Having a baby is truly an exciting time in any new parent’s life, but it can be a pain in the neck and back, literally! Especially for the mom, carrying around the extra weight in the front can cause excruciating low back pain. You may think it’s over now that your bundle of joy is in your arms, but the pain can continue. From improper posture while sitting to feeding your new little one, all of these can cause back pain. Continue reading to learn about the relationship between new parents and back pain.
Mistake #1. Leaning Over The Crib.
When lifting your baby from the crib mattress or floor, make sure to squat instead of reaching down.
While in the squat position, bring your baby close to your chest and tighten your stomach muscles. Next, lift with your legs and squeeze your glute muscle together to straighten completely.
Once you’re standing, avoid twisting your body while holding your baby. Your feet should always be pointing where you are facing. Then just reverse the steps when going to put the baby down.
Keep the baby close, squat down, and lay the baby down gently. Then stand back up again with stomach muscles tight and squeezing glute muscles.
If you can’t lower the crib side rail, do your best to squat and lower the baby down.
Mistake #2. Carrying The Baby Unassisted.
When carrying your baby, a front carrier is ideal. This is a great way to prevent backaches rather than solely holding your newborn with your arms. After a while, even the littlest baby can become heavy and cause poor posture compensation.
You can try a Moby Wrap or a carrier with straps. You may have to try out different kinds before you find one that is comfortable for you and your baby.
Mistake #3. Improper Changing Position.
When it’s time to change diapers, the best position for the baby is laying directly in front of you. You will want them just below chest height or above your belly button, to prevent you from bending forward.
If you have a separate changing table, try to get one where you can face the baby. Avoid laying the baby sideways, as this can also cause you to twist while trying to change the baby’s diaper.
Try not to lay your baby down on your bed since this can be lower and cause you to bend. Even though it may not be a significant bend, staying in this position for only a couple of minutes can cause low back pain once you go to stand back up. Doing this repetitively throughout the day and then throughout the week can cause injury to your back in no time.
As for feeding your baby, whether it be breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, posture is extremely important. To help hold your baby in position, you can place a pillow on your lap to help raise the baby up off of your lap, taking the stress off of your arms, which can become fatigued and eventually cause you to lean forward. Even holding a lightweight newborn for 10 minutes can get heavy.
Also, try to sit in a supportive chair and not something that sinks in, such as a couch. You can also place a small rolled-up towel or small long throw pillow behind your lower back, where the natural curve is, to help with supporting your spine and assist with proper posture.
Mistake #4. Springing Up Out Of Bed.
This next tip is for new moms, especially those who have had a c-section, and how to properly (and safely!) get out of bed with minimal pain and avoid injury to your back.
If you are laying on your back, which most of the time you are, you will have to roll onto your side. In order to do this without twisting or with less abdominal pain, you have to get more to the middle of your bed so you don’t roll off the side.
To do this, bend both knees up and squeeze your buttocks and lift your hips slowly and scoot to the center of the bed, then slide out the leg nearest to the side of the bed you are going to roll to.
Next, you are going to “log roll”, meaning your whole body is going to roll onto your side as one unit, and with the still bent knee assisting you to push and arms can help as well roll over onto your side.
The following step is where you will sit up. Your partner can assist you a bit with this one or you can get a temporary bed railing that slides under your mattress so you have something to pull yourself up.
In the last step, you are going to slide your legs off the bed forward and push down with the elbow under you and the other hand on the temporary bed railing or a helper (with them also in a semi-squat position, and do not pull them toward you because you both can get injured) push yourself to a seated upright position.
Then in order to get back into bed into a supine (on your back) position, just reverse the steps. Click here to learn more about how your sleeping position may be causing you pain.
Once mom is cleared to be able to work out again, a good core workout is key, especially to reduce and prevent low back pain. So if you have continued issues, please feel free to give us a call here at (586) 884-4565 and we would be happy to help with a free first discovery visit.