Top 10 Tips
Taking care of a newborn baby can put a big strain on your back, but there are some simple ways for you to be comfortable while breastfeeding.
- Mind how you sit. Try not to let the lower half of your spine curve too much while feeding your baby. Sitting in a comfortable but firm chair may be a better option than a sofa, which can make you slouch.
- Sometimes, however, a semi-reclined posture on a sofa can work. It allows full body contact which can help your baby feel secure and helps with latching on. There is no single right posture, so do what feels comfortable.
- Use pillows. Putting a pillow behind your back can help to keep your spine supported. By raising the baby up to the level of your breast on a pillow as you feed, you can ease the strain on your arms. Only use a pillow for your own comfort, not between you and your baby. If you’re out and about without a pillow handy, you could try tying your jumper around your waist to support the small of your back.
- Change your position. Feeding your baby in the same position every time can cause a repetitive strain injury. Using different positions can give your muscles a rest. You don’t always have to sit upright – try lying on your back or on your side if it feels comfortable. It’s worth playing around a bit to find the right pose.
- Try feeding in front of a mirror. This allows you to notice repetitive movements and a hunched spine, making it easier for you to remember to change your position.
- Try standing up. If you have a baby carrier, you can experiment with feeding your baby while standing and moving around. This can help relieve pressure on your back and stop repetitive strain. Ideally, the carrier needs wide padded shoulder straps and a belt going around your hips so your baby’s weight is evenly distributed. Make sure your baby is facing inward and is high on your body.
- Get a massage. A relaxing massage is a great way to relieve tension in your body and improve your general well-being.
- Stay hydrated. Good hydration is essential to produce enough milk for your baby and to ease back pain.
- Go for a stroll. This will strengthen the muscles in your back and neck, as well as improve circulation and stress, all of which can help to alleviate back pain while breastfeeding.
- Do the Cat-Cow exercise for 30-60 seconds every day.
If you feel like you need a hand with your back pain, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sundial Clinic. We’re always happy to help you!
For more information on breastfeeding go to La Leche League.