Six back-saving tips for new parents

Becoming a parent brings joy like no other, but it also brings a host of new challenges that test the most patient and nurturing among us. It’s no secret that childbirth and the general sleep deprivation that typically accompanies caring for a baby have a profound impact on the body. In fact, musculoskeletal (MSK) complaints like back, neck and shoulder injuries are common among new parents, in part due to extra physical demands on the body. If you’re currently pregnant and experiencing back pain, consider chiropractic care to help manage symptoms and improve function so that you are ready for your new arrival. Once you bring your baby home, consider the following tips, as well as talking to your chiropractor to ensure that you stay healthy, mobile and pain free throughout this huge life transition.

  1. Lifting the baby

When lifting your baby from the crib, car seat or high chair, make sure to keep a neutral spine and use the proper technique to avoid injury. Use your legs, rather than your back, and bend at the knees and hips to lift gradually. Keep your feet grounded well and shoulder-width apart to balance the weight. Use a similar form when settling the baby into a crib or onto a change table. Also, if possible, try to change the baby’s diaper or clothing on a raised surface rather than on the floor or sitting awkwardly on the couch.

  1. Carrying heavy loads

Parenthood is full of heavy lifting! Car seats, diaper bags and all the other paraphernalia that seems to go along with the territory can also pose a risk for injury. To decrease the risk, hold heavy items close to your body. Likewise, to avoid straining your hands and wrists, place the entire palm of your hand under the load. In fact, it is often best to divide the task in smaller, manageable loads.

  1. Holding the baby

As your child grows, carrying your baby can become increasingly difficult. The added weight and exuberance of a squirming toddler increases the load and instability on your already fatigued body. To help, keep your wrists and fingers in a neutral position avoiding excessive bending and twisting. Also, avoid jutting out one hip or another, and keep your hips parallel, weight evenly distributed. Baby carriers can be a great aid allowing you to stand and move, and distributing the extra weight more evenly without exhausting your arms. This can help minimize the risk of strain on your lower back.

  1. Playing with the baby

As your baby grows and starts exploring his or her surroundings, you will likely also be spending more time on the floor playing. If possible while sitting on the floor, find support by leaning against a wall or a piece of furniture. Moving and stretching regularly, with the help of baby or not, can help prevent aches and pain. Try Straighten Up Canada for quick and easy exercises. When you child is older, he or she can join in too!

  1. Stroller

The height of the handlebar on your stroller should be at a comfortable level, approximately at the height of your belly button, enabling you to keep your shoulders and arms relaxed. Keep your elbows soft and wrists neutral instead of flexed.

  1. Take care of yourself

Parenthood can be exhausting, yet extremely rewarding. Self-care is important and maximizing your rest opportunities can help you manage the extra demands. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends or anyone else in your support network. Finding a few moments every day for movement and physical activity can also help you manage stress and physical demands.

 

References:

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Royal York Chiropractic and Massage Therapy (416) 233-5413
4.9 6
Dundas Street West Toronto Ontario M8X 1Y3
  • I started going to Dr. Marco back in January 2020 when I was suffering a lower back injury. After seeing the reviews on google, I decided to give him a chance and I haven't looked back. Dr. Marco has helped me in my recovery and brought me back to feeling healthier than ever. He is extremely knowledgeable, kind and easy to talk too. Not to mention, the prices are very reasonable and not overpriced. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for a chiropractor in Etobicoke.
  • Royal York Chiropractic was recommended to me by multiple people, so I decided to give it a go for my back and shoulder problems. My first experience with Dr. Marco was extremely positive. He is very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. His honesty and commitment to improving my pain is what kept me coming back. Very positive experience!
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for many years now and he helps me each time I see him. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and has a level of clinical awareness that comes from years of experience which helps to create an overall positive interaction. Making appointments is never an issue and the clinic environment is welcoming and relaxing. Highly recommend him!
  • I have had very positive experiences with Royal York Chiropractic. While Dr. Peter has predominantly been overseeing my care, I have had adjustments with Dr. Marco as well. Both are competent, caring, friendly and willing to answer questions. Anna keeps the office well-organized and the few times I've had to wait, it has never been for long.
  • I have been seeing Dr. Marco for a few years now and he helps me every time. His adjustments are precise and effective, he knows what he is doing. He can be aggressive or as gentle as you need. Appointments have never been an issue, he always works around my schedule. I would highly recommend him!