Preventing Back Pain: Tips for New Moms
Backaches are common in pregnant women and can continue postpartum, especially if there’s a weakness in the pelvic floor or the abdominal muscles. However, it is possible to set up some strategies to reduce or prevent these backaches from persisting.
Here are 10 tips to help new mothers minimize the risk of injury and back pain. Many of these tips can be useful for new dads too!
1. Accept help from your family and respect your limits.
2. If your child is on the floor, bend your knees rather than your back to pick her/him up and push with your legs to bring yourself back up.
3. Avoid holding your baby at arm's length; keep her/him close to your chest when moving around.
4. If the bars of your baby’s crib can be lowered, be sure to always do so when you have to put down and pick up your baby. If this is not the case and as long as your baby does not move around, you can keep the mattress in the highest position to avoid bending your back forward excessively.
5. During your walks, choose to use a stroller and try to maintain a good posture (do not lean against the stroller).
6. If you are nursing, sit down comfortably and bring your baby to your breast rather than you leaning forward. Depending on the position and where you are breastfeeding, you may require several cushions/pillows.
7. Initially, go for a shell car seat: this will allow you to securely fasten your baby without having to contort yourself in the car.
8. Avoid always carrying baby on the same side and vary positions. When she/he gets older, you can carry her/him in front, holding your child with both arms. If you carry her/him on the hip, alternate sides.
9. If you had a vaginal birth, it is generally recommended to wait four weeks before gradually resuming physical activity. If you had a C-section, it is recommended to wait six weeks before resuming training. In any case, consult your obstetrician and/or a physiotherapist specialized in perineal re-education before starting to exercise.
10. At any time, should your back pain not improve or increase, or if you notice any new symptoms such as urinary leakage on effort, don’t hesitate to see a physiotherapist.
Created by Melissa Rachiele and updated by ASP Piedmont