Congratulations! Your nine-month pregnancy journey has resulted in meeting your adorable little one (and hearing his or her adorable set of loud lungs). You probably envisioned how much time you’d spend rocking, feeding and carrying your infant. What you probably didn’t expect back pain after delivery.
Whether you were prepared for back pain after delivery or not, caring for an infant does place extra stress on your back. Experiencing back pain after delivery is nothing that you did wrong during your pregnancy. The fact is you’re carrying your child more frequently.
You’re thinking a lot about caring for your newborn—which you should be. It’s also important to care for yourself too. The following are some body mechanics and posture techniques you can use:
- Diaper changing: Invest in a changing table that is high enough to avoid placing additional stress on your back. Have all the items you need to change the diapers close to you to prevent unnecessary twisting and bending while you hold on to your baby. When you bend over to change the diaper, keep your waist hinged and spine straight.
- Feeding: Use a chair that allows you to comfortably rest your back. To support your arm beneath your baby, use a pillow. It helps your arm relax and not transfer weight to your back and neck. Ensure that the pillow elevates your baby to a comfortable level while feeding.
- Carrying the infant car seat: Always carry the infant seat with both hands to distribute your baby’s weight evenly. For instance, use both hands to hold on the handle or place one hand on the bottom of the seat and the other on the handle.
- Carrying the infant seat: Place the infant seat close as possible to you and squat or down next to the seat. Use your legs to stand back up while practicing the carrying techniques.
- Picking up the stroller from the trunk of the car: As you stand in front of the trunk, hinge at the waist. Slightly squat to pick up the stroller from the car’s trunk.
- Picking up your infants out of bed: Ensure you are keeping your spine straight, hinge forward at the waist while you reach into the crib for your baby. Don’t flex over the crib rail. If the mattress is at a lower position, bend your knees then squat to reach him or her.
- Bath time: Place the tub at a countertop height. This keeps you from bending over. When your baby is in the bathtub, kneel next to the tub or use a tub seat. Hinge at the waist to lean over the tub’s edge. Have your baby sit closer to you to avoid constantly reaching and leaning.
- Rocking while standing: To maintain proper posture while standing, keep your shoulders back. Also, keep your abdominal muscles tightened your to support your back.
- Sitting: Rest firmly against the back of your chair and keep your chin tucked in and shoulders back. Place your feet on the floor and sit erect. Use a small foot stool to support your feet, if needed.
- Standing: Keep your knees relaxed and stand with equal weight on both legs. Align your ears over your shoulders and tuck in your chin. Keep your shoulders back and tighten your abdominals.
- Carrying your baby: Place your baby at the center of your torso. He or she should rest over your shoulder or in front of you. Keep your shoulders back and abdominals tightened to support your lower back.