Breastfeeding Neck and Back Pain Relieved with Yoga

4 min read

Motherhood tends to leave you susceptible to many aches and pains. Breastfeeding often can add stress to your body, whether it is with a newborn or an older baby. You probably often find yourself hunched over in a rocking chair with shoulders rolled forward. Or, perhaps you have a kink in your neck while you try to tame a toddler who is doing gymnastics all while still nursing.

Take time to heal. It’s important to cultivate time for self-care. It doesn’t matter if you have just given birth or are a few years postpartum. Try these poses to relieve neck and back pain caused by breastfeeding.

Eagle Arms

Focus on drawing the shoulder blades down and back. Wrap your arms with the right arm under the left, and place palms together while bending at elbows. Raise elbows and extend fingers upwards. Stretch your shoulders and lengthen the neck.

As a mother, I absolutely love this pose. This pose can be easily done while the baby is playing quietly or in bed.

Wide-legged forward fold with clasped hands

I always use this move to relieve any pain in my lower or upper back. Start wide-legged. Clasp both hands behind your back. Lift your hands and hinge forward as you lift your arms. Breathe and let your head hang.

Supported Back Bend

This pose is versatile and can be adapted to meet the needs of each individual. This backbend relieves tension and aches. This is done by stretching not only the muscles of the lower back but also those on the side and front.

Grab a blanket or bolster and roll it up. Sit down and place the prop horizontally. The prop will be in front of you. Lay back so that it supports your upper back and your shoulder blade tips are at the center. The prop should extend just past your head. Legs should be straight.

You can experiment with your arms and see what works best for you. You can hold your arms straight out in a “T,” bent at the elbows or even overhead. Listen to your body. Send your breath wherever you feel tension.

Child Pose with Extended Arms

No matter what my body is feeling, this is the pose I go to. This pose feels like it belongs to me. This pose grounds, balances, and renews me. This pose can be done in bed or on the floor with your child.

Start in theĀ Child pose, then move your hands forward and overhead. By following my breath, I slowly walk my hands to the left and hold them, and then to the right and hold them. This is repeated as many times as it feels right.

Wall Arm Stretches

It is a prop that is underused, but it can be used in many ways to deepen your stretches. Poses like Dolphin or Up Dog can be done on the wall to go deeper and target muscles that you might not get from the traditional pose. It helps to release tension and tightness in the shoulders and neck.

One of my favorite ways to do this is by placing the hand and forearm on the wall horizontally so that your fingers point back. Turn your shoulder so it meets the wall. Hold this position for as long as it feels comfortable. I might even add some neck rolls or look over my shoulder to find the sweet spot.

It can be not easy to breastfeed and to be a mother. But we must also remember to look after ourselves.

In the shower, do some arm stretches or neck rolls. While your baby is napping, place thoseĀ legs up the wall. You may not think it is worth the effort, but you will feel better for that moment.

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