If you’ve had shoulder, wrist, back or other muscle pain while breastfeeding, or even bottle feeding, then you’re not alone!
The best way to prevent and relieve pain experienced when feeding your baby is to ensure you are adopting a good posture throughout the feed and ensure you are doing your feeding stretches daily! The below stretches aim to increase mobility through your neck, upper back and shoulders and will stretch and relax the muscles that get tight with feeding.
1. Two Part Neck Stretch
Start in a seated position. Clasp the underside of the chair with one hand. Place the other hand on your head and gently pull your ear towards your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds.
Now angle your head slightly so you are looking down towards your armpit on the same side, maintain comfortable tension. Hold for another 30 seconds.
Repeat 3 times on each side.
2. Arm Openings
Lying on your side with your hips and knees bent and hands behind your head. Keep your elbows pointing forwards.
Take a nice deep breath in and slowly reach your top elbow up towards the ceiling, follow with your head and upper body. Continue rotating the spine, as you lower your elbow further down towards the floor. Allow your head to follow the movement of your arm.
Hold this position for 2-3 breaths. Gently stretch your arm further towards the floor with each breath out. Slowly return to the start position.
Repeat 5-10 times on each side.
3. Doorway Chest Stretch
Stand close to the edge of the doorway and place your forearm on the door frame, with your elbow around shoulder height.
Keeping your forearm on the wall, take one step forward on the leg closest to the wall and slowly rotate your chest away until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat 3 times on each side.
If you continue to have pain or discomfort when feeding then book in to see a women’s health physio for treatment and further advice.
This blog post was written by Rebecca Dodson and Stacey Law from Leto Women's Health.
Leaders in women’s health, Rebecca Dodson and Stacey Law both trained over 15 years ago as musculoskeletal and sports physios before their passion for working with women led them to specialise in pelvic floor physiotherapy, pre and post-natal exercise, clinical pilates and acupuncture.
Rebecca and Stacey believe that they can make the most impactful difference to lives by both educating clients about their bodies as well as giving them the tools for how to get the most out of them. They bring this approach to all the clients they work with; formulating a tailored assessment and personalised plan that takes the individual into account. They also advocate using exercise as part of the treatment (where appropriate) as that allows them to see how a woman’s bodies responds when her muscles are engaged, and how to best correct any issues that may arise from that.
If you are in Auckland, you can book in to see Becs or Stacey here.