Shoulder Pain in Breastfeeding Mothers

As a nursing mother, there is so much to juggle in the first few months after giving birth. Sleepless nights, diaper changes, finding a good nanny or maid, hosting visitors and guests are a few of the things to contend with externally. Internally , a lot is also going on and the focus is usually on the baby while mothers tend to neglect themselves. Remember a healthy mommy is a healthy baby and we know you want to take care of yourself without using using medications.


Shoulder pain

Shoulder pain is a common complaint in nursing mothers. Shoulder pain can occur either because they repetitively use the same arm to carry the baby or let the baby sleep off on their arms especially while nursing at night. This places parts of the shoulder joint under stress and the constant irritation of this region can lead to shoulder pain. Most commonly, bursitis or shoulder impingement are the most commonly occurring diagnosis in breastfeeding mom’s. Mom’s shoulder is also a term which has been used to describe the cluster of symptoms associated with breastfeeding. This pain can be diffuse or specific to a region, it can also triggered by specific movements such as reaching behind to wear seatbelt, lying on that side, trying to carry the baby to the back.


Guidelines for managing shoulder pain while breastfeeding

Below are a few guidelines on how to minimise the occurrence of shoulder pain when nursing

  1. Alternate sides. Most people tend to carry their babies on their right side because they are right handed. However, to minimise the chances of injuring the shoulder region, it is better to alternate the side on which you carry the baby switching from the left and right sides frequently.

  1. Nurse on both sides: for mothers who can nurse the baby while laying down, use pillows to support your body and alternate both breasts to nurse the baby.


  1. Sleep. Sleep. Yes, we understand that it is easier said than done but nursing mothers need to carve out time to sleep themselves as some research suggests that muscle repair and anabolic growth takes place during the (Random Eye Movement) REM part of sleep.


  1. Support, support, support! Using pillows or items such as the nursing pillow or cuddle-u can make it much easier to support the baby while nursing. Also, putting a small pillow in the low back can also prevent excessive straining on the back.


Treatment for Shoulder pain without using medications

Do you want treatment for shoulder pain in pregnancy and while nursing without using pain medications? Physiotherapists have received extensive training on managing pain without using medications. We know that nursing mothers are reluctant to use pain medications out of concern of it affecting the breastmilk being fed to the baby.

PhysioCraft treatment protocol of managing shoulder pain in nursing mothers and pregnant women includes but not limited to using thermotherapy, stretches, range of motion exercises, muscle facilitation and inhibition techniques and soft tissue manipulation.

If you have any questions, why don’t you give us a call on +2348035670888 or +2348171940921 and we’d be happy to answer all your questions and direct you appropriately for FREE. Below are pictures of a few strecthes which may also help. If any one of them causes symptoms to worsen, stop immediately


Stretches and exercise for shoulder pain

exercise and stretches for shoulder pain; the further you can take it, the more the range in your shoulder

exercise for shoulder pain; move it up and down along the length of your spine

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