Do you have a nursing throne? I don’t…lol! I kinda nurse wherever but mainly on my “CP.” My “CP” aka the command post (per my husband) is a spot on my comfy couch that I run the house from. What I “try” to be mindful of is my sitting position and how long I “live,” I mean sit there. What is “ideal” for me to teach you is your position during this awesome bonding time. Try and have back support and that your arms are supported by pillow (or I bunch up a blanket, a large sock…whatever I can find). Sometimes mamas I know there is just not a good spot, especially in public. As an option I would suggest to try and be supported, but move every 30 min if you can. Move between boobs…lol. Hmmm, maybe this is why babies like us to stand and bounce them?
Secret Tips For Mama’s Comfort While Feeding Baby
*Keep spine in a neutral or aligned posture using pillows to support you and keep you comfortable.
*Be mindful of your wrist position and keep them in neutral to avoid strain.
*Bring baby to breast NOT breast to baby.
*Move your neck slowly while nursing to avoid strain: nod your neck up/down/rotate side to side/bring your ear to shoulder (no shoulder hiking).
*Perform gentle neck and upper body stretches after nursing or throughout the day to prevent strain or discomfort in these areas: shoulder rolls forward and backward, squeeze your shoulder blades together, genie stretch (see video link below), and lie on a foam roller parallel to your spine stretching your arms out in a “T” position.
*Nursing is a wonderful time to mindfully breath and relax your muscles (especially the pelvic floor) while you bond with your baby.
*Aerobic exercise improves a mama’s cardiovascular fitness without affecting milk production, composition, or infant growth (ACOG, 2015b).
*To avoid pain in the breast during exercise pump breast or nurse baby just before exercising.
*Many of these tips can even apply to bottle feeding mamas and dads too!
Please know that these are only tips. I have nursed 5 babies and I am not always able to follow these guidelines especially when baby has reached the baby yoga downward dog stage;) I only share these to help encourage you to try and practice alignment/stretches when you can. You are doing good mama!
I also created a lovely nursing stretches video for you to use. This is not intended for you to do every exercise every time your nurse. Please choose 2-3 nursing stretches a day to help you feel awesome. Hint: the first 3 are my favorite. Mama we are not meant to feel stress during nursing, which is why I am making light of the “throne.” Enjoy your nursing time, move when you can, and try a stretch or two for some mama self care.
Need more help with positions of comfort please contact me for assistance or seek the help from a birth professional such as a lactation consultant. You can also connect here: http://www.lalecheleague.org/
Dr. Rach xoxo