Are you Carrying Your Baby Correctly? Tips to Protect Your Spine After Birth
When a baby is born, they soon become the focus of attention. While it is important to make sure the baby is receiving proper care, it is also important for parents and other caregivers to protect their personal health. After all, your baby is going to need support for many years to come, and parents who are not in good health cannot provide as well as they can when they are healthy. Caring for baby can cause a significant strain on a person’s back. From picking up, to simply holding a new baby, a new parent will often end up with some level of back pain. While it isn’t always possible to completely avoid all pain, there are some easy things that parents can do to make sure they are carrying the baby properly and to relieve the strain on their back.
Lifting and Holding Properly
In order to hold the baby correctly, it is important to lift properly. A newborn baby needs to have both his or her head and body supported. One hand should be placed under the baby’s neck and head, and the other hand under the baby’s body. They should be gently lifted in one motion and put onto the holder’s chest. By holding the baby against the body, the baby is supported and there is less strain on the parent’s back. As your child grows, supporting the head won’t be as much of an issue, but pay attention in these early stages.
Avoiding Back Strain
Back strain from caring for a baby is mostly caused by using the back to do too much of the work. As a baby grows and becomes heavier, parents need to use their legs to do more of the work by squatting to pick up the baby, instead of bending over. Similarly, the baby needs to be kept as close to the body as possible to avoid pulling the spine to the side. When the baby must be carried for a long period of time, back carriers or sling type carriers should be used to evenly distribute the baby’s weight. Find a carrier that works well with your body, and keeps your spine aligned.
Good back health requires more than just properly lifting and holding the baby. The back muscles also need to be stretched and strengthened. However, this is easy to do for parents of a baby. Parents need to get in the floor with the baby and play while also stretching and doing simple lumbar decompressions exercises recommended by their chiropractor such as crunches and planks.
Eileen O’Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking. Check out her Twitter @eileenoshanassy.