The postpartum journey is a wonderful next chapter for mamas + baby, but it comes along with some different "stress" areas. After pregnancy, there is a lot more upper body involvement with caring for a little one.
Mommy arm is a very real component to the postpartum body. All that time spent holding babe, twisting your hand + wrist + shoulder in strange positions, and sleeping like a contortionist - take a toll on the body!
There are 3 major components to the postpartum upper body:
2. shoulder / upper back
3. wrist / elbow
Below are our top recommendations for how to combat the postpartum mom upper body + mommy arm:
The nerves that exit out of the neck travel all the way down into the armpit, past the elbow and into the hand. Often with the constant holding / carrying of babes these structures become tight and are held in "awkward positions". This can cause nerve pain or just general soreness + tension in these areas!
Getting adjusted helps improve joint mobility, reduce muscle tension + compensation patterns while you care for your little!
Below are some easy at home stretches to relieve neck pain postpartum. These techniques are simple, and can be performed anywhere!
1. upper trap stretch
2. anterior neck [ scalene ] muscle stretch
3. eagle arm
4. thoracic extension
See video for full demonstration:
Home remedies for neck pain can also be very helpful. Soaking in an epsom salt bath is not only relaxing, but helps to reduce inflammation due to the high concentration of magnesium in the salt! You can add ~ 2 cups of salt to warm water for 20 minutes!
Another option is to use an ice pack! As much as we love heat - icing can be a great option to reduce pain + inflammation in a sore neck. The best part is that you don't have to buy anything, just borrow one fro your kiddos lunch bag! Another option is one like this here!
Below are some of our favorite at-home products to combat postpartum neck pain:
Carrying babes around all day takes a toll on your body! Those sweet babes add some additional strain to your shoulders + upper back. Here, we are talking some at-home options + products to relieve this pesky pain!
Below are some shoulder stretching techniques to combat postpartum mom arm. See the video for a full demonstration of these easy at-home stretches!
- tennis / lacrosse ball on the wall
- foam roller extension
- exercise ball extension
- doorway stretch
- upper trap stretch
Shoulder strengthening is going to be another large component. The serratus anterior muscle lives right under the shoulder blade. Strengthening this muscle is important to keeping mommy arm at bay. Watch full video here!
Breastfeeding or bottle feeding an infant takes a toll on mamas' shoulders + neck and upper back. You are often in "twisted" positions for long periods of time trying to feed and not paying attention to proper body mechanics.
Below we go over proper nursing holds to combat back + shoulder pain.
One of our best "Chiro for Moms Pro Tips" to save your shoulders is to get on your exercise balland bounce babe using your legs! You can get incredible movement + save your upper body at the same time!
Below are some of our favorite at-home products to combat postpartum mommy arm / shoulder pain:
We often hear from women that once it is time to go back to work [ often an office job ] their mommy arm + upper body pain worsens. This is likely due to long hours in front of a computer + nursing + caring for baby. Below are some at-home [ or office ] options to help save your body!
Due to all the hand "crunched" positions we hold babes in postpartum, women often deal with postpartum carpal tunnel / mommy wrist / mommy thumb. Some of our best tips to relieve this type of pain are as follows: