I’ve always said to patients that parenting can be hard be hard on your back not only if you’re the Mum, but for the Dads and Grandparents too.
First there’s pregnancy, with all the changes in the pelvis and alterations in weight loading, then labour, c-sections, breastfeeding, bending over changing nappies which seems to suddenly morph into carrying a toddler around!
All these put extra strain through your spine.
But we shouldn’t give in and settle for years of pain just because we’re parents, there are certainly ways to prevent back pain and ease any discomfort that has accompanied your new role.
Now I am also a parent, I’ve had the chance to test out some of my own advice and this is what I have learnt:
Raise Your Changing Table
At the beginning, it seems like you’re constantly changing their nappies and dirty clothes. All this bending puts your back under extra strain. so before your baby becomes really active (after then it’s too risky) my tip would be to change your little one on a raised surface such as a tall bed or a changing table (we modified an old chest of drawers).
To do this safely, make sure you have everything you need ready before you begin, such as wipes or cotton wool and water, nappies and nappy bags.
Bend Through The Hips
Rather than bending from the waist, move through your hips to push less pressure through the spine . Often I cue patients by telling them to “stick their bum backwards”.
Buy a Car Seat That Spins
Leaning over to safely buckle in your little one can be a bit of a stretch. And lifting them into the car when they’re toddlers at an angle is awkward. Instead, invest in a car seat that spins to face outwards. Having to fiddle around with straps and buckles is a little easier when they’re right in front of you too.
Kneel At Bath Time
Instead of leaning over the bath while standing, kneel on the floor. And if the hard bathroom floor doesn’t agree with your knees, get a cushion or a specialist kneeler for comfort.
Don’t Always Hold Them On One Hip
If you’re always carrying your baby on one hip, you could cause tightness to build up on one side. Either switch them between, or even hold them in front, close to your body.
If you’re using a sling or baby carrier, make sure you use it properly to support not just your baby but you as well. This is very important as your baby grows (the heavier they get – the more support you need!). Watch out for a future blog on this with more information, or if you’re inpatient, visit your local sling library or meet (the Nottingham one can be found here).
If you’re a parent who suffers with back pain, I may be able to help. Get in contact to find out how.
Chiropractor and Owner of Symmetry Chiropractic