Often when new Mom’s (or Grandmothers) return to my office with back pain I hear them say, ‘I’m just so busy I must have done too much again’.
It’s easy to let good habits fall by the wayside when you’re focusing on your babies health. Your health and wellness is important too!
I recommend that you find a moment to think about how you can incorporate these tips to help keep your back healthy:
Good Posture = Good Health
When lifting, use your whole body by bending hips, knees and ankles, keep the child close and avoid twisting & lifting.
Try carrying the baby face-out from the middle of your body.
If carrying a baby on your side, alternate the sides frequently.
Adjust your stroller handle to belly button level and push with relaxed, slightly bent elbows.
Use a pillow or arm rest to support the baby while feeding.
Support your back when sitting on the floor.
When Knocking Out the House Work…
Stand upright when mopping or vacuuming and keep elbows close to the body and avoid torso twisting.
Use a small stool to sit or kneel in comfort while cleaning the lower bath or kitchen areas.
If bending to clean tight areas – arch your back, take frequent breaks, and change your posture often.
When standing at your sink or counter – use a wide stance and lean your stomach against the edge to lower your body and prevent leaning forward, wear comfortable shoes or mindful of good posture.
When You Finally Have a Moment to Sit Down…
Your feet should touch the floor or be supported.
Keep your knees & hips level.
Sit-up and keep your spine straight.
Look straight ahead to avoid neck strain.
Position your TV or computer monitor even or slightly below your line of sight.
Be Kind to Your Body When Using Mobile Devices
Sit-up when texting or reading.
Steady your device at chest or eye level to decrease neck and back stress.
Use a hands-free device instead of holding to your ear.
Be Smart When You Lift
Avoid lifting too much weight or awkward shaped things, then ensure a clear path to move the object.
Keep a wide stance and bend from the legs (not from the waist!).
Keep the load as close as possible to your body - avoid bending from your back.
Do not twist – be sure to pivot from your hips and feet to reduce back stress.
Driving Can Be Hard on the Body
Adjust your seat height and distance so that your knees are slightly bent and your back is supported.
Adjust your seat to slightly different positions on long drives to avoid unnecessary strain.
Use lumbar support to support the natural curve in your low back…but not too much!
On long drives, take frequent breaks to stretch and throw in a short walk.
Be Continuously Active
Exercise at least 30 mins, 3 times a week – you will feel a difference.
Take rest breaks every hour: recline in your chair for a moment or walk around for a few minutes.
Perform a different task every hour or so & use different muscles to relieve back
Walk, Walk and Walk A Little More
Walking at a brisk pace is beneficial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Maintain upright posture to avoid slumping or leaning forward while walking.
Use a pedometer to track progress and stay motivated!
Find a walking partner – you’ll find yourself walking much more often!
Warm-up Before Exercise and Focus on Good Form
Stretch and then warm-up for a few minutes by increasing your heart rate slowly for 5-minutes.
Walk briskly, swinging arms in a pain-free manner, start slow, building up to higher intensity exercise.
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