Parenting can be rough on the body in many ways, from accidental kicks while playing to those gray hairs springing up. The daily grind of lifting and carrying a child, picking up toys, and pushing strollers also begins to take its toll on new parents, usually in the form of back pain.
Poor posture can cause back pain and many new parents consider over-the-counter medicine to correct the problem. Instead of relying on medication, get relief from back pain by following these posture tips for new parents:
Lifting Your Child – Bending straight over is a recipe for back agony. We recommend a half-kneel lift when you need to pick your child up from the floor. To do this, stand close to your child, keep your back straight, and place one foot slightly in front of the other. Then bend your hips and knees to lower yourself to one knee. Now that you’re on the same level, you can grasp your child with both arms and pull him or her into your body. Tighten up your core, push with your legs, and slowly rise to standing. You can do this in reverse to place your child on the floor again.
Picking Up Toys – Be sure to keep your head and back straight. Bend at the waist, but extend one leg off the floor straight behind you for balance. You may feel silly, but your back will thank you later.
Carrying Your Child – We only have two arms, which is why many parents hold children with arm, child tucked on the hip. But it’s best to hold him or her closer to your body and balanced in the center. Keep your back straight and your shoulders back, especially if using a child carrier.
Lifting from a Crib – Some cribs have rails that lower, making it a little easier to bend down. But even if yours does not, your lifting technique will make a big difference. Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees bent slightly. Arch your lower back, keep your head up, and bend at your hips. Use both arms to grasp your child, hold him/her close, and straighten your hips. Once you are upright, extend your knees to stand. Use this same approach in reverse to place the child in the crib.
Pushing a Stroller – Many parents think there’s nothing to pushing a stroller, but if you push only with your arms you are hunching your back and pushing your shoulders forward. Avoid this by staying as close to the stroller as possible, keeping your back straight and shoulders back.
Questions about posture? Contact us to learn how we can ease your aches and pains.