Updated: Oct 13
Breastfeeding mothers are prone to pain, yet they often suffer through it seldom seeking help. Worst of all, most professionals often fail to address the underlying issue. The solution is simpler than many believe and can be done from the comfort of their home. There can be a simple solution that one can do right away.
When my wife gave birth to our oldest daughter, she was laser focused on taking care of her. She was in “mother bear” mode. Putting her own needs aside suffering through whatever problem came up. If it seemed like it could wait, then it would. Like her, many mothers do not seek help unless things get really bad. Maybe that sounds familiar to you?
With my wife, it was when she started waking up regularly with numbness in her hands that she finally asked for help. In my osteopathic practice, I have had breastfeeding mothers coming with similar complaints but also neck pain and upper back pain quite commonly. Unlike my wife, they had tried seeing others before trying my help.
The story I heard was often the same... “They tried working on my neck and upper back but couldn’t get the pain to resolve.” Sounds reasonable, right?
The problem is that when things don’t work, maybe that means that the approach to the problem is all wrong. So when my wife started complaining of neck pain and numbness at night, I knew what to do...
What The Problem Often Is...
The neck is generally not where the problem is, even if that’s where the pain is. Let’s look at his issue differently. With breastfeeding, the breasts become engorged and congested. Many women feel pain in their breasts when they become too full and feel better when their breasts are drained. So we know that congested breast tissue can cause pain.
What we don’t realize is that the increased pressure in the breast affects further than just the breasts. It’s not just breastmilk that can cause breast tissue congestion and engorgement. The breasts can become lymphatically and venously congested and get stuck in that state. Breastfeeding increases the risk for this congestion. The same is true for women with large breasts.
The best way to understand what happens is through fascia. What is fascia? Fascia is like an elaborate body suit that connects everything to everything else within the body.
So when the breast tissue becomes congested and engorged, it tightens up the connective tissue in the chest. This leads to a reflexive tightening of the pectoral muscles in the chest and even neck. The shoulders get pulled forward. The fascia in the chest also attaches into the collarbone, continues up into the neck, and anchors into the base of the skull.
The collarbone gets dragged downward with the congestion and tight pectoral muscles. This increases the downward tension at the base of the skull and neck. This drags the head down and the neck forward. This puts a lot of tension on the neck and can cause pain.
To summarize, it is the engorged breast tissue pulls the shoulders forward and the neck and head downward causing pain in the neck and upper back. Yet most professionals do not address breast tissue and many women would not feel comfortable letting a person address congestion.
Understanding this, it would make sense to help this kind of neck pain would best be addressed by draining lymphatic and venous congestion in the breast tissue. This is not hard to do but one needs to understand how to do it.
Because breastfeeding mothers seldom seek help or get the right kind of help from professionals, I created a free mini-course to help women learn to quickly be able to do this from the privacy of their own home.
In the course, you will learn to drain the congestion from your breast tissue, get pressure off of your collarbone, and drain congestion in your arms.
The course works well for everyone, even men, but is the most helpful for breastfeeding and large breasted women who have neck and upper back pain from their breast tissue.
About Dr. Lopez
I am an osteopathic doctor that specializes in helping people feel better inside and out. From getting rid of pain to healthier looking skin and hair, I am passionate about helping transform you to your optimal self. Check out my self-help course on neck pain here.