Now that your little one is born, you’re learning what putting baby first means to your body. While prioritizing your child is normal, taking care of your health is equally important. Let’s face it – lifting an infant several times a day is hard work, and can create damage to your back if you’re not careful. With a baby in one arm and a diaper bag on the other, keeping the stress off your lower back is another balancing act to master. See below how to reduce the risk of back and neck pain.
Did you know? Lower Back Pain
A study in the Journal of Orthopaedics reported that 50-90% of pregnant women will likely experience lower back pain. This pain may persist after giving birth if you don’t take action.
Keep your back healthy at home
Here are some ways to reduce the risk of back and neck pain while with your newborn:
Lighten your load
Choose a diaper bag that distributes weight evenly across your body to limit the stress of isolated muscles.
Stretch your body
If your baby is exploring the wonders of crawling, join him or her on the floor and do some exercises to stretch your neck and back.
When nursing, avoid hunching and keep your baby close to you. Also choose a comfortable, upright chair with a pillow.
Keep your baby close
Don’t stretch your arms out – bring your baby close to your chest before lifting. Consider wearing your baby on your front so you can alleviate the strain on your back.
Keep tub trouble at bay
Avoid reaching or twisting when bending over a tub. When kneeling, use a non-slip mat to protect your knees.
Exercises/stretches to help alleviate your back pain at home
- Breathing deeply and calmly, relax your stomach muscles. Let your head hang loosely forward and gently roll from side to side. Bring your hands up to your neck and gently massage the back of your head and neck.
- Drop your arms to your sides, relax your shoulders & slowly roll them backward and forward for 15 seconds.
Standing with feet shoulder width apart, raise your hands. Bring your right elbow across your body while lifting your left knee. Touch elbow to knee, remaining upright and repeat alternating sides for 15 seconds.
Following these tips can help you keep up with your soon to be toddler from now until teenage years and beyond. For more information on how to minimize injuries while with your little one, please visit the Ontario Chiropractic Association.