Objective: To assess the lifetime (previous and present positive history) and point (present positive history) prevalence of breastfeeding position–related musculoskeletal pain (BPRMSP) among breastfeeding mothers attending selected baby-friendly facilities in southwestern Nigeria.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Background: The benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child are well documented. However, musculoskeletal pain associated with breastfeeding positions has not been well investigated.
Materials and Measures: A total of 383 mothers who practiced exclusive breastfeeding volunteered for this study, yielding a response rate of 95.7%. Data were obtained on sociodemographics, breastfeeding positions, and BPRMSP. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics at the .05 α level.
Results: The respondents' mean age was 29.0 ± 4.96 years, and 60.6% of the respondents reported no positive history of BPRMSP. Lifetime and point prevalence of BPRMSP were 39.4% and 15.9%, respectively. Breastfeeding position–related musculoskeletal pain occurred mostly with sitting on a mat (20.5%) or bedside (39.4%) and affected the neck (20.5%), neck and shoulder (16.6%), or back and neck (12.6%). The BPRMSP severity ranged between 2.4 and 5.8 on a 10-point scale, occurred mostly within 3 to 6 months of birth (39.7%), was typically intermittent (58.3%), and required the use of medication in 53.6% of the respondents. Parity and younger age were significantly associated with the prevalence of BPRMSP (P < .05). Primiparae had higher lifetime (24.5%) and point (10.4%) prevalence of BPRMSP.
Conclusion: Musculoskeletal pain in breastfeeding is common among mothers who breastfed sitting on a mat or bedside. The pain is often mild, affecting mostly the neck, shoulder, and back. Breastfeeding primiparae and younger mothers had higher rates of musculoskeletal pain.