How to avoid back pain as a new mum.
Having a new-born baby is a wonderful, life-changing experience, but there’s no denying it is hard work…especially on your back. Bending down to pick up toys, carrying supplies, changing nappies and breastfeeding all strain your back. Although in the majority of new mums back pain is present – but not debilitating – it can take 2-3 months for back pain to ease after your little one is born.
Ingvild Naestvold, Chiropractor at London Wellness suggests these helpful tips for new mothers:
- Bring the baby to your breast – when you’re feeding you’ll be sitting for extended periods.
- Try not to let the lower portion of your spine curve excessively.
- Make sure you sit in a comfortable, supportive chair or sofa.
- Put a pillow behind your back to keep it straight and bring your baby to your breast or chest.
- Use pillows on your lap to ease the tension and provide extra support
Switch up your feeding position
We often overlook the risk of repetitive strain injury when we’re busy caring for a little one, but bending over to feed your baby a dozen times a day can cause problems.
Use different positions to give certain muscles a rest. If you think your feeding position might be leading to back pain, try feeding in front of a mirror – seeing your position can help you adjust to ease the pain.
Even consider breastfeeding standing up with a baby carrier. Moving around while breastfeeding can ease the pressure on your back considerably.
Make sure you find the right baby carrier for you. Look for:
- Wide, padded shoulder straps
- A belt going around your hips to distribute the weight and a carrier where the baby is positioned facing inward and fairly high on your body.
- There are many carriers on the market. Do your research, but it’s advisable to make sure your back is well supported too!
If and when you feel you are ready, try to do incorporate some gentle exercises to restore muscle tone to the abdominal and back muscles. This will help your body to balance the weight of carrying a new baby. Stretching exercises, Pilates or gentle yoga are a great way to reduce back pain!
Try lying on the floor on your back and bringing your knee to your chest and holding for 20 seconds.
A ‘wall sit’ is also a great way to build up strength gradually over time. Make sure your back – including your lower back – is flush against the wall, as if you were sitting in an invisible chair.
Think about simple changes to your daily routine; sit on an exercise ball to eat meals, check emails or watch TV. This is a great way to engage core muscles, and will aid in helping you take care of your back muscles.
Back pain when you have a new born can be minimised, and musculoskeletal treatment can help to ease the strain your lower spine is under. Chiropractors can also recommend specific exercises for you, in order to support your optimum wellness – for both mum and dad!