This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links it means we receive a small amount of comission, at no extra cost to you.Learn More

Shoulder Pain From Carrying Baby: (Causes & Cures)

Being a parent is one of the most wonderful feelings that a human can experience. However, this joyful time doesn’t come without struggles. If you are a mother, not only did you have to go through the painful process of giving birth and carrying your baby for 9 months, but now you are starting to experience physical pain from carrying your infant.

A condition that often occurs in new mothers is shoulder mom. This is when you experience tension in your shoulders from various tasks related to your baby. Let’s take a look at how to deal with shoulder pain from carrying your baby.

Main Points

  • Shoulder pain is common in new mothers.
  • Imbalance in the body from using only one side to carry your baby causes shoulder pain.
  • Lack of flexibility in the shoulder can also cause pain.
  • You need to be mindful of how you lift your baby up.
  • Strong shoulders will reduce the chance of pain.

Shoulder pain in moms

Physical pain in a mother’s body often comes because of post-partum physical imbalances. This is when you utilize one side of your body more than the other, which causes an imbalance in the body as well as pain.

The source of pain

If you have a small baby, you probably use your shoulders a lot without even noticing it. You utilize your shoulders every time you pick your baby up, change it, breastfeed it, and so on. If you are used to mostly using your dominant side to pick your baby up, then that shoulder will start to hurt because of the pressure.

Also if you only nurse your bay from one side of your body, you are lining your body towards that side leading your shoulder to go forward and thus start to tense up and cause pain.

Imagine yourself nursing. You are most probably holding your baby’s head with your dominant hand, causing the shoulder on that side to round towards the front. Holding the shoulder in this position for a longer time will cause the muscles to start failing because they are not meant to be in such a position for that long.

Most parents also carry stuff with only their dominant hand. What hand do you use to pick up your baby’s car seat for example? Do you only carry it with your dominant hand? Also on what hip do you prop up your baby when you pick it up? Is it always the same one?

Using only one side of your body will cause an imbalance and lifting heavy objects with improper form will for sure strain your muscles.

Also Read: Why Is Your Baby Fake Coughing

How to get rid of shoulder pain?

Luckily there are ways to tend to your shoulder pain. If you feel like it’s something serious, however, you should always consult a physical therapist for further instructions.

Switching Sides Often

The easiest way to tend to your shoulder pain from carrying baby is by switching sides as often as possible. Be mindful of what side you breastfeed and switch every time. Also, try to catch yourself when you are only picking stuff up with one side and switching hands.

This will help your body balance itself out and relieve tension from one side. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary fix and it will not help you in the long run if you don’t follow the other tips I listed below.

Also Read: Why Do Babies’ Feet Sweat? Reasons & Answers

Using The Proper form

If you have ever been to the gym, you’ve probably heard your trainer raving about proper form, and with good reason. If you don’t have proper form while lifting something heavy, you can injure yourself. If you aren’t mindful of how you lift your baby from the ground, you can strain your back and your rotator cuff for example.

How to learn the proper form?

Remember that when lifting something you have to utilize your entire body not just your hands. Think of bodybuilders, when they deadlift you can see not just their hands working, but their legs and core muscles as well.

You can use the same technique, but instead of a barbell with heavy discs, you will be lifting your baby.

The trick is to lift with your legs. I know, we’ve all heard of this before, but what does it mean? You need to start the lift by bending your legs to pick up the baby, make sure that your back is straight and once you have your baby safe in your arms, push your feet into the floor like you’re trying to push it away, squeeze your core and lift. I know it sounds like a lot, but you’ll get the hang of it.

If you don’t bend your knees your back and your shoulders will round and you will be lifting from your back which will cause lower back and shoulder pain with time.


Another reason you might be experiencing shoulder pain while carrying a baby may be that your shoulders aren’t flexible which causes your muscles to tense up easily. You can work on your flexibility by doing simple exercises at home or in a yoga class.

Start by rolling your shoulders forward and backward to warm them up. Then grab your right elbow with your left hand, push it toward you and turn your head to look to the right. This will cause a nice stretching sensation in the right shoulder and the right side of your neck. Hold for a few minutes and switch sides.

You can also try to interlace youth fingers behind your back and push your palms above your head while bending your torso forward. Bend your knees slightly and try to touch your stomach to your thighs. You can also do this with your legs spread open like in the yoga pose called prasarita padottanasana c.


A strong physique will for sure help you carry your baby without any pain. If you don’t have time for the gym, get a pair of dumbbells and find a corner in your home you can work out in. For strong shoulders, I recommend you do varieties of shoulder press exercises or any kind of front and side shoulder raises.

Also Read: Baby Hates Car Seat Out Of Nowhere


If you struggle with shoulder pain from carrying baby, you are not alone. A lot of mothers report feeling some type of pain or an unpleasant sensation in their shoulders. There are ways to tend to your body. Remember that you can’t pour out of an empty cup, so you need to be in the best shape possible to be able to take care of your baby.

Be mindful of what side you mostly use and try to balance, work on your flexibility and strength and watch your body thrive.

All content and media on RaisingSmallSouls is created and published online for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice and should not be relied on as health or personal advice. The information on this website is not meant to take the place of expert medical assistance, advice, or consultations. You should speak with a medical expert if you have any worries or inquiries while pregnant.