Although breastfeeding has countless benefits for both you and your baby, many moms don't expect some of the aches and pains that come along with it. Namely back pain from toting your (surprisingly heavy) little one with you and sitting down more often than usual. Whether or not you've suffered from back problems in the past, you may notice that breastfeeding places unprecedented strain on your back. Luckily, there are several breastfeeding positions for women with back problems that, combined with lower back exercises, can help relieve or maybe even permanently correct some of the pain you've been experiencing.
If you're suddenly dealing with more back pain than you have in the past, don't be surprised. Along with all of the other motherhood-related changes, breastfeeding moms have to adapt to sitting for longer periods of time than they're likely used to, and with that lifestyle change comes some necessary adjustments. Even if you aren't struggling with back pain, these nursing positions and tips will help you take care of your back while you breastfeed, ensuring that it doesn't become an issue later on. Because the last thing a nursing mom needs is back pain to slow her down.
1. Reclined Position
Reclining while nursing is much easier on your lower back. La Leche League International calls the position laid back or biological nursing, and claims it "feels like a natural way to hold a baby, enveloping him in my arms and across my body rather than sitting upright and holding him perpendicular."
You can do this position in the comfort of your own bed, or in a chair that reclines. Simply place your baby on top of your chest, supporting your arms with pillows, however feels most comfortable for you. Your baby will turn their head to nurse and you won't have to support yourself or your baby.
2. Stand Up
As odd as it sounds, standing up to nurse is a great way to take the pressure off of your back. Certain nursing pillows, like My Breast Friend ($27), attach to your waist and still support your baby while you stand. According to Mama Natural, this is a great way to take some of the pressure off of your back.
3. Nurse With A Sling Or Baby Carrier
Using a sling to nurse is a fantastic way to transfer some of the pressure to the front instead of having it all on your back. You can nurse standing up in a carrier as well.
4. Side-Lying Position
Ameda instructed moms to lie on their side with pillows supporting their back. Lay your baby next to you with their nose in line with your nipple. You can nurse without supporting yourself or your baby, and maybe even doze off.
5. Sit Up Straight
Although it's not a separate nursing position, remembering to have good posture while you nurse will save your back from extra pain. Baby Center recommended that mothers bring their babies up to their breast, instead of slumping down to meet their baby.