Protecting Your Back as a Mom - Part One
Welcome to motherhood! Your days will now be full of changing diapers, playing peekaboo, and back pain. Wait, back pain? It's no secret that along with the joy that motherhood brings comes the burden of back pain. Thankfully we have a plethora of tips on how to prevent back pain as a new mom.
- Avoid Pilates and Ab Work: Most moms are desperate to lose their mommy stomach as soon as possible. However, doing abdominal and Pilate exercises that involve you lying on the floor maybe doing your body more harm than good. Many, if not most, moms suffer from slight separation of the abdominal muscles after giving birth. In many cases, the muscles will repair themselves over time. However, doing the wrong abdominal exercises can make this separation worse. Instead try to do toning exercises while standing up, or while wearing a girdle or abdominal splint.
- Be Careful How You Wear Your Baby: Baby wearing is a wonderful resource for new and busy moms. Several companies have designed baby carriers that allow moms' hands to be free while carrying the baby. Unfortunately, many moms will experience back pain and other body aches if they wear their baby wrong. First of all, choose a baby carrier that goes across both shoulders and around your midsection, distributing the weight evenly. You may also want to wear a girdle or stomach wrap to help keep your abdominal muscles strong while carrying the extra weight. It is best to start off by wearing your baby when they are young and weigh less and to build up the amount of time you wear them. This will help build up your muscles so that when your baby is fifteen pounds and more, you won’t feel the back pain.
- Learn to Lift and Bend Correctly: As a mom, you will spend majority of your day lifting your baby or child, as well as picking up after them. Hold in your abdominal muscles, keep a flat back, and lift with your legs when you bend over to pick up your child or their toys. It may seem like a hassle to remember this pose every time you bend over. However, if you continue to round your back and lift with your back every time you pick something up, you are setting yourself up for back pain.
- Lift Your Child from His High Chair Correctly: There is a way to lift your baby out of their high chair correctly to prevent back pain. You want to lift them out from behind the chair. When you lift them out from the front of the high chair, you are more likely to slump forward and lift them with bad posture.
- Avoid Carrying Your Baby in Their Car Seat: As if your baby wasn’t already heavy enough, put them in their car seat, and the weight seems to triple. It is best to avoid carrying the infant in their car seat when possible. However, if you do have to carry your child in the car seat, do not do it with one arm. Instead, carry the seat with two arms, distributing the weight evenly. This may mean that you have to make an extra trip into the house to get the diaper bag, but it is worth it.
There are a lot of ways to help prevent back pain in new and seasoned moms. Check back next week to see the second part of this series and to learn even more ways to protect your back as a mom.
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