Welcoming a baby into the world is a precious time for parents. For new mums, who spend long hours day and night nursing their newborn, the new demands on their neck muscles bring an unwelcome side effect: a sore neck from holding baby. Neck pain is an all-too-common experience for mothers in the months after birth, and can be difficult to fix – especially since those baby-holding muscles don’t get much of a break!
Here are some tips for relieving that postpartum neck pain – and keeping it at bay.
Neck pain relief tip 1: Posture and stretch reminders
With a pretty full schedule of mum-ing, it’s easy to forget the little tricks like stretching your neck and rolling your shoulders back. Use mirrors and reflecting windows to gauge your posture and correct it, or try sticking post-it reminders to mirrors or walls you see frequently.
A great way to straighten your back is to stand with it flattened against a wall.
Pain prevention tip 2: Ergonomic breastfeeding pillow
New mums are often spending as much time breastfeeding as they do with their head on their own pillow, so it’s wise to invest in an ergonomic breastfeeding pillow to avoid postpartum neck pain. Boomerang-shaped pillows are recommended by professionals because they help to keep babies in the optimum position during feeding, where baby can be elevated to breast. Hot tip: buy one that’s entirely machine-washable, so complicated laundry doesn’t add to your sore neck from holding baby!
Neck pain relief tip 3: Don’t wait until it’s worse
Many of us are guilty of leaving aches and pains untreated until they’re unbearable. New mums are no exception, often struggling to find the time for self-care amidst the chaos of having a newborn at home. But getting a massage when the pain starts to creep in often stops it from worsening, and leaves you feeling fresh, relaxed, and in a better mindset to enjoy the magical early months of your baby’s spectacular growth and development.
Remember, being a new mum doesn’t mean you have to just soldier on with pain!