A routine workout for a mother may not come with the usual considerations and check-lists other exercising adults may make use of. For example, it’s Friday in Sydney, I have health on my mind.
And I’m thinking about sore boobs!
I’m thinking of because lots of my physiotherapy patients have them.
Postnatal + breastfeeding = recipe for sore tatas.
Most women can relate to having sore boobs at some point. Periods, puberty, hormonal influxes, large breasts, small breasts and all kinds of other wonderful womanly things can often be the culprits. Poorly fitting bras can be another. As can be impacts from the routine workout where boobs are hustling, jumping and getting involved with the rest of the action.
But the poor unfortunate souls out there that end up with mastitis can really relate.
Mastitis is an infection of the milk ducts that makes you feel pretty awful. You not only have sore boob or boos to contend with. You also get feverish and a flu-like ache. It’s all because of that unhappy breast!
But did you know there are some preventive measures you can take before getting full blown mastitis?
File this away in the memory and tell your girlfriends because this is juicy info.
A routine workout to avoid sore breastfeeding boobs
Not every workout at Body Beyond Birth involves the Pilates mat or refilling the water bottle. One of the greatest things you can do for a sore part of your body is also a great way to keep tissue and muscles limber. And that my friend, is the humble technique of massage.
Your first step is identification. If you feel a lumpy spot on your breast that feels like hard foam or even like a rock and it looks hot, red and angry in that spot, chances are you have a congested or blocked milk duct.
The first line of defence is to give it a good massage to break it up while you’re breastfeeding. Just think of unclogging a pipe. The massage is breaking up any blockage while the pump or baby is sucking milk down the pipe.
It can take a few feeds and it can hurt. But hang in there because an ounce of prevention now is worth a pound of cure later.
For some extra assistance, you can also apply moist heat to the area. Moist heat will increase circulation and cause vasodilation (fancy word for vessels expanding). That widening of the vessels and increased circulation can help grease the wheels for the blockage to move.
If you haven’t had any luck after a day or so OR it seems to be getting worse it’s time to call in reinforcements. A physiotherapist or physical therapist can help you manipulate, warm and massage the area. They can also see if there are any other causes for the discomfort and pain. And of course if you have any serious concerns, always consult a doctor.
You don’t have to settle for mothering pains
One of the most common misconceptions new mothers can have is that changes in the body are to be expected. And that you need to accept them as they are. This is totally not true! There are many techniques you can use to solve the sorts of aches and pains, body issues and fatigue problems associated with pregnancy and post birth life stages.
Many women settle for soft tissue pain, sore backs, leaky pelvises, headaches, poor sleep, mood changes, soreness, nausea and a general feeling of being unwell. But you don’t have to. And you don’t have to shy away from finding a solution to your issues, either.
Part of being a good mother is tackling our own health issues and complaints. Just like you have a routine with your baby or kids, you should have a routine workout with your health, too. Seek out answers to your health questions. Make time for exercise. And don’t buy in on the myth that you have to settle for pains, aches and discomfort during or after pregnancy.
If in doubt, ask! At Body Beyond Birth, we’ve got a qualified physiotherapist, two Pilates instructors, a dietician and a wholefoods expert who can help with many of the common (and uncommon) impacts on your mothering body.
Being a mother is a tough enough gig without suffering in silence. So don’t settle for sore boobs or any other issue when the solutions may be as simple as a couple of days of massage or receiving some helpful advice and guidance.