5 mum habits to get rid of for a healthy back

Singapore Pain Solutions - 5 Poor Mum Habits That Causes Back Pain

Congratulations on your new-born! Your bundle of joy is finally out after a painful few hours of labour, but unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that your physical pain is over.

I get it. After all, I’ve just given birth to an adorable little girl of my own. Even as a chiropractor, I experienced some back pain after pregnancy. Just think about all the additional manual labour involved after childbirth: feeding the baby, carrying the baby, playing with the baby, carrying baby supplies, and the list goes on. You’ll also realise that your lower back pain grows with your child! How strange is that!

But there’s a good reason behind that, of course. Your baby is growing heavier each day, but your bad back habits don’t change, which intensifies the problem. Adding to that problem is a hormone called relaxin that (you guessed it!) relaxes your joints and ligaments in your pelvis, making it easier for the baby to pass through your birth canal. The level of that hormone remains high for three to four months after childbirth, which also means it leaves you susceptible to joint and ligament inflammation and joint misalignment, including those along your spine.

Poor Mum Habits That Causes Back Pain

  1. Poor Feeding Posture

Your little monster is growing quickly and needs to be fed 8-10 times a day. Inevitably, we sometimes feel a little lazy and slouch over our baby to feed. In this position, your spine is curved unnaturally, putting undue stress on your back.

Those of us who don’t breastfeed is not spared as well. Holding a milk bottle for extended periods of time increases the chances of carpal tunnel syndrome.

What you can do about it

Instead of leaning over your baby, carry the baby closer to your breasts. To relief further tension and also to avoid tiring your arms and shoulders out, nurse your baby in a reclined position or while lying on your side if you can. In either of these positions, you can relax your muscles while the baby feeds.

If you’re bottle-feeding, consider holding the bottle with your palm facing up, keeping your wrist in a neutral position (knuckles, wrist and forearm in a straight line).

  1. Poor Diaper-changing Posture

Another thing that we need to do many times a day (sometimes up to 8 times) is to clean up after our baby. For about 2-5 minutes each time, we will bend over to get the dirty deed done. In this position, our backs are experiencing a lot of unnecessary tension.

What you can do about it

Avoid changing your baby on a surface that leaves you with no choice but to bend over. Make sure that your changing table is the height of your diaphragm, such that your elbows form a 90-degree angle when you’re standing upright while having your forearms parallel to the surface. This setup means that you no longer have to bend over to change your child.

  1. Poor Lifting Posture

Regardless of what we’re lifting, there’s a tendency for us to underestimate the impact of the load, and so we bend over to pick it up. Picking up a child is no different. You may think that you can bend over to lift your baby from a pram or carry boxes of toys, but you are putting yourself at risk of a slipped disc.

What you can do about it

Squat down, bring your child closer to you and lift. If your child is in a crib, stand shoulder-width apart, bring your child closer to you, bend your knees to lower yourself as much as you reasonably can and lift. The same principles apply to whatever you are lifting.

  1. Poor Carrying Posture

Part of being a mum is to be the tree to your new born koala (or panda if you would). Your child seems to cling on to you every waking moment. Besides that, you’ll also have to carry the kid when you’re out and about, sometimes even while shopping. The most dangerous carrying posture is to carry your baby on your hips. Your spine gets thrown out of alignment and your back gets overloaded.

What you can do about it

Put your baby in a baby stroller if you can help it. Otherwise, consider using a front pack. A well-designed pack distributes the weight throughout your body, relieving your back of some stress. Even better, get your husband to do some work! Also, consider not doing any heavy shopping when you need to carry your baby.

  1. Poor Body Conditioning

Of course, after months of inactivity, your physical fitness will be in poor condition! With the newborn, it makes it doubly hard for your body to cope with the weight of your new responsibilities. Imagine trying to lift weights in the gym without training, only that you can’t give up right now.

What you can do about it

Do some light core exercises to help your back cope with the physical demands. You can also perform stretches to help ease the tension on your back. You may even consider swimming weeks after childbirth, which is a good way to strengthen your core without exerting any undue stress on your joints.

Experiencing back pain after giving birth and can’t seem to find relief? We’ve got your back! Book an appointment with us to check on your back pain.

Cover image by Vânia Raposo on Pixabay.com

Photo by Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels, Steven Cleghorn on Unsplash and M_a_y_a on iStock

Dr. Jenny Li
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Dr. Jenny Li

Founding Chiropractor at Singapore Pain Solutions
Dr. Jenny Li is America trained chiropractor who specialises in sports injury, sports performance, and spinal health. She graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in United States, upon completion of the her post graduate program she practiced in Hong Kong and currently is practicing in Singapore. Dr. Jenny believes optimal sports performance starts with structure of human body as she helps her patients to achieve breakthroughs in their performance by choosing chiropractic. She is also the contributing writer for local online health and lifestyle magazine Soulscape.

Dr. Jenny Li is the appointed chairman of Medical Committee for NABBA WFF Singapore.
Dr. Jenny Li
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