Back pain is pretty common among new parents because of the constant strain that comes with caring for a newborn. One leading cause of this is having to constantly pick up and put down the baby. New mommies, especially, will still have to endure more discomfort on top of those she experienced with her pregnancy, but there are ways to lessen the discomfort and avoid hurting yourself. Read on to learn some tips on how to hold a baby properly to prevent back pains and let you keep a healthy spine.
Back Pain Prevention: A Guide for New Parents
1. Lifting from the Bed
A common mistake made when lifting a baby from the bed or crib is bending the waist. Bend your knees instead when picking up your baby. Tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your legs.
Don’t stretch out your arms when reaching for your baby. Instead, pull your little one close to your chest before you start lifting. Avoid twisting your body while carrying your baby.
2. Picking Up the Baby from the Floor
Our tip for picking up your baby from the floor is the same as our first tip — do not bend over! Go into a squat position instead and tighten your abdominal muscles. Try to put your chest near your baby so you don’t have to stretch out your arms, then straighten your legs as you lift your little one up.
3. While Breastfeeding
It’s important that you’re sitting comfortably while nursing to avoid body pain since breastfeeding can take a while. Make sure you are sitting on a soft couch or an upright chair so you can maintain proper posture while feeding your little one.
Some mothers experience upper back pain because of breastfeeding. To prevent this, avoid bending over your child while you are breastfeeding. Use a pillow or two to prop up your baby and bring the little one nearer to your breast so you don’t have to bend.
4. Buckling Up in the Car Seat
When putting your child in the car seat, try to avoid reaching out from outside the car. Instead, kneel or sit in the back seat as you buckle your baby up. Rotate your entire torso to the side while you’re securing your baby in the car seat.
As your baby grows heavier, it will be more difficult to carry the car seat out of the car with your baby on it. That’s why it’s advised to just keep the car seat in your car so you can just put your baby in there every time you go for a drive.
It’s also a good idea to place the car seat in the middle because it’s the safest area. Plus, it will be more convenient for you since you can simply slide on either side when buckling up your baby.
5. Lifting to and from the High Chair
The space where the baby’s seat is in, which between the tray and the back of the chair, is narrow. This makes it more challenging to put your little one inside and can cause muscle strains.
You can prevent body pains from this by simply removing the tray every time you have to put your baby in or out of it. It’s an extra step your back will thank you for later on.
6. Placing Your Little One in a Stroller
Repeated slouching can affect your spinal alignment and cause strain on the muscles and ligaments. Avoid this by starting from a squatting position whenever you put your child in a stroller or lift your little one out.
7. Walking with Your Baby
Long walks while carrying your baby is one of the primary causes of back pain for parents. Avoid carrying your child on your hip as this can cause too much stress on your back muscles. Also, it’s helpful to use a front pack baby carrier when going for long walks with your little one. It spares your arms from carrying the weight and also saves you from back pain.
Other Tips for Good Back Health
Ask your doctor if you’re allowed to do some exercises to get your blood flowing and to help prevent muscle aches. It doesn’t have to be a tough workout, simple exercises will do.
2. Take it Easy
Don’t rush yourself to immediately get back to your regular routine after giving birth. Give yourself some time to rest and don’t try to do it all. Ask for help from your spouse or partner and other family members.
3. Avoid Standing for Too Long
Standing for a long period of time can put extra pressure on your back so try to avoid it if you can. If you really must stand, rest one foot on an elevated position, such as on top of a stool. You can also use it to prop your feet up to relax your legs.
4. Maintain Correct Posture
With all the things going on in your new parenting journey, you might not realize how important it is to maintain a good posture. It will save you from a lot of body aches later on. Be more conscious early on, and it will eventually become a habit.
For more tips on avoiding back pains as a new parent, check out this video from TODAY’S TMJ4:
Pregnancy brings discomfort and back pains, but you won’t be able to say goodbye to them just yet after giving birth. Having to hold your baby for long periods of time can strain your back and joints, but it’s inevitable. You can avoid having to deal with back pain by being mindful of your posture. It can be difficult in the beginning, but it can save you from a lot of discomfort in the long run.
How do you prevent back pains from carrying your child? Let us know in the comments section!