We don’t realize that sometimes simply feeding and lifting our young ones can in fact hurt our posture, and in turn our backs, necks and shoulders.
I didn’t really realize this myself, until I had Ray…I was cluster feeding her always, and she became very used to being in my arms. So I spent a lot of time with her cradled, and didn’t pay attention to posture, admittedly. I noticed, a few times, some pinching or knotted pain in my lower back occassionally. At one point, I even was in pain picking her up from her crib. I ignored it for a while, thinking I am in good health, so it shouldn’t be an issue. Eventually, Vick told me I need to go to his chiropractor.
I never had seen a chiropractor before, ever.
Well going was a great idea for me. I felt great, and was told that it would be a good idea to go in a few more times. Me, ignoring my posture, sleeping awkwardly, could do some long-term damage to a normally healthy spine and neck. So I paid better attention to posture, and I’m thankful Vick made that appointment for me. I have notably a lot less back pain (then and now).
So, needless to say, I think it’s important to share some tips on improving your posture, or being conscious of it, for all moms with babies.
Here are some tips provided by Dr. Nekessa Remy, a Top Canadian Chiropractor. Dr. Remy works in health and wellness, and helps parents to prevent sore muscles and back. She offers up these key tips to moms with babies.
Improve your Parental Posture
When Feeding the Baby
Sufficient support on your elbows is key in making sure that your arms and shoulders can relax. Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, make sure you sit tall, preferably in an armchair – a feeding pillow under your baby can help to prevent you from bending forward to reach your baby.
When Carrying or Holding Your Child
Keep him or her close to your body and balanced in the center of your body instead of holding your child in one arm and balanced on your hip. This will lessen the strain and will evenly distribute the weight. When using a child carrier, keep your back straight and your shoulders relaxed to avoid straining your back and neck.
When Lifting Your Child Out of the Crib
Make sure you keep your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent when lifting your child out of the crib. Feel the lift coming from the core of your body as you engage your abdominal muscles, while keeping your head up and hips slightly bent. Make sure to use both arms to lift your child as you closely hold him or her close to your body. Straighten your hips, making sure that you are in an upright position with your knees returning to a full stand. To return your child to the crib, use the same technique.
When Lifting Your Child From the Floor
Use a half-kneel lift and work your way up slowly. First, stand close to him or her on the floor and while keeping your back straight. With one foot slightly forward than the other, bend your hips and knees to lower yourself onto one knee. From the half-kneeling position, hold your child close to your body, tighten your abdominal muscles and push with your legs to slowly return to the standing position. To place your child back onto the floor, use the same half-kneel technique.
When Pushing a Stroller
Stay as close to the stroller as possible – this will allow your back to remain straight and your shoulders back. Push with the force coming from your entire body instead of exerting energy just from the arms. Avoid pushing the stroller too far ahead as this will cause you to hunch your back.
These tips and all images are courtesy of UpLevel Solutions and Dr. Remy’s practice.