When you have a baby you expect a certain amount of pain (particularly during all of that birth business!) but when they’re newborn you’re probably only lifting around 6 to 10 pounds & despite how precious this cargo is, it’s not too heavy in the grand scheme of things.
However if we fast forward a year or two to a demanding two-year-old toddler then you might be lifting 25 to 30 pounds on a really regular basis and this can lead to back strain. The pain might be the result of lifting incorrectly or the actual weight load and frequency of lifting. You will be lifting your infant up up to 50 times a day! Into the high chair, back out again, picking them up when they’ve had a fall, lifting them into the swing, putting them into their cot, moving them out of your way when you’re trying (in vain) to do the vacuuming. And all of this is on top of your general daily routine. Bending over to play with your child can also add to your aches so it’s no wonder that a new parent’s back is put under so much strain.
So if this sounds like you, or a Mummy or Daddy that you know, then read on to find out ways to reduce future back problems associated with carrying your ever-growing baby.
Your lifting technique is important, even more so if they’re in a heavy car seat or you’re lifting an awkward pushchair.
When picking up your baby, you should try to engage your core muscles – do this by keeping the weight close to your centre and don’t stretch out your arms to lift.
Whenever possible – don’t carry your child on your hip as this can overload your back muscles. It’s also beneficial to avoid twisting your body whilst holding your baby and to kneel in front of your child when you strap them into the car seat. It might be worth considering trading your two-door car for a four-door car in order to make it easier to strap your child into their car seat.
Keep your back straight when bottle / breastfeeding
To avoid upper back pain due to feeding, keep your back straight and bring your baby up to you. You should not bend over your baby to feed. An upright chair rather than a soft couch is best. Use cushions to help in positioning your baby.
A massage may provide quick relief as well as some time to unwind.
I can almost hear you laughing from here! But it’s true – take time to rest and look after yourself as well as your baby. It’s now thought that it can take around 9 months fora new Mum’s body to return to ‘normal’ and until then your ligaments and joints may still be relaxed and more prone to injury.
With this in mind, try not to stand for long periods as this puts extra pressure on your back.
Whenever practical use an aid such as a pushchair or a sling. A front carrier rather than a back carrier can be better for your back when you are walking.
Car seats for babies are heavy and as your baby grows they become even heavier. You may find it easier to fasten the seat in place in your car first and then place your baby into the seat.
Exercise and activity are the most important ways of helping yourself if you have back pain.
Exercise can help to build up the muscles that support your back and in turn this will help to improve your posture. Stretching exercises and yoga will assist you in restoring your hip and back flexibility. Pilates is good for strengthening the muscles of your abdomen and spine to prevent back pain and injury.
Speak to us about our Pilates and yoga classes – £8 for 60 minutes.
Drug free pain relief
Heat or ice can relieve back pain. A soak in the bath or applying an ice pack to your back may help.
Osteopathy here at Chatteris Osteopaths
If you’re suffering from chronic back pain, then an osteopathy assessment of your back pain may be beneficial. We offer a FREE 15 minute initial assessment where we can discuss everything with you and then future sessions are £45 for 30 minutes of treatment.