How to Avoid and Treat Back Pain When Caring for a New Baby
A new baby is sure to bring bring great joy to your life. However, they may also leave you (your spouse or anyone else caring for them) with back pain. Generally speaking, the back pain arises when you carry a baby on a regular basis. It can worsen when you add a car seat, stroller, diaper bag, and other baby necessities to your load. Bending over to pick up your baby can cause back pain as well. The good news is there are ways to protect your back when caring for a new baby. Without further ado, here they are.
How to Avoid Back Pain
Ideally, you'd take the necessary precautions to avoid back pain altogether. After all, prevention is always easier than treatment. To avoid back pain, be sure to:
- Lift Your Baby Properly: Every time you pick your baby up from a crib, bassinet, stroller, car seat, or anywhere else, bend your knees and get into a squat position. Keep your back straight and hold your baby as close to your body as possible. Instead of relying on your back, allow your legs to help you stand back up.
- Nurse with Caution: When you nurse your baby, do so in a quality chair with back support. Sit up straight and move your baby to your breast. A few pillows can help prop them up. To activate your back muscles, you may also want to squeeze your shoulder blades before you begin to nurse.
- Try Hands-Free Holding: A baby carrier can be a great way to carry your baby. When shopping for one, make sure it features wide shoulder straps and a belt that you can put around your hips. This way the carrier will be able to distribute some of the weight and allow you to hold your baby higher.
- Exercise: Don't be afraid to start working out as soon as your doctor gives you the okay. Search for videos and exercises that are specifically designed for new moms who would like to strengthen their muscles. Regular exercise can do wonders for back pain prevention.
How to Treat Back Pain
If you do experience back pain during your child's early years, rest assured there are a number of conservative treatments that can help you find relief. In most cases, back pain will improve or even resolve with physical therapy, stretching, cold and hot therapy, and steroid injections. Surgery may be necessary if your back pain becomes chronic and cannot be relieved through non-invasive measures.