Parenthood means long nights, constant diaper changes and … a sore back? It’s true! While many new parents are prepared for the night feedings, the diapers, and the crying, they’re not really prepared for carrying another person around for several hours a day and the toll it takes on their back. Back pain has become a fairly common complaint for the new parent crowd, but you don’t have to count yourself among their ranks. Here’s how you can avoid new baby back pain and how your chiropractor can help.
What You Can Do
The first step to treating baby back pain is to see your chiropractor. If your back alignment has become an issue from the extra load they can help to set you straight. You will also want to ice the affected area when it starts to bother you. Ice is one of your first lines of defense when it comes to dealing with back pain – and if you’re breastfeeding you don’t exactly want to take a bunch of medicine!
After the initially painful period, you may want to consider a hot compress or a warm bath. Just be careful is you’re a new mom and don’t take a bath until you get the go-ahead from your doctor, especially if you had a cesarean section.
Another strategy for sore and overused muscles is a great rub down. See if your chiropractor can refer you to a massage therapist to help relieve some of the pain you are experiencing. Plus, what new parent doesn’t need a good massage?
Easier Said Than Done – Rest
After your baby is born you shouldn’t try to hit the ground running and get right back into your normal activities. Life has changed pretty significantly for you and your partner, so take your time and ease back into things. Remember to include a little self-care in your routine and take the time to rest when your baby is resting.
Good Baby Mechanics
This baby may be tiny, but how you lift he or she is going to make the difference between back pain and no back pain. Use proper lifting technique by making sure to lift with your legs and never your back. When you need to bend down, make sure you squat instead of bending at the waist. This goes for all the equipment that comes along with a baby such as strollers and car seats, too.
When carrying your baby make sure they are held as close to your body as possible. This will help reduce back strain and pain.
After having a baby, you will want to see your chiropractor for some postpartum care too. Your tendons, ligaments, and joints may still be a bit stretchy, so now is the time to make sure you are back in alignment and on a good course to continue that way.
Scarlett is currently a physiotherapy student at the University of Western Australia. She has a keen interest in physiotherapy as both her parents are physiotherapists with their own practice. Scarlett has also been a long time sufferer of scoliosis which has further motivated her studies in the field.