Women’s Health Week
My Baby Has Arrived…But My Back Pain Is Still Here!
by Nancy Offner, PT, MSPT, CLT
Immediately after pregnancy and during breastfeeding, hormone levels are still changed and therefore ligament laxity will persist. As well, if you experienced the abdominal muscle separation, the effectiveness of your core muscles remains decreased. Here are some ways you can care for you as you care for your new baby:
Always lift with bent knees and a flat back. Engage your abdominal muscles every time you lift your baby. This will help with your back pain while lifting, but also begin to help re-strengthen your core!
Resist leaning over the crib side to get your baby out. Put down the side of the crib, get close to the edge of the crib, bend your knees, bend at your hips and keep your back flat as you reach forward to lift your baby. Always bring your baby close to your body before lifting or standing back up during lifting. (This goes the same for car seats, laundry baskets, diaper bags!)
When changing your baby, keep them on a safe surface that allows you to care for them without bending forward.
When breastfeeding, you want to position yourself so you do not have to lean forward towards your child. In sitting, place pillows in your lap to help support the baby in your arms and bring them closer to your breasts. Sit in a firm, supportive chair instead of a soft couch or the floor.
Going somewhere? If you can, put the car seat into the car without the baby in it first. Car seats are heavy and so are growing babies, so if you can carry them separately it will help decrease your back pain. When putting the car seat in the car, try to get in the back seat to avoid leaning over and into the car while standing outside the car.
Initiating a post-pregnancy exercise program can be a challenge with a newborn at home. But getting in some gentle exercises while the baby naps or when someone else can babysit will help regain your abdominal strength, core control and decrease back pain. A physical therapist can help develop a program that is right for your body and lifestyle. Always consult your physician before beginning a new exercise program.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT US AT PARRY PHYSICAL THERAPY GROUP TODAY!
215-538-1999 OR at www.ParryPTGroup.com