Tips to Ease Your Back Pain and Sore Joints
Pregnancy and back pain go hand-in-hand. Because of the physical toll of bringing a child to full-term, it’s easy to see why three-quarters of pregnant women have aching back at some point in their pregnancy. Usually, that pain goes away after delivery, but sometimes it returns as you go about your new daily routine with your baby. A research study on postpartum lower-back pain reports that more than 67% of women experience back pain directly after delivery and 37% of women report pain at follow-up exams. New mom back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, from breastfeeding to baby carriers. New dads can experience and suffer from back pain, too, as they take care of their newborns.
The doctors at Unruh Spine Centers know that being a new parent is hard work. Parents often neglect their own needs when caring for their baby, leading to stress that can result in neck, back, joint pain and fatigue. Our mission is to help you live a pain-free life. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
1. Your Changing Body
A woman’s body goes through tremendous changes during pregnancy, involving fluid retention, weight gain, and an ever-changing center of gravity. During the postpartum period, the reverse happens, as the body gradually reverts to its normal shape. It’s no wonder you’re experiencing tremendous aches and pains, especially in the lower back. If you’re a new mom experiencing significant pain, postnatal chiropractic care can help relieve joint and ligament pain and relieve pressure points so you can live more comfortably during this exciting time in your life.
2. Lifting Baby Throughout the Day
At first, your baby only weighs about seven to ten pounds, but as she grows, her weight will increase. By the time your little one is two years old, she can weigh, on average, from 26 to 28 pounds, sometimes more if she’s big for her age. Repeatedly lifting your baby to put her in her crib in a high chair and carrying her when she needs comfort puts a lot of stress on your lower back.
Whenever you lift your baby, avoid bending over from your waist. Instead, bend your knees and squat down. Always pull in your abdominal muscles to tighten your core and protect your spine. Straighten your legs as you lift your child. When placing your baby in the high chair, always remove the tray instead of shimmying him into it, as you’ll have to lift him higher, putting more strain on your back.
3. Breastfeeding Your Baby
If you don’t sit properly when feeding your baby, you can experience upper back pain. Avoid bending over to breastfeed. Instead, bring your baby up to your breast using one or two pillows placed on your lap. Choose a seat with back support instead of sitting on a soft chair or couch. Before you start feeding, do a few shoulder-blade squeezes to help activate the muscles in the upper back.
4. Carrying and Traveling With Your Baby
As your child grows, he becomes more difficult to carry. Many parents resort to placing their babies on one hip, especially when attempting to do tasks around the home. However, this practice overloads the back muscles. Try to use a front pack to carry your baby, as this aid helps prevent back pain by distributing your baby’s weight evenly across your body.
As your baby gets heavier, so does her car seat. Most parents stand outside their vehicles and secure their infants. A better practice involves sitting next to the seat to secure the straps, as this position will exert less of a twisting motion on your body. Similarly, fasten the car seat into its base first, then bring out your baby separately. The combined weight of carrying your baby and the seat can put undue stress on your back.
5. Sciatica Caused by Pregnancy
Sciatica frequently begins in the final trimester when a slipped disc presses directly on the sciatic nerve or if the sciatic nerve becomes pinched as ligaments loosen for birth, and your center of gravity shifts. Discomfort occurs on one side of the body and can vary widely, from a mild ache to shooting pain that radiates from the lower back down to the legs.
6. Twisting Into Unnatural Positions
We’ve all done it- when we’re in the car, reaching back to give your baby a dropped sippy cup or a favorite toy that has fallen. Maybe you realize that you have forgotten an important item at the last minute and attempt to include it while holding too many essential baby items. Such actions can result in sprains and strains, commonly referred to as “throwing out your back.” take your time instead of hurrying.
Schedule Your New Parent Appointment Now
Taking care of yourself will help you take care of your baby. Schedule your appointment at Unruh Spine Centers to get the relief you deserve with a personalized treatment plan.