Can Breastfeeding Cause Your Pain?

In line with Mother’s Day, this week we will talk more about breastfeeding and its potential issues. These are just some common issues we encounter and how it may affect you.


Mastitis happens when the ducts are not cleared which causes an infection. This usually happens when compression blocks the ducts, causing the build up of milk protein. The milk protein then seeps into the surrounding tissues which causes an inflammatory response.
These responses include:
– Swelling
– Tenderness
– Flu like symptoms
– Aching joints
If left untreated, mastitis can lead to an abscess.

Conditions Caused by Breastfeeding Position

These 2 conditions below are related to the way you are position yourself during breastfeeding.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

This is a collection of disorders that occurs when a compression to a group of nerves or blood vessels happen in the area called the thoracic outlet. The thoracic outlet is a space between your neck and upper chest where the bundle of nerves and vessels are found. In this blog, I talk more about the symptoms of it.

Mommy’s Thumb

Otherwise known as de Quervain’s tenosynovitis, this is a condition where the tendons from the thumb to the wrist become inflamed and rub against the “tunnel” that encloses them, causing sensations from mild discomfort to severe pain on the thumb side of the wrist.This is usually due to improper position and holding of the baby during breastfeeding.My colleague has previously written about this, and you can read more about this here.

What Is The Best Breastfeeding Position?

Do not be confined to certain few ways to breastfeed your baby. It is important to try different positions and find what is most comfortable for you and the baby. You can try sitting or lying as well if it is more comfortable. One consideration for sitting is that it can cause tightness and weakness in certain muscles around your hips. You can choose from a variety of positions. You can also talk to a lactation consultant for help.

What Else Can Help With the Pain?

On top of your breastfeeding position, nursing pillows and lumbar supports can be used to also help ease your tension and relax yourself for breastfeeding.

If you are unsure about your position or pain during breastfeeding, feel free to book an appointment with one of our therapists for a proper assessment.
Principal Physiotherapist
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