Nurser's Neck

By Andy Parsons, PT, DPT

My wife has become somewhat of a breastfeeding advocate in the 2.5 years since our son was born. She started a thriving breastfeeding support group at Promedica Defiance Regional Hospital. As one of the leaders of this group, she receives many questions about neck pain related to nursing a newborn. Here are some tips for new mom's to avoid neck pain when nursing baby:

Nurser’s neck is neck pain commonly associated with the new physical strains brought on by intensity and frequency of nursing a newborn. The good news it can be prevented and treated with some simple tips and stretches.

  1. Posture-

    • Bring your baby to you. Don’t lean and hunch to get to your baby. Use supportive nursing pillows to bring your baby up to you.

    • Prop your feet up to get your knees even with your hips.

    • Use your eyes to look down at your baby; try to keep your head against a headrest or chair back. Use a small pillow if needed to bring to back of your head away from the chair back so you can see baby easier.

  2. Stretching

    • If you are having pain try these stretches to loosen up/before or after a session.

by: Andy Parsons, PT, DPT

For information on Promedica Defiance Region Hospital's Breastfeeding support group contact:

**Consult your physician/ physical therapist if pain persists more than 2 months. Numbness and tingling down your arms may be a sign to contact your physician/physical therapist.  This information is not intended to replace the advice of a physician/ physical therapist. Andy Parsons, PT, DPT disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.