Let us drop in 12 weeks after the birth of your bubba. It feels like a lifetime ago that you gave birth to your new love. The physical and emotional wounds of birth are healing… you are getting into your groove. You now live a life revolving around this little being.
Your day consists of feed, play, sleep. One of your goals for the day is to catch a shower. Maybe try for a walk. Geez, what’s for dinner tonight. In amongst all this, it is so common for new mums to develop tension, tightness and pain in the back, shoulders and neck. Your new life and your days consist of so many activities that actively promote poor posture and rounded shoulders. Feeding, whether it be breast or bottle, it doesn’t matter. They both promote a rounded posture.
Sitting on the couch. Rounded posture. Cleaning and cooking. Rounded postures. Reading a book or surfing the iPad. Rounded postures. So many of the day’s activities support horrid posture. This leads to pressure on the back and neck, tightness in the shoulders and even headaches.
The good news is there are some simple exercises you can do to help relieve your tension and tightness.
Hold all stretches for 30-60 seconds per stretch.
- Stretch neck
- Tension and tightness in the neck muscles and joints can be from sitting on the couch, feeding, surfing on the iPad… anything that causes neck flexion and a forward head carriage
- Tuck you chin in making a double chin
- Bend the head forward and stretch the muscles down the back of the neck
- If you do not quite feel the stretch, place a hand on the back of your head and gently push your head down making the stretch a little stronger
- Keep your head in this position and tilt it very slightly to the left and then the right. This will stretch across the top of the shoulders
- Stretch wrists
- Tightness in the forearm and wrist can be caused by constant nursing and holding your wrists in a flexed position.
- Hold your elbows straight
- Gently extend your wrist back by pulling on the fingers- keeping the fingers as straight as possible too
- Feel a stretch in the forearm muscles
- Massage thumbs
- Some mums experience a stabbing pain in the thumb region or the tendons of the thumb in the wrist region.
- This can be caused by constantly holding your thumb in a static position and repetitive strain. Not uncommon with the hand position when holding and nursing a young bubba.
- Grab some moisturiser or oil of your choice
- Rub the soreness backward and forwards along the tendons. Do this for a few minutes a day.
- This injury can often be aggravated by stretching. It can also be a hard one to treat with massage yourself. If this pain persists, please call us.
- Tx towel
- Rounded shoulders, back and neck all place tension on the middle back. Stretching it out into extension can be a great way to relieve the tightness and stiffness
- Grab a towel and roll it up tight
- Place the towel across you back, at about your bra line and lay on the towel
- Gently let yourself relax into the towel
- To get a bit more of a stretch, put your arms at 90 degrees to stretch the front of the chest
- You can move the towel up higher, a little bit at a time, all the way up to your neck
- It seems so simple but walking is great for many things. It helps boost your metabolism and gut motility, it is good low cardiovascular exercise, it is great for lymphatic drainage and it is also really good to strengthen your core!
- Bend handlebars
- With rounded postures, it is common to develop weakness and sometimes pain in the back of the shoulders. This can be remedied very easily with a bit of strengthening!
- As you’re walking the pram with both hands on the push bar, gently try to bend the bar in half….. Not literally! Gently. This will activate the muscles in the back of the shoulder and strengthen them.
- Repeat this and hold for 3-8 seconds each time and repeat 10-30 times
These exercises are a guide that may help you with some tightness. If you feel you need a little more, osteo treatment may provide some relief. Releasing the tension in the muscles and weight bearing joints can provide relief. We also guide you with your exercises and movement, helping with relief until your bubba is born.
Call immediately if:
- You are experiencing severe back pain that is constant, or getting progressively worse.
- You have back pain caused by trauma or accompanied by a fever.
- You have lost feeling in one or both legs, or you suddenly feel uncoordinated or weak.
- You have a loss of sensation in your buttocks, groin, genital area, or your bladder or anus. You are finding it hard to pee or have a bowel movement.
- You have pain in your lower back or in your side just under your ribs, on one or both sides. This can be a sign of a kidney infection, especially if you have a fever, nausea, or blood in your urine.