Breastfeeding and your Posture
Updated: Jan 17
The journey from pregnancy to birth to breastfeeding is truly a wondrous one. It does however place much strain on your body, particularly your #musculoskeletalsystem.
Many women may have had good posture prior to childbirth, yet now find themselves slouching like never before. This may also coincide with the onset of neck, back, leg and wrist pain, never before experienced.
There are many causes for the #spinaldistortion and associated or referred pain during breastfeeding:
The level of Relaxin in your system remains high for up to 3-5 months after the childbirth.
A side-effect of this hormone is the relaxation of ligaments in the new mum’s body, which may then decrease #spinalstability. As a result the new mum is more predisposed to scoliosis and the associated pain.
Secondly, an unstable pelvis may well be a cause of pain. The pelvis is the foundation of the spine.
When the weight of the foetus increases rapidly in late pregnancy, the mum-to-be’s centre of gravity at waist level, shifts forward forming an #anteriorpelvictilt and resultant laxity of core muscles.
This occurs due to #muscleimbalance in the lower half of the body. A combination of weak and tight muscles pulls the pelvis forward.
In addition, if you underwent C-section or epidural injection during the delivery, the damage from the surgical cut or chemicals used in those procedures could also result in discomfort.
However, #poorposture when feeding and looking after your babies, may cause the most direct damage to a new mum’s structure.
If this is your first baby, you may not even know the correct way to carry or feed your baby.
From my experience, quite a number of new mums sit very badly in an unsupportive chair, couch or even on the edge of the bed during feeding. Apart from being uncomfortable it can also be damaging to your spine.
When you have been holding the baby for a long time and start to experience tiredness in your shoulders and arms, it is common to just lean forward and feed the baby in a slouched position.
Never lean forward to nurse. Instead, let a chair or couch fully support your back. Why not try to imagine your belly is magnetic and it pulls Baby to you.
While breastfeeding might be “natural”, it is still work. Hard work!
You really do need to be mindful of looking after your own body while nursing.
Also do not assume that any little niggling pains or discomfort is just part of the process, take them as a signal to get help.
Last but not least, loss of calcium in a new mum’s body is a very serious issue.
When you're nursing, calcium is taken directly from your bones to reinforce calcium levels in your milk.
Not only is this a serious concern in relation to #boneloss but lack of calcium can also place you at risk of gum disease.
Next time I will go into a bit more detail on what a nursing mum can do to help minimize the #negativeeffectsofbreastfeeding on the body.
Of course if you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please feel free to call or message me either via my website or on Facebook.
Until then, I wish you good health.