Why Breastfeeding can Cause Shoulder Pain?

For breastfeeding moms out there, here is a video to help you deal with shoulder pain. It is probably the most common problem for breastfeeding mothers. If you’ve had shoulder, wrist, back or other muscle pain while breastfeeding, you’re probably not alone. Breastfeeding requires lots of hours in different positions so pain is more likely to happen.

According to an occupational therapist, Debbie Roberts, nursing moms may be predisposed to develop musculoskeletal pain in their neck, shoulders, forearms, wrist and low back.  Pregnancy and the postpartum period place unique strains on a woman’s body.  Some of these stressors are related to physiologic changes and some are related to new child care demands.

Facts about Pain during Breastfeeding

Ergonomics is a big topic but a few important ideas can be put to mind: first, neutral positioning for spine and joints refers to a balanced, comfortable position that avoids musculoskeletal strain.  This may vary slightly between individuals. Second, conserve your energy and rest before you get too tired.  Because standing uses more energy than sitting.  A neutral spine position may feel more restful; third,  protect your joints – avoid bending or using your wrist in awkward positions (especially when carrying something heavy or for an extended period of time); protect your low back – avoid bending at the waist with straight legs. If you must carry something heavy, keep the object close to your body and keep your forearms/wrist straight.

There is virtually no way a mom can relax if her body is feeling any level of discomfort. Back or arm strain can make a nursing session torturous, and therefore it is very important to ensure mom is comfortable and can stay that way for the next 20-40 minutes. A chair with excellent back support and an armrest is a must. Breastfeeding pillows, slings or a KoalaKin can help support the baby’s weight, allowing mom to relax any areas of strain and enabling a more ergonomic breastfeeding position.

While breastfeeding is something we do for our babies, with a little bit of organization and practice, this can also be a time that moms can use to take care of and nourish themselves.

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