The Joy and (Back) Pain of Being a New Mom
Did you know your body is considered postpartum for an entire year after your little one arrives? Unbeknownst to many new moms, post-pregnancy hormones have a powerful effect on your joints, ligaments, lower back, and other parts of your body.
What should you do to avoid postpartum pain? And, are there ways to bounce back from your pregnancy more quickly, with minimal discomfort? Absolutely!
Keep reading to learn 5 ways to help your body heal faster and more effectively.
1. Adjust Your Posture
It’s only realistic to expect some back pain as part of your new-mom healing process — after all, giving birth is strenuous on every muscle in your body, particularly your spine. And, with a newborn in your life, you’ll also likely find yourself sitting down more than ever, which places pressure on your spine and negatively impacts your posture. All said, it translates to lingering aches and pain in your back.
Back pain, however, shouldn’t sideline you from everyday activity. When sitting with your baby, use a footstool to elevate your feet to minimize pressure on your back. And, to help your body recover more quickly, consider making an appointment for a chiropractic adjustment to help your pelvis, hips, and spine regain their equilibrium and return to normal.
2. Adjust Baby’s Position
Among many other changes in your life, you’re constantly toting around your new baby and your body may not be used to the new routine. Between feeding, holding, rocking, placing your child on a changing table, in a swing or in a crib, it’s quite common to develop back pain, not to mention neck pain, shoulder pain, and misaligned hips. So what’s a mom to do?
When you pick up your child, hold her close to your midline. This method activates naturally durable muscles that support you more readily. When possible, support your baby with your bicep, giving your wrists and hands a break from the strain. Additionally, your shoulder placement in this stance maximizes your ability to breathe and you’ll find your muscles won’t tire as easily.
3. Build your Core
Core-strengthening exercises not only help get rid of excessive pregnancy layers but can promote better posture as you take on the new physical demands of parenthood. Exercises you’re likely already familiar with, such as pelvis tucks, planks, and crunches all build up your abdominals, strengthen your core, which in return, supports your back. Remember your muscles and ligaments are more flexible than usual following pregnancy, so adjust your speed and intensity accordingly. If you find yourself with sore muscles, ice, heat packs or a warm bath can do wonders for easing muscle (and mental) fatigue!
4. Evaluate Your Car
It’s not uncommon for new parents to evaluate transportation options to accommodate their growing family. For many, parenthood means the days of two-door cars (temporarily) come to an end, due to the inconveniences of accessing the back seat. After a while, placing a car seat and child in and out becomes taxing on your back. If you are considering purchasing a new vehicle, a four-door or even a minivan can make your life considerably easier not to mention less strenuous on your back and shoulders.
Another car-shopping note: make sure your car has a LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) anchors for car seats, designed to make properly installing a car seat much simpler. Digging through car seat cushions to find the anchor can be not only frustrating but hard on your back. Fortunately, most cars built after 2002 have this LATCH feature.
5. Take Time for You
It’s only natural your primary focus is on your baby, especially in those first few months after giving birth. Don’t forget to care for yourself, too– napping when baby naps, staying properly hydrated, allowing your friends and neighbors to assist with laundry and cleaning–these are a few self-care basics. But don’t overlook the internal needs of your healing body. A visit to the chiropractor can help restore your body as you journey back to optimal health.
Schedule your appointment online or call us at (309) 233-2773–our goal is to learn all about your health, help you regain your sense of wellness, and avoid pain in the future. We’ll make sure you’re at your very best as you care for your new baby.