It’s no surprise that the arrival of a new baby comes with it’s share of physical and emotional stresses. Tasks such as carrying the baby on one hip, moving baby in and out of the stroller or car, bending over change tables, nursing, playing on the floor, doing endless loads of laundry all combined with exhaustion increases your risk of unwanted aches and pains.
In a study by Vincent & Hocking, 2013 it was reported that 64% of new moms experienced low back pain. Because lifting, bending, twisting and awkward postures are such repetitive aspects of parenting, sound technique is vital to minimize your risk of injury. Keep these tips in mind as you go about your new routine.
Tips for proper lifting
- When carrying your baby, keep baby close to your chest and avoid twisting - this will reduce the load placed on your back.
- When picking up a child from the floor, avoid bending from the waist. Bend your knees, squat down and tighten your core. Use your legs as you lift up. Don’t stretch your arms out or lock your knees while picking up the baby.
- Avoid carrying your baby in a car seat on one arm, like a purse. Carry the seat in front of you, using both arms with bent elbows. When possible, transfer baby to the stroller and leave the seat in the car!
- For nursing moms, sit in a chair with good back support. Use pillows and/or blankets to prop up the baby. Bring the baby’s mouth to you, versus leaning over to reach the baby’s mouth.
- When bending over the crib to lift the child out, space your feet apart and bend your knees for a good base of support before lifting. Keep the child close to your chest.
- Minimize carrying baby on one hip. Holding baby against your chest evenly distributes the babies weight on your body and averts creating an imbalance that can lead to low back pain.
If you develop a pain that persists for more than a few days, check in with your chiropractor!
- Vincent, R., Hocking, C. Factors that might give rise to musculoskeletal disorders when mothers lift children in the home. Physiother. Res. Int. 2013; 18: 81-90.
- American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Preventing back pain: tips for new moms when lifting
- Mayo Clinic: Proper lifting techniques
- Ontario Chiropractic Association - Pregnancy & Back Pain