Baby Care: 5 Tips to Protect Your Spine
Having a new baby can be one of the greatest experiences in a person’s life. Caring for a newborn can be both rewarding and life changing. However, it is important for a parent to take care of themselves to insure that this special time is enjoyable both emotionally and physically. Here are some basic tips:
1. Always engage your core before lifting your baby. Although newborns can be light, the repetitive nature of lifting your baby can place a significant strain on your back. To engage your core, draw in your belly button towards your spine. When done properly you should feel your abdominal muscles get tight as well as feeling muscular contraction in your lower back muscles.
2. Do not change your baby on your bed or the floor. Use a changing table. A proper height of a changing table will allow you to comfortably change your baby without placing significant strain on your back. Try to maintain your lower back curve when leaning over the changing table, and avoid rounding your lower back. If need be, keep one foot on a stool while changing your baby, it will help take strain off your back.
3. Use a stroller that allows you to grab the handles without having to slump forward because the handles are too low. A stroller with adjustable handles can accommodate the heights of both parents.
4. Hold your baby close to you and avoid holding the baby with outstretched hands. Especially when placing your baby in a car seat.
5. Alternate night duties. Sleep is one of the most important aspects of healing. Fatigue can lead to vulnerability to injury and a decreased immune system. Although easier said than done, if possible it can really help you through the first few months of parenting.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy this time.