel more relaxed and calm. You may tend to overlook your health and well-being while tending to your baby’s requirements, this may result in back pain. Get rid of the obnoxious back pain by getting a relaxing massage.
5. Take a Walk
Taking a walk every day can help strengthen your back muscles. So get up from the place, go out and get some fresh air. Walking proves to be an effective exercise to help manage backaches and pains. Take some time off in between the feeding sessions and invest some time in walking.
6. Take Rest When Your Baby Sleeps
Adequate rest and sleep are very important after the delivery. Getting enough night’s rest may seem like an impossible task but try to sneak some sleep or at least rest when the baby sleeps. A well-rested body is essential for recovery and prevents aggravated backaches.
Once you start feeling a little better and you are healthy and fine, start with some light exercise. Take brief breaks in between feedings and do some stretching to help reduce the strain that might have build up in your body from staying in the same position for prolonged periods while nursing. However, you must consult your doctor before starting with anything. Investing at least 10 to 15 minutes daily will help provide relief from lower back pain while breastfeeding.
8. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can become the reason for several problems besides feeling tired and exhausted and various kinds of pain. Therefore, it is suggested that you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water in a day to keep dehydration at bay. Proper hydration keeps your spinal discs, which rely on water to keep bones from rubbing together, plump, and keep your back pain at bay.
9. Try Hot Compress
A hot compress for 15 to 20 minutes at a time may help a great deal to alleviate upper and lower back pain while breastfeeding. Use a heating pad to relieve the pain and relax the muscles on the sore parts of your back, shoulders, or neck while you are breastfeeding.
10. Don’t Stress
The early months of motherhood can be very challenging as it is exhausting. But it is important to avoid stressing over little things. The extra tension from stress can trigger strain in your muscles, resulting in back, neck, and shoulder pain. If you feel stressed or anxious, make sure you do things that may reduce your stress levels such as, taking a warm bath, listening to some good music, getting some sleep, or getting a good massage. Just try to manage your stress.
Exercises That Can Help Relieve Back Pain While Breastfeeding
There are a number of exercises that can help loosen up your back and strengthen the core muscles that stabilize your spine. Check out the following exercises you might want to try doing at home to fight back pain while breastfeeding:
1. Child’s Pose Arm Stretch:
This is a great exercise for back pain relief. Come on to your hands and knees on the mat. The child’s pose stretches your lower back and arms, relaxing your body.
- Slowly stretch your arms in front of you and place your palms flat on the ground.
- Rest your stomach comfortably on your thighs and forehead to touch the floor.
- Inhale deep breaths and slowly exhale while resting your chest towards the ground.
- Move your hands towards the left and breathe into your right ribcage and then do the same on the other side.
2. Cat-Cow Pose:
- Get on all fours and place your wrists under your shoulders.
- Your knees should be hip-distance apart.
- Inhale and gently arch your back by looking up, then look down while exhaling slowly and rolling your back.
- Slowly move your spine toward the opposite direction, while inhaling and looking up to the ceiling, curving the lower spine.
- Repeat the pattern about ten times gently and slowly.
3. Towel exercise:
- Place a rolled towel horizontally on the ground.
- Lay on the towel by placing it around your bra strap area.
- Spread your arms outwards such as your elbows touch the ground and your palm face towards the ceiling.
- Inhale deeply and as you exhale let your body push your body towards the rolled towel.
4. Hold the hand:
- Stand straight keeping your hands behind your back.
- Hold your left arm’s elbow with your right hand and your right arm’s elbow with your left hand.
- Slowly inhale and bend forward while exhaling.
- Be in this position for a while and then exhale from your mouth while returning to normal position.
5. Bend down:
- Stand with your legs hip-width apart.
- Hold a towel and stretch your arms in front of you, this must be a little more than shoulder-distance apart.
- Now, raise your arms up and inhale.
- And while exhaling, bring them down.
These exercises are really effective in relieving back pain. Try them and see the results.