Risk: Breastfeeding Posture
Risky Behavior: Slouching while breastfeeding
What Hurts: Neck and upper back
Soothing move: Stretch your back by creating space between your vertebrae: Stand with shoulders and back against a wall, with abs pulled in and up. Keep heels together, toes several inches apart. Roll head forward slowly until mid and upper back no longer touch wall; relax upper body and allow arms to follow natural movement of stretch. Hold for 3 counts; slowly roll back up. Do 5 times.
Prevention pointer: Strengthen your postural muscles by standing with your shoulders and back against a wall and your core muscles engaged. With your feet hip-width apart, walk them out about a foot from wall. Inhaling, slide down wall so knees bend slightly; hold your breath for 3 counts. Slide up to start position as you exhale. Repeat 9 times.
Originally published in the March 2011 issue of Parents magazine.