You were up all night. The baby is crying. The telephone is ringing and the kettle is boiling. For most parents, this is a daily scenario. Parents are also continually faced with strenuous physical demands such as lifting, feeding, comforting and chasing after children.
Consider the fact that parents may be lifting a 7-10 pound baby 50 times a day. By 12 months, your baby weighs approximately 17 pounds, and at 2 years, that child has become a 25-30 pound toddler. The repetitive lifting of your child may put you at risk for back problems.
What’s a parent to do? Well, here are some simple tips that can help parents avoid some common aches and pains.
- Stand with your feet at least a shoulder width apart.
- Keep your back in neutral position and bend your knees.
- Bring your baby as close to your chest as possible, and then lift using both arms.
- When carrying your little one, pivot with your feet instead of twisting your back.
- This will ensure that you’re turning with your hips, which will reduce your risk of back pain.
- Lower your child into the crib or onto the floor by bending at the knees, with a neutral back.
- Hold your child in an upright position, directly against your chest.
- Carrying a child on one hip creates postural imbalances that can lead to low back pain over time.
- Always sit in a chair with back support and avoid leaning forward to reach your newborn’s mouth.
- Instead, use pillows or blankets to support and position your baby closer to you.
- Exercise can help increase muscle support for your aching back.
- While your baby is enjoying tummy time, join them on the floor and do some exercises to help strengthen your core.
There is no time for back pain in parenthood. Talk to your chiropractor about specific exercises to stretch and strengthen your muscles so that you can stay on your toes and a step ahead of your toddler.