Think about this – when your baby is first born, you might be lifting 3.5-5 kg about fifty times per day, but by the time your child is one year old, you’ll be lifting about 8.5 kg; and by the time they are two, you’ll be lifting 12 to 15 kg. In other words, your back is in for a lot of stress in the next few years.
The good news is that observing a few simple tips can help to ease the stress on your back and minimise back pain. Once you’ve recovered from delivery, speak with your obstetrician about when you can safely start to exercise again. Keep in mind if you’ve had a C-section you may need to wait a little longer before you can get back to exercising, but don’t get discouraged.
- Once you’ve been given the all clear to start exercising, begin with restoring your back and hip flexibility by participating in yoga or doing light stretches at home when your baby naps.
- As you’re constantly lifting your baby ensure you use the correct lifting technique. If your child is on the floor, bend at your knees into a squatting position to reach for your baby, bring them in towards your chest so they are close to your body, tighten your core muscles then lift with your legs into a standing position.
- Avoid twisting movements while holding your baby whenever you can.
- Avoid carrying your baby on your hip because this overloads the muscles in your back – consider investing in a front carrier or baby wrap as an alternative.
- When you’re breastfeeding, sit in an upright chair. Avoid bending over your baby to feed; bring them in toward your breast instead. You can achieve this by placing pillows on your lap or by using a breastfeeding pillow.
- When your baby has progressed to sitting in a high-chair, remove the highchair tray when you are placing them in the seat or taking them out.
- While it may seem convenient to carry your baby in their car seat, this results in you carrying quite a bit of excess weight. Consider placing the seat in the car first, then bring your child to the seat in order to strap them in.
- When positioning the seat in your car, remember that the safest place is in the middle. This also allows you to kneel on the car’s back seat in order to place your baby into their seat, rather than standing outside of the car and bending awkwardly to put them in.
Being a new mother is hard enough without dealing with back pain. Observing these simple tips will help you to minimise the risk of back pain and let you enjoy every moment with your little one. If you are experiencing back pain, a combination of both chiropractic care and myotherapy is often effective at relieving pain and getting you back to health and mobility.
This article first appeared in the September/ October Your Chiropractor Newsletter. You can download a full copy online here, or alternatively come in and pick up a free copy from us in the city.