Yesterday afternoon I was laying on the sofa with Benjamin and I started having a lot of pain in my upper abdomen, across the front near my breast bone. The pain quickly wrapped around my back and before long was some of the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced outside of labor. I had no idea what could be wrong, and I was pretty seriously considering a trip to the ER (and as y'all know--I definitely prefer to stay out of hospitals). Before we took that measure, I decided to give my midwife a call and she said the symptoms sounded like pain she had once before when she pulled a rib out of place. She suggested I call the chiropractor and see if she could see me right away.
Thankfully, she was able to fit me in in the evening just before she closed for the day, and it turned out I did have a rib out of place, as well as a severe muscle spasm. She said there is a good chance that the cause was poor posture while breastfeeding! Apparently after childbirth, the hormones cause your ligaments to be much looser and with pressure on your back from slouching, they don't hold you together as well as usual. The adjustment helped tremendously and I feel pretty much 100% better today.
The chiropractor said some ways to remedy the problem are keeping a pillow behind my lower back while nursing and making sure to use my Boppy pillow since it raises the baby up and keeps me from needing to hunch over. In addition, she said if I start to feel out of whack, try laying flat on my back on the hard floor to help things straighten out and apply moist heat (a rice sock or a microwaved wet towel) for 10-15 minutes at a time.
Just wanted to share that with those of you who will be nursing babies in the near future!