New Mother Lifting Baby With Shoulders

Shoulder Pain After Pregnancy

Shoulder pain after the birth of your baby is super common! SUPER COMMON!

Just think about how much your life has changed (and how many times you pick up your baby every day or how long your little ones need cuddles/settling each day) and suddenly it all adds up to a lot of shoulder work!

When it’s a sudden change your body doesn’t have a lot of time to adapt to the new demands of holding/rocking/feeding/burping/changing. One day you’re pregnant – next day you’ve got a baby so it’s a quick change for your body and it can take some time for your body to adapt.

Common tricky areas for pain when you’re adapting to new motherhood are:

  • across the tops of the shoulders
  • neck muscles
  • shoulder blades
  • pain at the front of the shoulders

Sometimes you’ll have pain in both shoulders, sometimes just one which can often be whichever arm you tend to hold more in or is your non-dominant arm (and often weaker one of the two). It can be anything from a general ache to nervy pain to sharp and uncomfortable with movement or… a combination of all of them! 

What’s the solution To Shoulder Pain after having a baby?

Step 1: Observe how you are holding bubs – are your shoulders forward, are you looking down a lot and pulling on those muscles, are you sitting slumped in the feeding chair? Correct this! Set a reminder for yourself – post it note above the feeding chair or reminder on your phone – whatever works!

Step 2: Preventive stretches – there are so many great ones including cat/camel, child’s pose, thread the needle, shoulder rolls, bow and arrow, neck stretches and using a spikey ball!! Or a lacrosse/massage ball to help with those tired and grumpy muscles in behind your shoulder blades. There are some great videos on my Instagram and facebook so check them out or google them.

Step 3: Get strong – strengthen your shoulder muscles and neck muscles so they can meet the demanding loads of motherhood on the body! Come in and see a physiotherapist so we can assess your posture and give you targeted and individualised exercises! I have a few good ones up my sleeve (again, you can see them on the social medias!).

Another common question we get from pregnant women is “how to take care of abdominal muscles post baby?

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