Being a parent and taking care of a child 24/7 can take a toll on your body. Common problems include muscle ache in the lower back and arms or tension on the shoulders—all of which are caused by bad posture.
Dr. Nekessa Remy, one of Canada’s top Chiropractors and wellness experts, has given us five tips on how to make sure that you have your posture in check and to relieve you from any further muscle pain.
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, make sure you sit tall, preferably in an armchair with your elbows supported so your arms and shoulders can relax. Use a feeding pillow under your baby so you don’t have to bend forward to reach your baby. A footstool under your feet and a small roll at the bottom of your back will keep you supported.
When holding or carrying your child, you should always hold him or her close to your body and balanced in the centre of your body. Avoid holding your child in one arm and balanced on your hip. When using a child carrier, be sure to keep your back straight and your shoulders back to avoid straining your back and neck.
As you lift your child out of their crib, keep you feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Engage your abdominal muscles, all while keeping your head up and bent at your hips. With both arms, grasp your child and hold him or her close to your chest. Straighten your hips so you are in an upright position, and then extend your knees to return to a full stand. To return your child to the crib, use the same technique and always remember to keep your child close to your chest.
When picking your child up off the floor, you should use a half- kneel lift. First, stand close to your child on the floor. While keeping your back straight, place one foot slightly forward of the other foot, and bend your hips and knees to lower yourself onto one knee. Once down on the floor, grasp your child with both arms and hold him or her close to your body. Tighten your abdominal muscles, push with your legs, and slowly return to the standing position. To place your child onto the floor, the same half-kneel technique should be performed.
When pushing your child in a stroller, stay as close to the stroller as possible, allowing your back to remain straight and your shoulders back. The force to push the stroller should come from your entire body, not just your arms. Avoid pushing the stroller too far ahead of you because this will cause you to hunch your back and shoulders forward.