Congratulations!! You are a RockStar Mama and have welcomed a little one into the world. Both you and your baby worked hard to finally meet each other. You are both adjusting, learning about each other and enjoying these early days together.
But, life could be a little easier without that aching neck or stiff back, right?
Aches and pains can appear in your postnatal period. It is a time when your body is again undergoing changes and recovery. Plus, your whole routine and activities have changed. Your body is adjusting to a new normal. So what kinda things can happen?
Lots of mothers complain of postnatal aches, especially into their neck or pain into their arm. This can be due to the whole new activity you have brought into your life. Feeding your baby!! This new (and very regular) posture of looking down and sideways at your little one can cause strain and stretching on the different structures in your neck. Even your shoulder, elbow and wrist can feel the effect of this new activity and posture.
For some women, it may be the first time they are experiencing aches in their neck or shoulder. However for others, they may find it is their old pattern/issue coming back and coming back worse than before. This is not unusual.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, you will be adopting the same posture. These issues can also effect Dad or your partner too if they are taking a good chunk of the feeding duty!
Do you need general support on breastfeeding? Pop over here.
In addition to neck pain and discomfort, the stretching, strain or compression of different body parts in the neck can lead to carpel tunnel syndrome during your postnatal period.
Sleep deprived? Did you know that if you are sleep-deprived (what new mother isn’t???) your perception of pain is worse. I have found in my ten year plus of caring for postpartum clients that just even highlighting this for new mums can be an important step on their road to recovery.
Pay attention to your position while feeding. If you are even a little bit uncomfortable … address this as soon as you can. Otherwise it will all add up. If you hope to breastfeed for a few months getting it comfortable from the start is wise. Your baby is only going to get bigger and heavier!! The little bit of discomfort at the beginning may start to really interfere later. Get guidance on positions from postnatal health care professionals. Or even just start with a book. Ina May Gaskin‘s book “Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding” has a whole section dedicated to positions and the importance of comfort for both you and baby. She is very clear on the impact of just “sticking it out” and the potential back ache or carpel tunnel syndrome developing. Which I am happy to read!!
If you are already in pain and your baby is used to its feeding position, try some supports. Bed pillows, special breastfeeding pillows (check out this naturally anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic one) or even rolled/folded baby blankets can all allow you to support your baby while you keep in mind your own posture and avoid postnatal aches.
Staying mindful of your posture as you carrying your baby (especially as they get bigger and bigger) is important too. Check out this practical video on how to check your posture as you carry your little one and how to improve it.
Often women feel that their aches will go away once they get back to exercising. So there is a desire to get back to it ASAP. However, consider that the hormone relaxin can be in your system for five to six months after giving birth. This hormone is designed to make structures more lax and vigorous exercise may increase pressure and could cause unwanted strains. So, be mindful. If you were active before and during pregnancy, be careful that you don’t do too much too soon. Your body needs some time to recover. Be steady and patient, and build up to previous levels gradually. If you did little to no exercise before and during pregnancy, don’t try to jump into a vigorous exercise routine just yet. Start gently and build up.
If you are struggling with aches that are not resolving (despite your best efforts) during your postnatal period; gentle, hands-on care may be suitable for you.
I will support your recovery out of pain and help you get back to enjoying getting to know your little one. My work searches for the root cause of your symptoms and supports the body’s natural ability to return to inner balance and harmony. Relief of postnatal aches and support through this time helps re-balance and restore your energy and super mama vitality!!
I have a whole health and body philosophy to my treatments. My plan of care generally includes tailored advice on stress management, nutrition, exercise, sleep and in-house gentle manual therapy.
If you have any further questions regarding this topic please do not hesitate to contact the clinic. Call today to arrange your first visit!
If you are wondering about general physical changes during the first six weeks after birth, pop over here.
Hopefully you find the general information in this blog informative and helpful, however it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.
Appointment times are flexible with late evening availability at the Cork street clinic. The last consultation time for new clients is 19.30. The last regular care appointment is 20.00.