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Thread: Mum's bad back

  1. #1

    Default Mum's bad back

    Hi guys,
    I'm back again with a completely different issue this time. I've done my back in. And I'm pretty sure that it's thanks to my new life-style, i.e. breastfeeding all day and most of the night. I'm just not used to staying still for anywhere near this long. I even used to do life modeling (posing for groups of art students to paint pictures of me), but that was nothing compared to this.

    Thanks to LLL, I've now discovered layed back nursing. But the damage is already done. And I don't think I should feed in this position too much anyway as I've heard it can cause blocked ducts - don't know if that's true, but in any case I won't be able to keep feeding this way when I start to venture out in public, plus the inlaws are horrified by such unorthodox antics.

    Tried the lying down sideways one, and it's OK for a while but I can't sleep with my baby as my sleeping habits just don't alow for that. I can only sleep whilst rotating myself every 5 minutes as if I'm rosting on a spit (I know, I'm wierd like that, took my husband a while to get used to). If I absolutely have to stay still for more than 5 minutes, then my preference by far is lying on my front.

    I've booked to see a physio, and will report back when I've been, but in the meantime, I wonder if anyone has any links to excercise videos to soothe, a bad lower back or lumbar (my husband tells me lumbar is the name), and prevent furtther damage. Any advice on posture too. Anything really! Also just wondering if there are any other repetative strain type injuries I should watch out for - I'm feeling pretty stiff altogether. I really wish I had prepared more for this.

    Not sure if I'm posting in the appropriate topic - there doesn't seem to be a topic for this, but I feel that it's a valid issue that surely must affect other mums, or is it just me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012

    Default Re: Mum's bad back


    I would try the Cat/Cow Yoga stretch to help your back. When I was nursing a newborn, I ended up with so much pain in my wrists I could hardly pick up my son. It was from what you described, keeping in the same position for an extended period. My son took a very long time to learn how to breastfeed and only one position worked for us. I could not nurse him lying in bed at all, and it was very painful and it was difficult. So yes, I think it's pretty normal and it happens to a lot of people.

    HOWEVER, it gets better!! As your baby gets older and you both get more comfortable with nursing, it gets so much easier! You can move around when you nurse, and change positions and nursing sessions get shorter.

    You might also want to get a foam roller to use on your back. Look it up, they are a little pricey, but worth it! I'm sure others will chime in with other solutions, too!

    Good luck!
    Jack, my nursling (Oct 2015) Kevin, my preschooler (Mar 2012)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Mum's bad back

    Sorry I don't have advice re: back help. Except the typical which i am sure you have already heard-exercise esp. to strengthen abdominals, stretching, yoga, etc. My back was bad after this last pregnancy and c-section and I saw a physical therapist for about 4 appts. of massage, strengthening exercises and icing which helped even though I was an awful patient and never did my exercises between appts.

    Anyway, I do have some hopefully more informed thoughts about laid back-

    And I don't think I should feed in this position too much anyway as I've heard it can cause blocked ducts - don't know if that's true, but in any case I won't be able to keep feeding this way when I start to venture out in public, plus the inlaws are horrified by such unorthodox antics.

    You can nurse laid back in public. What laid back means is that you nurse in a reclined position with back and shoulder support, rather than ramrod straight or hunched over with no support. You can do this in a straight backed chair by simply scooting your bottom out a bit and leaning back against the chair back. As baby gets bigger you will be adjusting your positioning anyway, I don’t know how old your baby is but they grow fast and adjustments are needed. I would suggest your health and comfort and your baby's health and comfort trumps your in-laws horror.

    As far as laid back 'causing' plugged ducts-I am not going to say this could not happen, as it could I suppose, as lots of things can cause plugged ducts and some mothers are simply prone to them. But nursing frequently and baby being able to extract milk effectively are generally the most important keys for avoiding plugs, and I have never seen nor heard any evidence that nursing reclined adversely effects either (the opposite, in fact) nor that it causes plugs for any reason. On the other hand there is good evidence that nursing reclined is both more comfortable and natural for mothers and babies.

    As far as the general topic of breasteeding and back pain, I think you are right that nursing positioning can play a very big role. But also many mothers experience back pain post pregnancy and birth breastfeeding or not. Not only is your body-particularly your abdominals- recovering from pregnancy and birth, but you are now constantly carrying around a baby who gets heavyer daily. Add modern things like diaper shoulder bags and basket style carseats and you have a recipe for lots of back pain.

    Anyone else experience back pain after baby, or have any suggestions?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Mum's bad back

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*udders View Post
    Thanks to LLL, I've now discovered layed back nursing. But the damage is already done. And I don't think I should feed in this position too much anyway as I've heard it can cause blocked ducts - don't know if that's true
    Nursing in the side-lying or reclined position may cause plugs for SOME women, but not ALL women. If you aren't having problems with plugs, feel free to use whatever position works for you! Especially right now, when you have a newborn. Newborns tend to nurse for long time periods, and that can be hard on your back. And it's not like a newborn is likely to get hooked on a particular nursing position.

    but in any case I won't be able to keep feeding this way when I start to venture out in public, plus the inlaws are horrified by such unorthodox antics.
    For public nursing, I suggest stuffing your diaper bag with some extra blankets to make an on-the-go nursing pillow.

    For judgmental in-laws, I suggest removing the extra blankets from the bag and draping them over their heads. No, okay, that's just fantasy. But don't be afraid to stare them right in the eye and say "Right now, this is how I need to nurse. If you find it weird, go discuss it with your son." And your husband should be prepped to tell his parents, in no uncertain terms, that they need to keep their opinions to themselves.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013

    Default Re: Mum's bad back

    After my repeat c-section, I had NO core muscles since those had been cut in the surgery. It meant that I was using all my upper back muscles to pick up my 9 pound newborn and support him while nursing. That quickly led to excruciating back pain and extreme discomfort while doing anything but lying down. I ended up using a lot of pillows as props around me while I nursed to support my weight and the baby's weight so I wouldn't have to use my muscles to support our weight. I also had my hubby bring me the baby as much as possible so I wasn't lifting. Heating pad also was a miracle worker. I would put that behind me while I sat and nursed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Mum's bad back

    Your "sleeping habits" sound a lot like mine used to be: turning myself constantly in pursuit of a more comfortable position, sleeping on my stomach...Then I got pregnant the first time and stomach sleeping was out...I somehow discovered the idea of putting a pillow between my legs while side-sleeping and I have never slept better! I always always have a pillow between my legs now; it allows me to have my legs parallel (which I used to hate because I didn't like them touching), and as a result my spine is better-aligned as I sleep. I can't even stand to sleep on my front anymore and wonder how I ever found it comfortable

    Might be worth a try to see if it helps you sleep more soundly and/or improves the condition of your back. I have also had back issues since having my big babies; but I know that working on my posture/ergonomics (including while I sleep) has helped tremendously, along with occasional chiropractic visits.

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!

    Daughter of God

  7. #7

    Default Re: Mum's bad back

    Wow, what a great response! Thank you everybody!

    Good point about the many other factors, post-partum, which contribute to a bad back. I had a natural birth which went really well, but it was really exhausting, and I carried on loosing a lot of blood for a long time after, so stayed lying down most of the time for fear of fainting. Also lack of sleep, raging hormones, and lots of confusion in the family over who's meant to be doing what to help, all adding up to me being so low on energy I was struggling to carry even my own weight let alone my babys too.

    Great to get so many helpful tips, and to feel that so many people care. The in-law joke was appreciated too - brightened up an otherwise rather dull day stuck at home. I'm in Brazil and it's frowned upon to leave the house with a newborn here. I thought it was ok after 1 month but went out yesterday and my neighbour saw us and reported to my hubby and now I'm in trouble! And with the internet on the blink too, it's pretty much like a solitary confinement. At least I have a very cute baby for company. Can't wait to get out tomorrow though for my physio. Will be back with an update after if the internet allows. Meanwhile I'll be doing plenty of cat stretches, just done a few now.

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