“I’m having neck and shoulder pain breastfeeding my baby.”
Feed your baby with the intention of how you would do a rowing exercise for your upper back. What I mean by this is, use this time to be nice and tall, squeeze your shoulder blades down and back, and bring your head and gaze down only slightly to your baby.
- Sit with enough pillows on your lap so that when you totally relax your shoulder down and bend your elbows, baby is to breast. You shouldn’t have to hunch forward. Instead use the pillows to support baby up towards you.
- Gently draw your shoulder down and back instead of up and forward. Drop your shoulders down.
- With your head nice and tall, slightly nod your head and eyes down so you can see and bond with baby
“Every time I pick up my baby, my back kills!”
Pick up your baby like you’re picking up a kettlebell during a squat. The only difference between picking up your baby from the bassinet/crib versus the floor is the degree to which you bend your hips for the squat. If done right, this should not be painful, especially when you consciously breathe and activate the correct muscles!
- Keep your feet hips width apart with toes pointed forward or very slightly outward.
- Take a breath in.
- As you slowly exhale, bend at your hips like you are sitting back into a chair. At the same time gently tighten and activate your core and pelvic floor muscles (kegel).
- Continue to exhale as you scoop up your baby and squeeze your glutes.
*Extra credit: press through your heels as you come to standing to further activate the glutes. Doing this protects your back even more.
Start implementing both of these today and you’ll start to see a difference immediately. It won’t be natural. It won’t be easy to do every time. As we slowly and consciously start shifting the way we move to incorporate the breath and the correct muscle activation, we can move more freely.