How to relieve back pain while breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding loads the lumbar and dorsal area a lot, so prevention exercises and their continuity during the postpartum period are essential.

Data tells us that up to 80% of pregnant women experience back pain at some point during their pregnancy. Something that many of us have heard and confirm. However, rarely is it said that this pain can also be transferred to the postpartum period and the subsequent raising of babies, a moment of special vulnerability for women from a physical point of view. Above all, in those mothers who are breastfeeding. Musculoskeletal discomfort, back pain, low back pain and, in general, back pain that hinder the day-to-day life and the recovery of the newly released mother can appear.

Unlike in the case of pregnancy, when the pain is mainly caused by an increase in the volume of the gut, after having the baby the cause is transferred to the efforts that the mother must make while breastfeeding, holding the baby or even pushing the cart, among others. These are actions that we carry out every day and in which we do not notice, but they can have a significant effect on our well-being. In fact, during the first months of a mother’s life, it is very convenient for her to take care of herself, especially the position she adopts when breastfeeding, if she has opted for breastfeeding. It will be many hours breastfeeding and, if the posture is not correct, discomfort will surely be generated.

Five tips to avoid back pain while breastfeeding

1. Perform daily exercise during pregnancy

Prevention is key. Therefore, to avoid back discomfort in the postpartum period, it is essential to maintain a good daily exercise routine during the months of pregnancy. Among the most recommended activities, would be swimming, practicing yoga, Pilates and, of course, walking every day. In this way, in addition, it is possible not to gain too much weight, it is advisable not to exceed 13 kg throughout the pregnancy, although it would be necessary to go on a case-by-case basis. Any physiotherapist or specialist in exercises during pregnancy will design a part of your daily activity designed precisely to be able to hold the future baby without discomfort and breastfeed, strengthening the dorsal area of the back.

2. Don’t forget about stretching

We often believe that by doing any type of sport we are managing to improve our physical health and it is true, but part of that training routine should always be good stretching exercises. In this case, the muscle group involved is quite large, the back, so it would be advisable to spend a lot of time on it. For it:

  • Perform neck stretches, sitting in a chair with a straight back.
  • It also includes stretching of the pectoral area, since the body always seeks balance between one area and another. If there is weakness in the pectoral area, it will counteract with the dorsal area of the back and vice versa.
  • Stretching of the dorsal and lumbar area, strengthening the latter.

3. The correct position during breastfeeding

Whenever we breastfeed our baby, the midwife emphasizes, we must pay close attention to the position we take. At first, it will cost us, but then we will do well without realizing it. To do this, we must always have our back supported, not completely vertical, but at a certain angle, lying down, and keep our shoulders relaxed. In this way, we will prevent our lumbar and dorsal area from being overly burdened, as well as avoiding contractures.

4. Find supports, such as a nursing pillow

Using tools that facilitate some of the tasks we perform during the postpartum period with our babies is an interesting option. Nursing pillows, which we surely already use during the gestation period to get a little better sleep, can help us in the case of breastfeeding our baby or, even, if we simply hold him in our arms. We can unload their weight on it and free up the dorsal area a bit, for example, leaving our arms free while we breastfeed.

5. If we carry, use an ergonomic backpack

Finally, if we take our baby in a stroller or stroller, it is important that we pay attention to the correct posture, walking as upright as possible. But if we choose to use a carrying system (a comfortable system if we breastfeed), we have to look even more closely. The backpack, of course, must be ergonomic, to adequately distribute the baby’s weight and not overload the back, and we must try not to lean forwards or backwards, arching the lower back too much. The ideal, therefore, in this case, is that before all the backpacks, shoulder bags and scarves that exist, the carriers try all the systems first and choose the one that best suits them.