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I breastfeed DD2 (8 months) lying down next to her to put her down for naps, and also throughout the night (we co-sleep). I did this with her sister, too, but lately I’ve been having terrible pain in my left shoulder from being in that breastfeeding position (arm over or under my head, iykwim) for hours every day. Baby prefers to go to sleep on that side, so while I do switch to the right breast during the night, I always start out with the left. The pain is sharp and stabbing and has now reached the point where it hurts to use that arm during the day.
I don’t want to have to sit up to feed her during the night—for me that would cancel out one of the main benefits of co-sleeping, i.e. that I don’t need to wake fully to feed my babies!—but I’m wondering if there’s something else I can do to give my shoulder a rest. Or is there something I can do to relieve the pain during the day, some movement or exercise?
Hiya, I had this exact problem when DD was smaller and I feel your pain! Things that helped me were, changing positions as much as possible and I’m afraid sitting up to feed worked too. The offset of becoming more awake was outweighed by less pain! I also saw a cranial osteopath who is excellent and helped to put the shoulder back how it should be here - http://www.themapletreeclinic.com/, I appreciate you may not be local but you can see the kind of person I mean and perhaps get a recommendation closer to you? I have found they help a lot with all sorts of things
Shoulder rolls in the morning and evening and generally trying to do some kind of fitness work (yeah like you have time when you have little ones!!) also using a hot water bottle on it and hot baths help a bit to ease it.
Hope you find a solution x
Mummy to DS born March 08 and DD born July 2010
GP Lets No 119
I had the same problem with my shoulder and eventually my hip with dd1. A good sports massage as often as I could afford eased it a bit, but I must admit with the latest baby I am having to sit up to feed as physically can’t lay in that position now. It’s a pain but I couldn’t find a solution :-( a ‘v’ pillow helps my shoulders a lot in bed, But I won’t have pillows near the baby so can’t even use that!
Oh I’ve just remembered that my sports massage lady recommends using a tennis ball behind the shoulder, leaning on it against a wall and rolling it to help ease the shoulder a bit, you could try that…
Thank you, ladies! Yes, I came to the conclusion that I have to sit up to breastfeed, and did just that last night. We’ll see if it helps after a few weeks. I did see an osteopath for some hip problems last year, and she sorted me out very quickly. That was in the UK, though, and we’re in France for the next few months at least, so I’ll have to see if I can find someone here. In the meantime, I’ll try out your exercise with the ball, AllyJ!
P.S. Could I ask, Ally, if your sports massage person is supportive of breastfeeding? Even the osteopath I saw (not a cranial osteopath, but a “regular” one) subtly discouraged long-term breastfeeding, and part of me just doesn’t want to deal with that. Of course my baby is only 8 months old now, but even that is considered “long-term” in France :-( .
Tbh I’ve not really discussed it in depth with her! I tell her that I’m in pain and where and she tries to sort it out and recommends exercises and stretches that might help. She knows that breast feeding is the cause but has never suggested I shouldn’t be doing it! I used to see a chiropractor (with my first baby when I could afford it!!) and he actively encouraged breast feeding and would suggest better positioning for me and also for baby.