Is your little bundle of joy causing you pain?
You’re now a parent and the newest addition to your family is an amazing source of joy, love and pride. You’re life has been turned upside down and your schedule is all mixed up but you’re loving every minute of it…except all of the new aches and pains in your body….
Here are some tips from one of our Chiropractors Dr. Amy to protect your body and take the pain out of parenthood:
1) The Half Kneel– Children are tiny people who need A LOT of help. Whether you’re bending down to blow a nose, kiss a boo-boo, do up a zipper or tie a shoe NEVER bend over at the hips with straight legs. This puts stress on the ligaments and joints in your back and can result in injury. Instead, kneel down on one knee to get down to their level and take the stress off your back.
2) The Crib Lift– Cribs are tricky! First, keep the crib mattress as high as possible for your child’s height and development (we don’t want them crawling out and risking a fall!) Always try to keep baby close to your body as long as possible. Tighten your core muscles to stabilize your back while bending over the rail. When lifting them up or down into the crib use the “side roll” (lower them to the crib in a side lying position and gently roll them to their back). This is a stable position for baby and can even help prepare them for rolling. If you have a petite frame, try using a stable step stool to reach over the rail.
3) Bath Time– While your little one is still small enough to fit in an infant tub, put the tub on a raised, stable surface (eg] table or counter) so you don’t need to bend over (never leave baby unattended). When baby transitions to the big tub, use a foam mat on the floor and side of tub for comfort and to prevent slips. Keep bath items like soap, cloths and towels close to avoid reaching. Kneel on one knee or sit on a small stool while leaning over the tub. Tightening your core muscles to support your back and keep your back in a neutral position when lifting baby in or out of the tub.
4) The Infant Seat Carry– Infant seats are big, bulky and heavy. This is great for protecting your little one but not so great for your neck and back. The infant seat should always be carried with both hands, in front of you, and close to your body. It should never be slung over one arm like a purse. If you need one of your hands to open a door, put the carrier down, open the door and then pick it back up again. Don’t forget to bend at the knees and lift with your legs when putting it down and picking it up. If you know you will be travelling a farther distance, use the stroller.
5) Nursing Neck- Nursing is a great time to relax and bond with your baby. However it is also a major source of neck, back and arm pain for a lot of mothers. It is very important to remember that you should get into a comfortable and supported position first and THEN bring baby to you. This will help prevent the forward slouched position. Use a nursing pillow or pillows from around your house to support your arms and bring baby up to you. Yours shoulders should be relaxed and at an even height side to side while nursing.
6) Vary the hip/arm carry- This is important for both you and your little one. Switching the arm/hip that you carry your baby on will help distribute the stress on your muscles and joints and create more balance. When you carrying your baby on the same side all the time, you also force your little one to always turn their neck one direction and create uneven forces in their body. Additionally, when your newborn’s face is always pressed up against your body, it limits the stimuli that they receive especially to the eye against you. Try carrying your baby with both arms in front of you or use a hands free infant carrier if you need to get things done around the house.
7) Me-Time: You can’t take care of ANYONE if you’re out of commission (mentally or physically!) Make sure you schedule in a little bit of time for yourself every day. Take a bath, listen to your favourite tunes, go for a walk, schedule a massage or take a yoga class. Make sure you rest when you can. Sleep is your body’s time to heal and repair itself, so take the time to sleep and let it do it’s thing!
For more advice, or help with the pain you are experiencing from caring for your children, book a free consult with one of the awesome practitioners at BodyWorx Vitality. We’ll get you on the road back to pain-free playing!