Most new moms know your posture during breastfeeding can impact all sorts of aches and pains. But how do you work on correcting your posture when you are already overtired, overstressed, and have about a million other things on your mind?
Here is one SIMPLE and easy way to improve your posture when breastfeeding. Bonus: I’m 100% sure you already have the tool at home. Drum roll….
A towel roll!
Place it at your low back, just above the sacrum, to help you achieve a nice “J-spine” posture (so that your back looks something like the letter J). There is a lot (and I mean A LOT) of evidence on how alignment affects the brain’s ability to turn on some really important postural muscles that are part of our central core stability system. These muscles include the diaphragm (hello breathing!), transversus abdominis (deepest ab muscles), multifidi (small muscles that run along the spine), and pelvic floor muscles (3 layers, 11 muscles inside the bowl of the pelvis). These muscles are supposed to turn on unconsciously to maintain upright posture, AND before we go to make any kind of motion – for example lifting a bottle of milk, a baby, or a stroller. This happens naturally IF the brain can access them appropriately. The kicker? This natural coordination and control often gets interrupted during and after pregnancy. That’s where postnatal physical therapy comes in!
These muscles stabilize our bodies from the center out. They also help us manage pressure in the abdomen, which is another way our body maintains stability. These muscles are supposed to contract and RELAX all together in a synergistic way when we breathe – and the best way to ensure this is happening is to make sure your body is in an alignment that facilitates the way this system is naturally designed to work. Click here to watch my video on the #1 quick posture hack to get your pelvis and lower spine in a good alignment while breastfeeding. Click here to watch Dr. Sheri’s video with some additional ideas.
NOW: head over to bathroom, grab that hand towel, and ROLL. IT. UP.
Oops – did you feel a sudden urge to pee when you saw the toilet? If so, come and see us please! We’re here to help!
P.S. As precious as they are, try to take breaks from looking down at your sweet baby to allow your neck to rest in a neutral and relaxed position. I know this is impossible advice! But try 🙂
by Dr. Kim Seymour, DPT
If you’d like personalized help improving your posture, strength, coordination, or anything else related to “your body after baby”, schedule with Dr. Kim or one of our other DPTs here!