7 Ways To Relieve Back Pain While Pumping (And What Causes It)

Back pain while pumping can be caused due to various reasons, one of which is keeping a wrong posture, and others such as excess weight, labor after effects, and weak chest support. Relieving yourself from your back pain can be done by exercising regularly, keeping hydrated, changing positions, using nursing pillows, and using a hot compress.

Experiencing back pain and neck pain or even whole-body ache is a pretty common effect in pumping mothers. While feeding, mothers usually tend to crane their necks downwards to look at their babies to see if they can feed.

For many mothers, breastfeeding is a struggle for a long time, and they tend to keep looking at their babies to see if they are properly latched.  

It’s a delightful experience breastfeeding your baby, but not at the expense of ruining your body or harming it anyway. While this whole experience is enjoyable for many mothers, others find it painful due to various reasons—one such reason is experiencing back pain.

What causes back pain while pumping?

Reasons for this back pain could be many. But identifying them is necessary to prevent any long-term issues with your back. If you identify and correct them, you can go back to feeling normal soon.

1) Excess weight

A new mom is tired and resting on the sofa with her newborn son.

The weight you have gained throughout your pregnancy can be a significant factor in the back pain you are experiencing. Gaining too much weight can affect your body in many ways, affecting your back directly and resulting in back pain.

2) Labor after effects

It is common to experience back pain along with aches in other body parts due to labour. Giving birth is no joke, as your body has to go through a lot to bring your child into this world.

So, it’s common to experience back pain, but it only lasts for a few days after childbirth. You might experience it while breastfeeding too.

3) Wrong position while pumping

While trying to pump milk, you might experience back pain because you are in the wrong position. The way your sit while pumping milk can greatly affect your back.

Sitting straight while looking in front is preferred. But you tend to crane your neck down a lot while slouching; it puts stress on your back muscles and spine.

4) Breast support

Proper breast support is essential. During the first 6 months after childbirth, you already experience having enlarged breasts than usual, but it might be even more painful overall if you already had heavy breasts.

The reason being the sudden added weight can lead to changes in your neck and upper spine, the position of your shoulder blades, and breathing mechanics.

You may end up bending forward into your chest, and breathing also becomes restricted. In addition, back and neck muscles become overstretched and weak. Impacting your pelvis too.

7 ways to relieve the back pain

A young mom is pumping milk for her newborn baby in a proper way so that she doesn't get back or breast pain.

1) Position reminder

While you’re pumping, try to set a timer to give yourself a much-needed reality check. It’s like a reminder from yourself to yourself about checking your position.

Then, every 5 minutes, when your alarm beeps, you will notice and correct your position if you’re slouching. This will help you a long way if you tend to slouch a lot while pumping.

2) Stretch your body

Like before working out, you stretch your body to make sure your muscles don’t cramp up while exercising, so is the case with pumping. It’s very important to stretch your body well enough as much as possible to help during pumping.

Back exercise should be the primary focus while even taking small breaks between and giving a good stretch.

3) Use a footstool

Your spine is greatly affected by the way you sit. Therefore, an upright position is an essential requirement, but your legs also play an important part. For example, suppose you pump while sitting on a chair.

In that case, it’s important to notice if your feet are in a perpendicular position, touching the ground or not. If you’re not able to reach the ground comfortably, use a footstool.

4) Pillows for support

A young mom is nursing her newborn son with a nursing pillow. This pillow is also great for when mom decides to pump instead of directly breastfeeding.

Nursing pillows can be of great help while pumping. It is firm and aids in having a correct position, so you don’t slouch. In addition, it provides both lower and upper back comfort to you.

5) Stay hydrated

A lot of our problems are solved by just drinking enough water and staying hydrated. However, it might not seem like it. But pumping is a strenuous activity, definitely taking a toll on your body.

So, it’s important to stay hydrated for your body and milk production.

6) Changing positions

Pumping in one position can make you lethargic and make your muscles sore too. So it’s advised to keep changing positions and move around from bed to couch to a chair to keep your body moving.

7) Hot compress

There might be days when the pain could be unbearable. On such days taking medicines to help with your pain is completely fine too. You can use a hot compress to help ease the pain as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can pumping breast milk cause back pain?

Pumping milk for your child can cause you to experience back pain mainly due to incorrect position. If you are slouching or craning down your neck during pumping, you will cause back and neck pain. So, being mindful about your position is essential to get rid of your pain.

Can pumping too much cause pain?

Excessive suction can injure your nipples and make them very sensitive. This might end up impairing your milk release process. Therefore, you need to take care of how much longer you pump at a time or in a day.

Can pumping too much decrease milk supply?

It would help if you kept on pumping regularly to be able to produce milk consistently.

If you stop pumping or breastfeeding, your milk ducts will decrease, producing lesser milk. So, if you don’t find pumping okay, then breastfeeding should be done as much as possible to keep the milk coming.

Why does my back hurt when I breastfeed?

Sitting in a wrong posture, such as slouching and looking down for a longer time, may result in back pain. When you breastfeed, you naturally tend to keep looking down to make sure your child can feed properly, but this affects your body in many ways, causing neck and back strain on muscles.

How can I stop my back from hurting while breastfeeding?

There are many ways to keep your back from bearing the strain. First, of course, keeping a good posture will always solve the problem. Still, other factors such as getting a good night’s rest, exercising will help along the way.

To summarize

After giving birth, your body is already going through a lot, so you might experience body ache all over when you start pumping. One such pain is back pain is caused chiefly because you aren’t careful enough.

You can solve your back pain problem only if you pay attention to how you sit when pumping milk. Having a good body posture will solve all your back pain problems and aid in other day-to-day activities.

While good posture is a must, staying hydrated, and exercising or stretching daily are important for overall health.

Following some things in your day-to-day life will help you get rid of issues like back pain while keeping your body healthy. A healthy body will take you a long way!

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