Parenting can make you bend over backward and cause a lot of backache in the long run — literally! Many parents, especially mothers, have complained of backaches soon after the birth of their children. This could be due to many reasons, such as strain on the back due to the pregnancy or the trauma caused by childbirth. But it doesn’t end there. Backache seems to be the norm even after your baby is born, maybe because you don’t get enough rest as you would need after your baby’s arrival.
The nine months of carrying the additional weight of the baby and then going through the painful labor and childbirth can take a toll on your back muscles (1). If a new mother doesn’t get enough rest and rehabilitation after childbirth, the back issues can continue into the future. Having a problem as serious and irritating as backache can really hamper a mother’s ability to nurse her child. The mother’s health is crucial as even the baby’s health depends on it. You can take care of your baby and your back without having to compromise on the other. These smart tips can help prevent back problems in the future:
1. Maintain The Right Posture While Breastfeeding
Mothers often bend down toward their babies when breastfeeding to make it easier and comfortable for their babies. But you can make both yourself and your baby comfortable and prevent backache for yourself if you maintain the correct posture while breastfeeding. First, make sure you have good back support — you can use pillows for this. Then, instead of bending down to your baby, put a few pillows under your little one so they can reach you better. Memory foam pillows are a helpful choice of products for breastfeeding as they remember your last position and help you get back to the same feeding position every time.
2. Wear The Baby Carrier The Right Way
Baby carriers are a lifesaver when it comes to mobility, but it can turn out to be a pain in the backside (literally) if you don’t use it the right way. Pull your baby up as high as you can if you are using a front carrier, and see that the carrier is tightened enough to ensure your baby is close to you. By doing this, you can reduce the strain the carrier may have on your back. This is best for when your baby weighs below twenty pounds. But as your baby gets heavier, switch to a back carrier. Also before purchasing a baby carrier, do some research on the weight of the carrier. Good quality carriers will often utilize lighter, robust materials which are light but still durable to let you carry your little one comfortably.
3. Watch Out While Lifting Your Baby
If your baby is on the bed or crib and you are standing, it is best to first draw your baby towards your chest before lifting them. Most of us stretch out our arms to raise our babies; try to avoid this as it can hurt your lower back. Additionally, bend at your hips and tighten your core muscles every time you lift your baby. Lifting anything, including your baby, by extending your hands, puts undue pressure on your lower back. Your core support to lift objects is important and something you shouldn’t falter on.
4. No Slouching When Strolling!
Your baby is in the stroller, and the both of you are happily strolling in the park, enjoying the fresh air. It’s a perfect picture unless you aren’t slouching! While pushing the stroller, keep your back straight so you prevent straining it or, worse, causing spinal misalignment. Also, remember the previous point while putting your baby in the stroller or taking them out — get into a squatting position, and then lift your baby.
5. Bend Over Carefully
Babies love the floor, so you’ll find them there most of the time. There may be several moments throughout the day where you have to pick them up. Imagine the kind of impact this can have on your back if you do it wrong. The next time you pick your baby from the floor, get down to a squatting position, tighten your core muscles, bring your baby close to you, and get up using the strength of your legs and not your back.
6. Switch Between Both Hips
It’s essential to shift your baby’s weight on both your hips instead of just one, as the latter can cause back issues. What you can also do is hold your child close to your chest, supporting them with both your hands. Make sure the weight distribution is symmetrical and both the trunks receive an equal share of the weight you’re lifting.
7. Sit, Then Secure Baby In The Car
We’re all guilty of this — standing outside the car, door open, trying to secure your baby in the car seat safely. It’s time to stop doing this. The better thing to do is get into the car, sit down, and secure your baby safely. It helps that the safest spot is in the middle of the backseat, so sit comfortably in the side, and then get your baby settled.
8. Choose The Right Equipment
Opt for equipment that will go easy on your back. For example, go for a crib that is high enough for you to reach out to quickly. Change your baby’s diapers on a table that is high enough as well, instead of one that requires you to bend uncomfortably. Good ergonomics will go a long way in not causing additional harm to your back muscles.
After birth, your baby takes the spotlight, and you end up neglecting your health. But it is essential to take care of yourself as well. Backaches can be extremely uncomfortable, and precaution is better than cure, so keep these tips in mind! Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below!
- Pregnancy-related low back pain