Preventing Back Pain in New Moms

Back pain: It’s one of the many discomforts that can plague women during pregnancy. Fortunately, it usually goes away about two weeks after delivery. However, improperly lifting and carrying your baby can cause it to return. According to one study, about one in 10 new moms reported back pain three months after giving birth.

Young, overweight women have a higher risk for back pain, but these tips can help moms keep back pain at bay.

Get moving. Start to exercise soon after your baby is born. This will help you restore muscle tone to your stomach and back muscles. Don’t forget to stretch, too. Doing so will help you regain flexibility in your hips and back. If you had a C-section, talk with your doctor about when it’s safe to begin exercising.

Carry from your core. Try not to carry your child on your hip, which stresses your back. Instead, try a front-pack carrier.

Feed with good form. When breastfeeding, bring your baby to your breast, rather than bringing your breast to your baby. Also, find an upright chair to sit in rather than a soft couch.

Lift with care. The simple act of picking your baby up—something you may do as many as 50 times a day—puts a lot of stress on your back. Bring your baby close to your chest before lifting. When picking up your baby from the floor, bend at your knees, squat down, flex your tummy muscles, and lift with your legs. Before taking your child out of a high chair, remove the tray.

Paying attention to how you lift is important as your child ages, too. By age 3, he or she will be a toddler who likely weighs around 25 or 30 pounds.

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