You recently had a new addition to the family, and you thought that your back pain would end with the pregnancy. As time goes on, you are increasing stress on your back as you spend more time carrying and bending over your baby. For a number of new parents, that leads to new back pain, too. We have some suggestions to help you reduce that pain!
Preventing Back Pain
Exercise and Conditioning:
Once you have clearance from your OB start exercising again, be sue to also ask for some suggestions for safe exercises. Share your goals to determine a realistic exercise plan to get you back to your pre-pregnancy weight and activity level. This varies greatly from person to person and depends on several factors including how difficult or easy the pregnancy and delivery were or activity level during pregnancy. Keep in mind that if you delivered via Caesarian-section (C-section), you will most likely have to wait some additional time before exercising again.
Once you get the okay to get back to exercise, focus on restoring your hip and back flexibility through light yoga and stretching. Back pain risk is high among young, overweight women, making it especially important to make physical fitness a priority once your doctor allows it.
During pregnancy, the woman's core muscles weaken, especially after a C-section. A yoga or pilates class can help strengthen the core muscles which can prevent or reduce back pain.
Lifting Your Little One:
- You know the saying: lift with your legs, not with your back! Bend your knees, squat down, engage your core muscles, and lift with your legs.
- Bring your little one close to you before lifting rather than stretching out your arms to pick him or her up. When you are holding your body, avoid twisting your body.
- If you are breastfeeding, don't bend over your baby. Bring your baby to your breast, which will help you avoid upper back pain. Try putting a few pillows on your lap to bring your baby closer to you.
- Sit in an upright chair while nursing instead of a soft couch.
- Remember to remove the tray when taking your baby in or out of a high chair to make things easier on your back.
Carrying and Traveling with Your Baby:
- Take advantage of the many "front packs" available when you will be carrying your baby for long distances.
- Avoid carrying your child on your hip, which can overload the back muscles.
- Rather than standing outside the car and placing your child in the car seat, try kneeling on the back seat as you place your baby in the car seat. It is safest for your child's car seat to be in the middle of the backseat, so you can sit next to them while placing them in their seat.
- Instead of carrying your infant in their car seat, fasten the seat into place in the car, then bring him or her outside separately. Car seats are heavy, and they'll only get heavier as your baby gets bigger, so try to make things as easy as possible! .
If you find that you are still experiencing post-pregnancy back pain, schedule an appointment with us so we can help you find relief!