You’re reading this because your back just HURTS. And I know that pain. A horrible achy, tightness nag inbetween those shoulder blades that just makes you want to scream. In my opinion you have already been through enough and still have so much to think about without having to deal with discomfort so let’s look at what can be done.
Firstly, why are you getting pain in between the shoulder blades? Well, here lies a set of muscles called your rhomboids and over the top of those are your trapezius muscles. Both of these muscles deal with stabilising the shoulder aka making sure the shoulders are held in alignment with the rest of your body.
Sometimes these muscles are up against a fight. With modern day living we are often in a forward / rounded posture. This comes from frequent use of mobile phones, driving cars, using computers and general all day slouching and for mums we can add on breastfeeding. In these positions our shoulders are rounded forwards which results in tight chest muscles and our poor rhomboids and traps become lengthened and tight as they are continuously being lengthened and under tension.
So when you breast feed try to set yourself up first. Get comfy with something to support your back. I used to find a core stability ball was great for this up against a wall if you are happy sitting on the floor (in fact I’m writing this like that right now). Some sturdy pillows also do the trick.
Breastfeeding can also be stressful if you are having problems, had problems or experience pain (which is not fine so seek help if you do have pain whilst breastfeeding). When we are stressed we tend to hitch the shoulders up. This can cause headaches, neck pain and back pain. So try to relax your shoulders and set up pillows under your breastfeeding elbow so that you can place the weight of your arm on the pillow and have it at the right height without having to tense your arm.
Whilst we feed us mums cant help but stare at our babies. If your baby is a slow feeder then try to move your head gently from side to side nd mobilise the neck to loosen up.
Practise some deep breathing as you breastfeed. A good inhale and exhale can get the ribs moving massaging you from the inside out. Try to imagine your rib cage as an umbrella expanding through the front, sides and back as you inhale. I go through breathing in finer detail on my WholeBody Reconnect online course as it’s the foundation to healing everything!
Once your baby has finished and has entered the milk coma (At least that what I used to call it – that milky drunkenness) and your back is still sore then try these three mobilising exercises that should hopefully help.
-Here I want you to lie down on your side with your knees bent up to a 90 degree angle
-Hold your legs with the hand that’s at the bottom. We are doing this so the legs and lower back do NOT move
-Outstretch your top arm in front of you, palm facing down
-Take a big inhale and on your exhale bend your arm so that your palm slides over your chest and folds out behind you.
-Let your eye gaze follow your hand
-Inhale here with your hand behind you and feel great expansion in front, back and sides
-Exhale and bring your arm back to the beginning
-It’s important that this move comes from the midback and not your lower back hence why you are holding your legs with the other hand.
-Kneel on the floor next to your sofa or other chair
-Place your hand on top of the sofa so your arm is fully extended
-Sit back on your heels so your chest goes towards your knees. Try not to round your back
-You should feel a stretch in your chest. Hang out here and do some deep breathing as this position also helps to mobilise the ribs in the back.
– Sit on the floor crossed leg or out in front of you. Make sure you are on your sit bones. If you cannot untuck your pelvis and sit on your sit bones then you may need to sit on a cushion or yoga block.
– Place your hands together in prayer.
-Settle your index fingers under you chin and thumbs towards your chest
-Big inhale, exhale to rotate to one side. Inhale back to centre. Exhale turn to the other side
-Make sure you keep your lower body still. Imagine your legs and pelvis are in concrete.
-Do not let your back round or sag down. BUT also do not let your ribs flare out
Good Job- hope that feels a little better and you’re ready to bring out dessert – for baby that is.
A big shout out to baby Annabel by the way featuring in the breastfeeding pics. My real babies are older now but I do so remember those days clearly. Time to turn Annabel off now, don’t be jealous the baby days are so quick. Through the stress and tiredness lap every moment up!
You can find more great releases in my wholebody Reconnect online course where we delve in to how tightness in the midback affects alignment and postnatal healing.