The arrival of a baby into the family is a thrilling time, but also a time when parents are at risk of neglecting their own health. In clinic I see many people that have developed back pain after becoming parents. Below I have included some information and advice to help reduce the risk of you getting back pain. Try to persist with the recommendations, it will get easier with time.
Breast Feeding & Bottle Feeding
- Use a chair where the low back is well supported, you can also try supporting the low back by placing a pillow behind it.
- Place your feet flat on the floor.
- Use a support pillow under the arm that is holding baby.
- Switch arms during or with each feed.
Lifting and Carrying your Child
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and as close to your child as possible.
- Keep your back straight and bend at the knees.
- Use both arms to pick up the child then use your thigh muscles to stand up straight.
*Avoid bending and twisting while putting your child down, this puts a lot of stress on the structures in your lower back.
*When carrying a child, carry them in the middle of your body directly against your chest.
Placing your Baby into the Car
- Keep your back straight and hold baby close to your chest.
- Bend at the knees once you’re as close to the car seat as possible.
- At this point you should reach out to put the baby in the seat.
As your child grows into a toddler, there will be many occasions when they will want or need to be picked up. The key here is not to directly lift them, instead:
- When they want cuddles, sit in a chair and encourage them to climb onto your lap.
- At bath time assist the child to step over the bath, this minimises the weight you have to carry, work together and encourage them to develop their own body movements and control.
- Take the push chair when you’re out, to prevent you having to hitch them on your hip when they are too tired to walk any further.
- Use a step for toilet training.
Remember if you begin to experience back pain, don’t put treatment off. Prompt assessment and treatment by an expert greatly reduces the risk of long-term pain and disability.