Monday, February 4, 2013

Breastfeeding with muscle knots

Early last year, I shared my story about how I hurt myself breastfeeding Layla due to bad positioning. To understand my update, you probably want to read the original post here

In one of my pregnancy updates with Mariam, I mentioned that I was pretty nervous about dealing with pregnancy along with the muscle knot pain in my right shoulder. I figured I was going to be miserable my whole pregnancy, but lo and behold it was my best pregnancy yet and the pain pretty much went away. I was very surprised. I believe two things were at play that made the pain start going away. One, I had stopped breastfeeding Laya like two weeks before I found out I was pregnant with Mariam--that means I had stopped putting my arms in front of me in the cradle position, and two, the hormone relaxin that I was producing during pregnancy may have started to help. I'm so thankful the pain went away during pregnancy. I also thought I may not breastfeed Mariam as to not aggravate the situation. However, I decided to breastfeed her after all...and guess what? The pain came back. I'm not trying to be a martyr, but breastfeeding is the best thing for Mariam, and if it can save her from some sickness, and extra doctor's appointments than it's worth it. I have been trying to be careful about positioning and tylenol actually helps on the really bad days whereas it didn't before. I've learned how to manage my pain better after having gone through it so long pre-pregnancy. I know the muscle knot pain in my shoulder can go dormant, but it's not going to happen while breastfeeding and there will be things that trigger it even when I'm done. Long term, I hope to finally have the muscle knot release but that can only be done with a series of trigger point massages, and then trying not to let them knot up again. 

So that's where we are at. It doesn't hurt every day like it used to so that's a plus and even when it does come about--it's not always the whole day. Breastfeeding is such a short period in one's life so I know I can do it at least till she is almost a year. I love the bond and knowing that it is me and only me that is nourishing Mariam. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing and I have no issues doing it in public. It baffles me when people get up in arms about a woman breastfeeding. I've had a few friends tell me that I do it so discreetly they didn't even realize I was breastfeeding. I also want to note that there is nothing wrong with formula feeding either. I had to start supplementing with formula when Layla was four months old because I went back to work and my supply went down. You have to do what's right for you and your baby.


  1. I feel your pain :( I have horrible back issues and breastfeeding sometimes made it painful! even if I had the best posture, I hope the pain gets better for you!

  2. Have you ever considered using a sling for nursing? That could help a bit. Also I can't recommend the Theracane enough. It has helped my back pain so much.

  3. No I haven't considered a sling. Sometimes I like just to prop up some pillows on my lap and not even use my arms at all. I have heard about the theracane. I should try it. I normally use the tennis ball but it's hard to get in some spots with it.