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Back pain and breastfeeding an 18 month old

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm not 100% sure my issue is breastfeeding related but I think it is.  DD is 18 months old, has always nursed before and during her naps, and we co-sleep and she nurses at night.  The past couple months, my back has started to hurt more and more.  I finally went to see a chiropractor, have been twice a week for the last few weeks, and she says mostly it's because of stress from having a baby (which I think is true) and I think it probably has a lot to do with nursing.  Before I had DD, I always slept on my back.  Now that I have her and she nurses at night, I'm often on my side and uncomfortable for various amounts of time at night.  My back got so bad that I can't use a pillow anymore-- my neck and back are that stiff!  It pains me to think of not nursing DD or altering it. I always thought I would nurse her for as long as she wanted, and at least for two years.  But the pain literally is too much.  I can't afford to keep paying a babysitter and my chiropractor each week.  Nor am I willing to stay in pain the other 5 days a week I can't visit my chiropractor.  Has anyone else had back pain associated with breastfeeding and found a way to heal it?  I'm considering nightweaning (Dr Jay Gordon method) but I feel I need to do something about naps as well.  Just today, I nursed her down and once she was asleep, snuck away (to my rocking chair beside the bed) but an hour later DD awoke wanting to nurse more.  I did for 10 minutes, and when I couldn't take it any longer, I unlatched her but she was very upset and crying. I could do nothing to console her (I carried her around, which made back pain worse).  Eventually we sat in the rocking chair and I nursed her there which was better on my back.  I feel like I'm becoming a worse mom because my temper is at an all time high because I hate feeling this awful. I seriously am on the brink of tears most of the time.  Please help.

post #2 of 6

I also nurse my dd to sleep here and we co sleep and nurse through the night... I also have the back pain... though when shes sleep i sleep on my tummy but she eats about 4-5 times a night. I think its because i am not very chesty and i have to arch out more so she can feed. i would like to know as well what i can do to help my back. :-/

post #3 of 6
Hi there, goodness my heart goes out to you both. Amru ... my DS is almost 18months and nurses as much as your little one. My back was quite sore when he was younger but thankfully I haven't experienced pain for at least 6 months and he nurses as much as ever, especially now with teething. What I think has helped is that I always have a pillow between my knees/thighs when lying on my side at night. Also I try to sneak out of bed early in the night a do some Pilates stretches -- nothing longer than 3-5 mins but I think they've helped. I also try to stretch at least once during the day.

How are things going for you?
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply SusanMary.  Things are going much better for us-- everything is a-okay actually!  I'm not quite sure why my back was in such pain then and it's gone now.  The chiropractor I was seeing (for 3 weeks, twice each week) did wonders.  I also sneak out of bed when she's napping as soon as I can.  She's been nursing a ton lately, especially this last week, and I've felt fine.  I'm really glad I feel better.  I appreciate your suggestions to stretch or try pilates.  I think that would help a lot too!

post #5 of 6

I'm glad you feel so much better, amru! For anybody who's having back trouble while nursing, I want to share what works for me:

 

Put a regular pillow between your knees. Line a body pillow up with your back (kind of stuff it in your arch)...leave some pillow at the top to wrap around your head and stuff in your neck a bit. I could NOT nurse without this set up -- I've been using it since LO was born.

 

I also go to the chiropractor monthly.

 

Another option that works is to lie on your back and let your LO climb up on you and nurse tummy to tummy. My son started doing this on his own and I found the variety a bit of a relief. I still use the body pillow and another pillow on either side as support. Lots of pillows are your friends!

 

Hope this helps!

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by htovjm View Post

I'm glad you feel so much better, amru! For anybody who's having back trouble while nursing, I want to share what works for me:

Put a regular pillow between your knees. Line a body pillow up with your back (kind of stuff it in your arch)...leave some pillow at the top to wrap around your head and stuff in your neck a bit. I could NOT nurse without this set up -- I've been using it since LO was born.

Yes, the pillows are key! Also, if you need to set boundaries on night nursing in order to preserve your nursing relationship and have patoence to parent during the day, that's ok too. You could try even just setting limits so that when she's nursed she doesn't stay latched on while sleeping so that you can change positions if that would be easier/preferable to night weaning. Good luck!
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