Mothers do a lot of lifting, carrying and holding, which means that they’re especially at risk of back pain. Here’s some advice from the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons:
- Begin exercising soon after delivery to restore muscle tone to the abdominal and back muscles. While the baby is sleeping, take 10 minutes to do stretching exercises on the floor each day. This will help restore hip and back flexibility. (If you’ve had a Caesar, wait six weeks or until you get the permission of your obstetrician before you begin exercising.
- Try to return to your normal weight within six weeks after giving birth.
- Do not stretch your arms out to pick up the baby. Bring the baby close to your chest before lifting. Avoid twisting your body.
- To pick up a child from the floor, bend at your knees, not at your waist. Squat down, tighten your stomach muscles and lift with your legs.
- Don’t bend over the crib and lift the baby over the top.
- Consider using a “front pack” to carry the baby when you are walking.
- Do not carry a child on your hip; this overloads the back muscles.
- To avoid upper back pain from breastfeeding, bring the baby to your breast, rather than bending over the baby. While you are nursing, sit in an upright chair rather than a soft couch.
- Do not stand outside the car and try to place the child in the car seat. Kneel on the back seat as you place the baby into the car seat.