Breast feeding and back pain

When you’re a new mom, you’re probably going to be really excited about breast feeding your baby, after all that’s what it’s all about isn’t it, (bonding with your baby). Unfortunately what many new moms don’t realise is that they are going to be very prone to back pain whilst nursing their baby, especially if they don’t get their posture just right!

If you have suffered from back pain whilst you were pregnant, its very likely you will suffer from back pain whilst breastfeeding your new baby, however all is not lost, here are a few tips to get the most out of breast feeding your baby and keeping your back in good shape.

A good supportive chair is essential. It sounds an obvious thing to say, but how comfortable and supportive is the chair you are planning to use to breast feed your baby. If it’s not supporting your posture correctly, you should think about putting some pillows behind your back to enable you to sit straighter thus improving your posture.

Bring your baby towards your breast rather than straining your back by bending over him. In my time as a midwife, I’ve seen some horrendous positions adopted by new (and not so new) moms when breast feeding their baby. Unfortunately over time when adopting this type of posture, the ligaments in your back will become strained, and a lot of damage which may become permanent can be done in this area.

Try using a glider or a platform rocker with some arm support to breastfeed your baby. These can be bought from any store which sells baby products and furniture and can end up becoming an essential piece of equipment in your nursery. It takes the pressure away from your back whilst letting your arms rest when holding your baby.

Try using a footrest whilst breastfeeding, A small footstool can be bought very cheaply whilst your out shopping and again can become a very useful piece of furniture. When you sit with your feet and legs raised, not only does it rest them, but it also automatically positions your body backwards so your back is more firmly resting against the back of the chair. Again this improves your posture and decreases the chances of you succumbing to back pain.

Breast feeding should be a pleasurable experience for both you and your baby, if you are in discomfort or pain; this is going to communicate itself to your baby who will probably become fractious and/or distressed. In turn this may lead to feeding problems and eventually a situation where you feel unable to continue to breast feed your baby.