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When you breastfeed your baby, it strengthens the bond that you share with him. But, sometimes this pleasant and comforting experience can have certain ill effects on your health, i.e., it may result in back pain. Although it is very common to experience back pain while breastfeeding, if you do not take corrective measures to reduce the pain it may aggravate. Here in the following article, we shall be discussing 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 and some of them are listed below:
- You may experience back pain because of the extra pregnancy weight that you might be carrying.
- During pregnancy and labour, your body goes through a lot and many women experience body pain, particularly, back pain. If you experienced back pain during pregnancy, this pain may last for a while even after delivery, and your back may continue to feel sore and ache while you breastfeed your little one.
- One of the common reasons for back pain is an improper feeding position. It is important that you position your baby correctly but also pay heed to your position and support yourself well while breastfeeding your baby.
- Sometimes lifting heavy objects may cause back pain that may further aggravate while you breastfeed.
- Also, pain in the back may be due to some previous accidents that may have harmed your back and breastfeeding may cause more pain and discomfort.
Tips to Relieve Back Pain While Nursing
Here are some tips that may help relieve back pain while you nurse your baby –
1. Pay Heed to Your Breastfeeding Position
Breastfeeding the baby while sitting in a wrong position is the most common cause of back pain and many mothers unknowingly may do so. It is very important that you check your feeding position and do not lean forward or slouch. It is also seen that some breastfeeding moms may find a certain position uncomfortable or painful whereas other feeding positions may cause no discomfort. Therefore, it will be a good idea to try different feeding positions. To avoid back pain, breastfeeding while lying down may be a good option.
2. Use Pillows for Support
You may often find yourself leaning forward to feed your baby, which may put a lot of stress on your back. You may prop your baby position up by using some pillows to get him closer to your breasts. Alternatively, you may use pillows to provide extra support for your back.
3. Use the Right Chair
If you sit on a chair to breastfeed your baby, it is very important that you choose the right kind of chair. Abstain from sitting in a deeply cushioned chair which 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 may provide you relief from back pain.
4. Get a Massage
While tending to your baby’s requirements, you may neglect your health and well-being, which may result in back pain. Getting a relaxing massage is a great way of getting rid of obnoxious back pain. Do not hesitate to ask for help from family and friends to take care of your baby when you pamper yourself.
5. Take a Walk
Walking daily for some time can help strengthen your back muscles. Take a break in between the feeding sessions and invest some time in walking. If you cannot find time to go out and walk, you can walk in your home too. However, it will be a good idea to have a walk in open for half an hour to strengthen your back muscles.
6. Take Rest When Your Baby Sleeps
Getting adequate rest and sleep is of prime importance for any mother, especially if you have delivered your baby recently. Taking out some quiet time for yourself may seem difficult but sneak out time and sleep or rest when your baby sleeps. It is often seen that a well relaxed and rested body is less likely to have problems such as back pain.
7. Start Exercising Once Your Body Recovers Completely
Your body will take approximately six weeks to heal itself after the birth of your baby. Once the six weeks are over and if you feel healthy and fine, you can start with some light exercises and yoga to get your body back in shape and to strengthen it. However, do consult your doctor before starting with anything. Start gradually by investing 10 to 15 minutes daily and slowly increase the time and intensity of your workouts. Doing so will help provide relief from lower back pain while breastfeeding.
8. Try Feeding in a Standing Position
If sitting-feeding sessions are taking a toll on your back, you can try feeding your baby in a standing position too. There are various kinds of infant carriers available that you can use for this purpose. However, make sure you secure your baby properly in the carrier and keep a note of the latching position.
9. Stay Hydrated
While taking care of your baby, you may often forget to drink water, and this may dehydrate your body. Dehydration can not only make you feel tired and exhausted but it may also lead to 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.
10. Try Hot and Cold Compress
You can take an ice pack and place on the affected area of your back for approximately 20 minutes, take a break of 10 to 15 minutes and then use a hot compress. You can do this alternate hot and cold treatment for a few times to get relief from your backache. It is a great way of reducing pain in the lower back and upper back pain while breastfeeding.
11. Don’t Stress
It is very important that you avoid stressing over little things. 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. You can also do whatever relaxes you and makes you feel happy.
12. Take Help From Your Family and Friends
Motherhood may exhaust you and it is very normal to feel that you cannot manage everything on your own. Ask for help, whenever you feel you cannot handle things all by yourself. It will be an excellent idea to join some new mommy group in your locality, where you all can get together and share your motherhood experiences and also may get some tips on better parenting.
Exercises That Can Help Relieve Back Pain While Breastfeeding
Stretches are very good for relieving back pain and here are some easy stretches that you may try to battle breastfeeding back pain:
1. Cat-Cow Pose
Get on all fours and place your hands under your shoulders. Your knees should be hip-distance apart. Inhale and gradually arch your back by looking up, then look down while exhaling slowly and rolling your back. Your tailbone should be tucked under. You can repeat this a few more times to get relief from nerve pain in the back while breastfeeding.
2. Child Pose
Come on to your hands and knees on the mat. Slowly stretch your arms in front of you by placing your palms flat on the ground. Inhale by taking a deep breath and slowly exhale while resting your chest towards the ground. Move your hands towards left and breathe into your right ribcage and then do the same on the other side.
3. Restorative Chest Stretch
Take a towel and roll in horizontally. Place it on the ground and lay on the towel by placing it around your bra strap area. Spread your arms outwards with your elbows touching the ground and your palm facing the ceiling. Inhale deeply and as you exhale let your body push your body towards to the rolled towel.
4. Bend Forward
Stand straight and keep your hands behind your back. Try to hold your left arm’s elbow with the right hand and your right arm’s elbow with your left hand. Slowly inhale then bend forward while exhaling. Be in this position for a while and then exhale from your mouth while returning to normal position.
5. Stretch Forward
Stand with your legs hip-width apart. Hold a towel and stretch your arms in front of you, a little more than shoulder-distance apart. Now, while inhaling, raise your arms up and while exhaling, bring them down. Similarly, while inhaling, get your hands in front and exhaling, get them down. Repeat this a few times.
All these stretches are great for helping you in getting rid of back pain during breastfeeding. However, it is suggested that you seek medical advice before opting for any of the above-mentioned suggestions for relieving back pain.