newborn feeding | Bodywell Healthcare

Caring for a newborn – the essential advice for new mums


Being a mum comes with many challenges, and these are made all the more difficult when you’re experiencing pain.

Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, pumping, mixed-feeding, or anything in between, if you’ve got a newborn then chances are that you’ve been up all hours of the night, and your neck, back, and shoulders are feeling pretty sore.

At Bodywell Healthcare, we have many mums attend the clinic because of these aches and pains, and with several of our team members being mums themselves – we understand what you’re going through.

The good news is that a few simple changes will help reduce the stress on your neck and back, and give your aching muscles a much-needed break.

Support is crucial

Using a breastfeeding pillow underneath baby and a cushion behind your back whilst nursing will provide support and comfort to your neck, shoulders, arms, and spine.

Using a feeding pillow helps to elevate baby and keep them close to your torso, which helps to avoid hunching forward, avoiding excess strain on the neck and spinal joints.newborn feeding | Bodywell Healthcare

Motion is lotion

At one time or another, we’ve all felt the effects of spending too long sitting in one position – when we’re not moving about, our muscles tighten and our joints feel stiff.
Changing position regularly whilst feeding your baby will allow you to use different muscle groups and reduce excessive strain on any one region of the body.
There are many feeding positions that you can alternate between, and if baby appears to dislike a certain position or if you are finding it uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to try something different!

newborn feeding | Bodywell Healthcare

Give pain the cold (or warm) shoulder

Applying a heat pack to the sore area will increase blood flow to the muscles, which helps increase oxygen delivery and speed up the healing process, and helps to relax the muscles.

Alternatively, using a cold pack causes the blood vessels to constrict, which reduces the blood supply and therefore decreases inflammation and produces a numbing effect.

Sometimes heat or cold therapy alone may not provide enough relief, so you may wish to use contrast therapy (alternating between heat and cold) for more effective pain management.

For contrast therapy, we recommend that you apply cold for 1 minute, then heat for 3 minutes, alternating this way for around 15 minutes total.

If your main focus is to reduce inflammation, you should finish the session with cold. Otherwise, you can finish with heat for a more relaxing experience.

And don’t forget to protect your skin when using any heat or cold therapy!

Stretch it out

Doing stretching and mobility exercises several times a day will help ease muscle tightness and reduce joint stiffness.
Try to do a few stretches after every feed, and you can even do some neck rolls, shoulder rolls, and torso rotations whilst feeding baby too!
You may also wish to do your exercises after using a heat pack to warm the muscles and improve blood flow.

Try this 15 minute stretching video to get those muscles moving!

Still struggling?

Get in touch with our team of trained osteopaths, who can give you further advice and recommendations to help reduce your pain and have you feeling like the Supermum you are!

Ph: 9717 1200 E:

If you would like one of our osteopaths to assess you via video call, we have Telehealth consultations available for all clients.To learn more about Telehealth with Bodywell Healthcare click here