Breastfeeding offers the best possible nutrition to the newborn and also gives a great bonding experience for mother and child. However, it is not easy and there are many things to get right for the perfect feed.
To ensure the spines of both mother and baby are kept healthy, the positioning of both while breastfeeding are of paramount importance. The mother should have a straight an upright spine, so a good comfortable chair is necessary, especially as she will be spending a lot of time in it. The chair can be lower than ordinarily required as the knees can be higher to better support baby. The feet should be kept flat on the ground, so if needed the mother can put her feet on a support (e.g. books).
If the arms are used to hold baby in the right position they will fatigue and can cause pain in the forearms, arms and shoulders, neck and upper back. One or two pillows can be used to prop up the baby. It is very tempting for the mother to spend a lot of time staring at her miracle. However, if she does, she risks causing ache, stiffness and functional problems of the neck and upper back. So she should avoid prolonged staring down at her baby and ensure she performs regular stretches of the neck, especially cervical extension (tilting the head backwards).
If your baby only wants to feed on one side or avoids turning his or her head to one side this can be a warning sign that there may be a functional problem in the neck. If this is happening you should book an appointment with a chiropractor as soon as possible. At Kelly Chiropractic we check many newborns with this problem.