Mom breastfeeding baby

How Breastfeeding Moms Can Reduce Neck and Back Pain

It is not unusual for new moms, engrossed in their role of caring for the baby, to compromise on regular sleep. This lack of rest could result in neck pain due to amplified stress and tension. Post-birth changes ranging from lingering pain from C-sections or surgeries, vaginal stitches, strains on the spine, and even motion-related pains present significant challenges. This phase could indeed become overwhelming for people dealing with these multiple changes and discomforts.


Optimizing Breastfeeding Positions for Pain Relief

There exist numerous ways for women to breastfeed their baby optimally to support their overall health and alleviate the aches they might be facing. Utilizing a proper breastfeeding position can relieve pain in regions like the shoulders, neck, and back, and support effective latching.


It is essential to be patient and understand that discovering the correct position for you and your baby may need practice. Some of the recommended positions for breastfeeding include laying back, cross-cradling, or side-lying. Adopting these positions with skeletal alignment in focus reduces stress on the spine and neck muscles. Understanding how your body, specifically parts such as your knee, foot, and hands, interact with these breastfeeding positions can aid in reducing pain and preventing an injury. By using the correct postures and incorporating exercises when possible, we aim to provide mothers some insights on how breastfeeding moms can alleviate nerve strain and reduce neck and back pain:


Laying Back Position

  • Start by lying back in a reclined position on your bed or chair. You can use pillows to support your back, neck, and arms.
  • Place your baby stomach-down on your stomach so that your belly and your baby’s belly are touching. Keep their head up at the same level as your breasts.
  • Allow your baby to find its way to your nipple and latch. This can take some practice, and you may have to help them.
  • Once latched, you can hold and support them or snuggle with them.

The Side-Lying Position

This is an excellent choice, particularly for women who have undergone cesarean delivery. This posture shifts the weight away from the pelvic region, providing relief and increasing comfort for women still recuperating from a c-section.

  • Place your baby on their back in the middle of your bed.
  • Lie down next to your baby, with your stomach lined up near the baby’s head. You may also want to consider using a pillow as back support or between your legs if it helps make you more comfortable or if you are experiencing any pain.
  • Ensure your baby’s nose is level with your nipple and your arm is above their head.
  • Lay your baby onto their side and pull their hips or knees close to your hips. Try your best to position your baby so their ear, shoulder, and hip are in one line, which helps with milk flow.

Cross-Cradle Position

  • Start by holding your baby close and be sure he or she is facing you. Using a pillow on your lap may help support your baby.
  • Gently support your baby’s neck, back, and shoulders. This will allow them to tilt their head back easier and quicker.
  • Do not hold or cover the back of your baby’s head. Allow enough space for your baby to tilt their head back for successful attachment.
  • Once latched, you can use the palm of your other hand to support your baby’s back.

Additional Tips for Breastfeeding Moms

There are a few more tips that can help you have good posture while breastfeeding your baby. You will be surprised just how minor tweaks in posture and positioning can help your overall health. For instance, be mindful of the placement of your feet and how you use your hands while breastfeeding. This practice alone can help manage inflammation and boost your wellness. In addition, simple stretches can alleviate the soreness in your ligaments caused by standing on your feet for long periods. Here are a few more tips for you:

  • Sit in a firm upright chair instead of a soft couch. If seated on a sofa, use a small pillow behind your back to promote an upright posture. This approach, often recommended by doctors and chiropractors, ensures that the weight distribution on your body, particularly your knee and foot, is optimal, thus preventing any possible injury.
  • Do not curl over your baby when breastfeeding. Instead, bring your baby to your breast, propping them up with pillows. This type of adjustment can minimize the effects of the wrong posture.
  • Try and get some sleep. While that is often much easier said than done for new mothers, try your best to rest when the baby is sleeping. This sleep will give your body a chance to repair and heal, as well-maintained health is paramount.

If you are a new mom who is struggling with neck, back, shoulder, or even hip pain, then it is time to reach out to Move Empower Concierge Physical Therapy for help. Our trained Austin, Texas physical therapists are ready to help you feel better so you can focus on snuggling with your baby. Contact us today for a FREE discovery session to determine what exactly is bothering you, why it is bothering you, and how to fix it!

10 Tips for Decreasing your Back Pain Without the Use of Pills

Enter your info to receive this special report, where I share with you simple yet very powerful principles and strategies you can make-work for you – some over time and others almost instantly.


Thank you! Check your inbox for your free guide.