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Breastfeeding Posture: How to stay comfortable in your new full-time job

No one really talks about how much time a new mom will spend breastfeeding her baby before those first few weeks in the "4th Trimester". But the reality is that the average newborn eats

8-12 times in a 24-hour period. WOH. That is a lot of sitting in the same nursing chair.

When my son was born, I remember some feedings that took an hour. So, depending on how efficient your baby is at eating, this could translate to breastfeeding/attempting to breastfeed for a good 8 hours a day.

If we calculate it this way, breastfeeding is a 56-hour per week career, or in other words, a full-time job PLUS overtime.

In a perfect world, our new mom has a nursing pillow that fits her needs just right and an ergonomically correct chair that allows her to blissfully recline while her baby eats. HA!

Anyone that has ever breastfed knows how hilariously false that is the majority of the time.

Not only can breastfeeding be extremely stressful for some moms, but many moms (I was guilty of this at times) are thinking about literally everything else other than how their body is positioned. As long as the baby is eating happily, we forget to take care of ourselves. Because of this, one of the most common (and most unaddressed complaints) that I get from new moms in the clinic is neck and shoulder pain with breastfeeding.

When it comes to any repetitive activity, maintaining faulty posture or positioning for days on end becomes hard on the body. Sitting with our shoulders forward, head hanging over a baby, and our back slumped for 56 hours a week? Same thing.

To keep your neck and shoulders happy, here are three nursing posture tips to consider:

1. The nursing pillow is everything. Get a nursing pillow that elevates your baby on your lap high enough to where you do not have to bring your body to the baby, but rather the baby comes to you. If you have to improvise, put extra pillows underneath your nursing pillow to accomplish this.

2. Avoid chairs that force you to sit in a “C” position - aka, your entire spine slumped forward. If you do not have many chair options, put a small pillow behind the small of your back in whatever chair you decide to use. This will automatically put you in an upright position, preventing that “flexed” position of your lumbar spine, and will set your shoulders up for a successful posture.

3. Your head position matters. As lovely as it is to look at your sweet babe while they eat, try to take time to rest your head against the back of the chair. Maintaining that neutral spine position, even while sitting, is crucial to prevent neck pain.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort and would like more information, feel free to contact me at, or schedule a free consult on I look forward to working with you to reach your goals! Happy Breastfeeding! Kiri Krishingner, PT, DPT Prenatal and Postpartum Corrective Exercise Specialist Mat Pilates Instructor

Owner of NaptimePT


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