You wouldn’t think such a small baby could cause us parents so much pain, well they blicken do! I’m currently writing this while the littlest lady is sleeping on me rather than the Moses basket or the crib, so looks like another night of sleeping in the sitting up position and waking up with a crook neck. Frankie is now 7 weeks old and we are all absolutely smitten with her, she is a complete cutie but don’t let her sweet smile fool you, as after hours of holding, rocking, swaying said cutie your body starts to feel the brunt of this. I’d totally forgotten how much your body goes through after the birth, every day is like a workout and with that comes something I’ve started to call “B.R.I” which stands for baby related injuries. They may be small but they certainly cause some damage.
I’m not planning on writing a full birth story but I will tell you Frankie was born via a beautiful but painful water birth with the help of good old gas and air for the pushing part, thankfully there were no complications and seeing her arrive through the water was a special, yet surreal moment. I couldn’t believe I’d managed to birth her in the water! We had some essential skin on skin followed by a mind-blowing biological nurture feed from Frankie, watching her find the breast by wriggling down was amazing. We didn’t stay long in hospital, literally a few hours after and we were home. Home and back to reality and our new life with two children, a family of four.
So getting back to my point about “B.R.I” here are my top 5
This is an obvious one I know but holding a baby all day, rocking, swaying and then having baby basically lying on you for hours at night really messes with your back!. Also if your breastfeeding like me, it means you are sometimes limited with space or find yourself having to feed say on the bus and end up in an awkward feeding position, which causes horrible middle back ache and makes me feel old and stiff. I’ve barely got time to wee let alone time to stretch but I know this would help loosen my sore muscles and spine. Time to find a mummy and baby yoga class I think.
Frankie is a wriggler, she was in my tummy and she still is, which means when I put her up on my shoulder (always the left, the other side feels weird, might be just me!) she moves around so much then ends up in the crook of my arm but still resting on my chest. This position seems to make my forearms and bicep area fricken hurt, to the point it’s now created big crunchy knots. Let’s not to forget to mention the wrist pain holding a baby for long periods of time causes, plus pins and needles along with a dead arm!
3.Thumb (mummy thumb)
This one follows on nicely from the last, as it’s an extension of the arm. The arm takes a lot of the pressure from baby holding but if like my little one, she wriggles and curls up back into a fetal position your hand seems support them and the wider the hand the easier it is to hold them. The problem I’ve found with this, it gives me hand and thumb ache, what the hell! My thumb and palm area seem to throb and the muscles/ligaments feel pulled and strained, agony.
As mentioned earlier we’ve managed to breastfeed from day one, so my poor nips have been in constant demand from the little piglet. Those early bf days were so painful it made my toes curl, mainly for the latch on but after getting a little sore cracked nip it was even worse. The purple cream and perseverance got me through it and for a few weeks we had no problem until we developed nipple thrush. This made feeding from start to finish un believable painful and felt like burning and stinging when she wasn’t feeding, I asked a local mum’s Facebook group (gotta love us Mamma’s) for advice and quickly people said it sounded like thrush. The doctor confirmed it and we were both given medicine, me a cream and a liquid for Frankie. It’s all cleared up now and I’ve got no severe pains it’s just the sharp baby nails across a dry nipple, the long drawn out cluster feeds and the occasional wrong latch, it’s like a love bite and bloody hurts (do you know the ones I means?) that I’ve got the deal with.
After a few weeks of breastfeeding constantly, I noticed my neck is super sore from looking down so much. At first it was checking to make sure her latch is okay, now it’s more trying to get her arms out of her way. The carrying doesn’t help the neck either and having her perched on my shoulder for the long winding process is a killer! The final cherry on top is sleeping with baby on you (yes it’s the only way she sleeps) of course you can prop yourself up as much as you like with pillows but will always end up with a crook neck from an odd sleeping position.
Now I’ve had my little rant about how my darling daughter is slowly breaking my body please don’t think I am not enjoying our gorgeous girl Frankie, she’s amazing. From the way she makes her little goaty noises when wanting milk, to her sweet smile that’s starting to come out. Frankie has nicely slotted into family life and I honestly can’t imagine it without her now.
Would you add anything to my list of B.R.I? Let me know if I missed any and that I’m not alone in feeling body broken.