Preventing Back Pain When Caring for Your New Baby
New parents are continuously warned about all the frequent diaper changes and sleepless nights to come. It’s not as common to be warned about the possible back pain that can come from holding and carrying an infant for several hours a day.
Most of the time, women will experience back pain due to the extra weight they are carrying. Back pain from excess weight usually goes away a few weeks after the delivery but can return from lifting and carrying extra weight daily.
Bending over and holding the position for an extended period is another possible cause of back pain to new parents. With minor modifications to your current activities, there are many options to help prevent back pain and strengthen your muscles.
Lifting Your Baby
- Avoid bending from the waist and use your knees, so you are squatting. This helps when picking up your baby from a bassinet, crib, stroller, car seat, or the floor. Also, look for a crib with sides that can be lowered. Lowered side cribs help prevent having to reach down to raise the baby more than necessary.
- When standing up, use the strength of your legs rather than your back. It’s recommended to keep your back straight, your feet hip-width apart, and hold your baby close to your body.
Feeding Your Baby
- Choose a seat with back support so you can sit up straight when nursing. Also, rather than bending over to the baby, bring the baby to your breast. Pillows can help prop up the baby.
- When putting the baby in and out of the high chair, be sure to remove the feeding tray. Removing the feeding tray helps avoid having to lift your baby up and over the tray, which is easier on the back.
Carrying Your Baby
- Even though they are a great tool, be cautious with baby carriers (hands-free holding), they can also cause back pain. Pick a baby carrier with wide, padded shoulder straps and a belt that goes around your hips to distribute some of the weight and hold the baby higher on your body.
- A common carrying mistake that overloads the back muscles is carrying your child on your hip. If you do decide to carry your child on your hip, be sure to alternate between both sides to even out the load-bearing.
- When taking children out or placing them in the car seat, avoid reaching in from a standing position at the door if you can. A good tip is to sit next to the car seat with your child in your lap, then rotate your body to the side when putting the baby in the seat.
Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Are you suffering with back pain? Make an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists today to start your healing journey. OrthoArizona has nearly two dozen offices throughout the Valley, each focused on quality care, compassion, and excellent customer service. Since 1994, OrthoArizona has been dedicated to compassionate care of the highest quality.
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and are not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.