Avoid back pain during and after pregnancy with these simple ideas. A shifting center of gravity, added weight and the stretching of your abdominal muscles leave your lower back with much more work to do. Your pregnancy back pain may continue on well after delivery, partly because you’re still carrying around a baby – now in your arms instead of in your abdomen.
There are many reasons you may be experiencing pain from carrying your baby. One common problem is body mechanics. Another could be a need to strengthen your core. Finally, consider ergonomic carrying aides that help evenly distribute your baby’s weight across your upper body.
Despite how well we all know those old mantras, actually heeding their directions in the moment can be difficult. It’s the middle of the night and you were just woken up by baby’s cries; you rush to the nursery and bend down to take him out of the crib. Did you bend at the hips, not at the waist? Probably not; you’re tired and more focused on your child than the back pain you’ll feel tomorrow. Fast forward to tomorrow; it’s time to run errands. You put baby down in his car seat while trying to remember if you put his pacifier in the diaper bag, if you even have the diaper bag in the car yet and so on. Did you maintain a neutral spine when putting him in his seat? Probably not; you’re tired and thinking about a million other things. You get the picture: Just because the advice is cliché doesn’t make it easy. It requires conscious effort to practice proper bod mechanics.
Your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles were stretched out during pregnancy; once enough time has passed after delivery for you to recover, it’s time to start re-toning your core. This isn’t about getting the perfect bikini body or a 6-pack stomach; aiming for functional gains first and foremost will help you avoid back pain. Core fitness encourages proper posture by equipping your muscles with the strength to actually maintain it. By forcing you to pay attention to how you move and use your body, exercise also increases body awareness and can help you remember to practice proper body mechanics.
Ergonomic Baby Carriers
Wearable baby carriers are increasing in popularity. Moms and dads alike are beginning to see the wisdom (common knowledge in some other culture) of carrying your baby on your back or front supported by fabric or structured bags. Wearable front carriers allow you to maintain the intimacy of carrying your baby in your arms while affording you freer use of your arms and sparing your back by distributing baby’s weight evenly between your shoulders and hips. There are also backpack-style carriers that place baby on mom’s or dad’s back. While these lose in intimacy, they free up the front of your body and may be ideal for walks or other outdoor activities, allowing baby a better, “front seat” view rather than a view primarily dominated by your loving face. Check out www.babywearingschool.com to learn about different designs and safety tips.
New moms can combat lower back pain from carrying their babies around by paying attention to body mechanics, restrengthening their cores and making use of wearable baby carriers. Address pain early on before it becomes chronic.