Back pain is a common malady, especially for new parents and grandparents.
Caring for an infant or toddler will put a significant amount of stress on your body.
Here are 5 ways that you can minimize parental back pain.
- Lift safely – When you lift your new little bundle of joy, always bend at the knees – not the waist. Squat down and lift with your legs. Avoid twisting your body while holding your baby. This applies to all objects that you lift, i.e. the stroller, the car seat, etc.
- Carry safely – When carrying your baby, consider using an ergonomic baby carrier or a sling that will help distribute the weight evenly across your body. Always avoid carrying a child on your hip, as this overloads the back muscles and causes imbalance.
- Use a backpack – Instead of using an over-the-shoulder diaper bag, opt for a backpack style. After filling it with all the essentials, baby bags will get heavy. You’ll save yourself the added shoulder, neck, and upper back pain by using something more ergonomically friendly.
- Maintain correct posture while feeding – When you’re feeding, especially breastfeeding, be sure to always maintain correct posture. When sitting, this means you’ll keep your back straight- so to avoid hunching over, you’ll need to bring your baby to your chest, not visa-versa. Use a pillow to help support your baby. You can also try a lumbar roll behind your low back to relieve discomfort from sitting for long periods of time.
- Strengthen your abdominal muscles – Back pain that occurs after pregnancy can be partially attributed to having weaker abdominal muscles. Once you’re cleared by your doctor to start exercising again, you should begin some light core work to help re-strengthen your abdominals. Attend a mom and baby exercise class or look up postpartum-friendly exercises online to help you firm up these important, supportive muscles.
As a new parent, the added stress on your back may be inevitable, but these tips should help you minimize pain and keep your back functioning as optimally as possible.