30 Nov Post-Partum Tips: Reduce Back, Neck and Wrist Strain
Some of the most common orthopedic pain post pregnancy caring for a newborn are back, neck and wrist/hand pain. Here are some tips pre and post-partum for minimizing the likelihood of these pains.
- Consider putting a changing table on your dining room table when baby first comes home to save your back and for easier access. Your kitchen table and higher dressers are a good height so you are not bending down constantly.
- When you bend down to pick up your baby, or if staying upright, first perform your pelvic tilt and hold it. (see previous post at http://www.dashpt.com/pre-and-post-partum-back-health/ for pelvic tilt instruction). Get as close as you can to the baby (move baby first towards you in the crib if need be), then bending your knees slightly and lift from your legs and buttocks instead of your back. The closer your baby is to you when you lift the better. Don’t forget to hold the tilt for the duration of the lifting!!
- Look for a stroller that sits up higher so you aren’t bending down as much. Strollers such as Stokke and Uppababy vista with adapters can achieve this. Be selective in your purchases with height in mind. (note how high my son is in the Uppababy with adapter. No bending down to lift him in and out!)
- Sit next to baby in the car when possible whenever you are transferring into the carseat.
- Repetitive bending forward is the hardest on your back so try to leave necessary objects on higher surfaces to avoid bending. Diaper bags, etc should be left on a shelf or bench, not the floor.
- Another silent killer is holding and rocking baby for long periods of time. Try to get baby used to this while sitting if possible. Habits are hard to break later so try this from the start so baby does not get used to the walking/pacing. If you cannot sit, do remember to keep the abdominals engaged and the pelvis tilted to brace the back.
- Work on abdominal strength, arm strength and pelvic tilts before pregnancy, during pregnancy and after!