Those new born days and weeks for most women can be described as a being a bubble of love and awe at what your body has produced. During the nine months prior to this we invest so much time making sure we eat healthy, exercise wisely and educate ourselves of what’s to come.
We may have attended ante natal classes that focus on breastfeeding and focus on how to get that perfect latch. Some mothers and babies take to it easily but many have obstacles to overcome, such as suboptimal latch, tongue tie and nipple pain.
Breastfeeding is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world but it isn’t in anyway easy.
Someone that is often neglected at this precious time is the mum. It can affect us in so many ways particularly emotionally, mentally and also physically.
How does breastfeeding physically affect the mum?
Many postpartum women who attend the clinic have issues with neck pain, mid back pain, headaches, low back pain and even referred pain into the arm/ hand. Basically their posture is inadvertently suffering from all that nursing, cuddling, holding and carrying of their little one.
Of course this doesn’t just apply to nursing mothers but also to those that bottle feed.
Tips on how you can help yourself:
It’s important to ‘check in’ every so often when you’re feeding to make sure you’re not hunching over your baby constantly. This will put strain on those postural muscles and local joints.
Bring the baby to you and use supports such as a nursing pillow to help.
Look at changing nursing position if possible. For example try laid back nursing where you can relax more during feeding.
Foam roll your mid back little and often to relieve tension.
Start doing some gentle stretches for your mid back, chest, neck and hips.
Chiropractic, soft tissue therapies and dry needling are excellent tools for relieving joint restrictions and muscle tension. As well as these, stability exercises are given to make sure these areas are better able to withstand the demands of everyday parenting.
If you are still in discomfort or experience an increase in symptoms consult your local health professional or contact us today for a consultation.
So our little boy is 7 months old now, oh how quick that’s gone by. Davin is growing up so fast and is such a pleasant happy little chap and by God he loves his grub. I have exclusively breastfed since the start and thankfully everything worked out well for us. Granted it was tough in the beginning with sleep deprivation, swollen breasts, leaking, oh the joys of it all but we hung in there and are so glad we did.
Unfortunately many ladies do struggle with breastfeeding but in the end its important to do what works for you and your little one, be it breast or formula. As long as you’re both happy and healthy that’s all that matters.
If you are thinking of breastfeeding it is important that you educate yourself before hand and be prepared for what it involves. There are several local support groups and lactation consultants that are available to ask for help or information. It’s just a matter of getting out there and talking to other mothers and experts.
Below are a few things I found priceless in helping me throughout the first few weeks and months.
1) Nipple balm
Applying nipple balm helps prevent and heal any cracked nipples as you get used to your little one latching on. Its great because you can apply this as much as you want and you don’t have to wash it off before putting your baby back on the breast. Available in all pharmacies and is a must.
2) Breast pads
Essential for the first few weeks- months until you get to know your supply and prevent any unfortunate accidents!
3) Multi-Mam nipple compresses
I was given these while in hospital by one of the fantastic mid wives and they were a God send at limiting any irritation in the initial days. Little tip…they are even better when kept in the fridge at home.
4) Breast pump- manual / electric
There are so many brands on the market, be it manual or electric, that it is a mind field. I found choosing one particularly daunting as it can be a big investment. So i did my research online and I ended up buying a Tommee Tippee manual pump and Lansinoh Double electric pump.
Fennel tea, oats, post pregnancy supplement including lactation boosters
We are starting a new adventure now… Weaning on to solids! Oh the mess but it will be all fun and games watching him come into his own around new foods.
Yours in Health
The Lawlor Clinic, Portlaoise
Specialising in the treatment of Pregnancy Related Conditions