Parenting Injuries are More Common Than You Think
It may sound ridiculous, but parenting is a common source of injury.
That’s right – kids are bad for your health!
Okay, joking aside, you actually can injure yourself performing average parenting tasks.
Reaching into a crib, leaning in to nurse a baby, carrying a carseat… all of these motions are repeated thousands of times in parenting and contribute to postures that can put your body into painful positions.
My second son is a “runner.” Holding hands through parking lots is NOT an option for us. Carrying my two and a half year old on my hip with one arm is my go-to move while I hold my son’s hand on the other side.
How could I have known that this would create shoulder, neck, and back pain?
Soreness comes with our title as “mommy.” But how do we know if our pain is something worth going to PT for, or if it’s something we can work out on our own through time?
How Can I Know if My Pain Requires Physical Therapy?
After having a baby, the last things we are wondering about (if at all) when we come home from the hospital are: How do I best pick up my baby? What is the proper feeding position? Is it a big deal if my back hurts? Will I need Physical Therapy after having a baby??
I didn’t think about it at all. Hour after hour I reached over as fast as I could in the middle of the night and used the feeding position where he latched best. Most times this left me in a weird position or hunched over. Was my back hurting? Heck yes! I just thought that was a normal part of the whole process.
Now, five years later I still catch myself daily doing more movements (like my “go-to” carrying position) that have created pain or injuries.
After watching this live facebook interview, I’m excited to be proactive about the aches and pains I feel each day.
Wondering if your pain requires Physical Therapy?
Jess, a rockstar mom and Physcal Therapist from CPR in Grand Rapids, talks us through how we can know if our pain requires PT.
She invites us to try CPR’s complimentary consultation and shares some helpful tips to start implementing at home for parents/caretakers who want to keep up with their kids.
If you’re in pain now or wanting to prevent pain/injuries in the future, these tips are for you:
How do you pick up a baby? What's the best feeding position? Is it a big deal if my back hurts? We're live today at The Center for Physical Rehabilitation Learning how to pick up a baby and 7 other ways to help moms (or anyone caring for little kids) prevent common injuries, plus easy stretches you can do at home to feel better. Questions for Jess? Leave them below! Also, good to know that CPR offers complimentary consultations at their locations across greater Grand Rapids. Call 616-954-0950 to schedule.
Posted by Grand Rapids Kids on Tuesday, December 5, 2017
What I wouldn’t give to have known this information five years ago! However, as Jess shares in her video, it is not too late to start prevention of future injuries or to reverse the toll our lingering habits have taken on our bodies.
So, Let’s get started!
7 Easy and Important PT Hacks to Prevent Future Injuries or Reverse Current Pain
Here are some ideas for reducing some of the aches and pains of mommyhood.
1 – When Feeding/Nursing
- Support your back with a pillow or foam roller.
- Do not sit slouched in a couch or chair.
- Bring baby up to you. Just a boppy or 1 pillow may not be enough and can cause strain on your neck.
- Try varying positions such as lying on your side.
2 – When Carrying Baby
Use a baby carrier or stroller when you need to hold baby for longer than five minutes at a time.
- Walking from your car to the store on average is fine.
- When inside of store use a cart for baby. If a cart is not an option make sure to switch sides in small intervals less than five minutes at at time.
Rotate sides in intervals of five minutes or less.
- After five minutes the average person starts to fatigue while stressing their back, hip, and /or shoulders.
- After five minutes the average person starts moving out of proper alignment.
Keep baby at the center and close to your body.
- Baby may face in or out. This will evenly distribute baby’s weight between both shoulders to keep better alignment in your back.
Do not stand longer than five minutes.
- If you are holding a newborn using good body mechanics, you could stand longer than you could holding a toddler. In general, try to switch the position every five minutes.
- After five minutes, variables such as the size or weight of your baby can cause the average person with good mechanics to put too much stress on their body.
- An injury usually arises when holding baby longer than five minutes is done repeatedly over time. This is called “repeated stress injury”.
3 – Carrying a Car Seat
- Do not carry a car seat with a baby in it, especially if baby is over 15lbs.
- Car seat is designed for the car, not for carrying and adds 8-10 lbs to weight of baby causing strain.
- Use a stroller or baby carrier if going a long distance.
- If you MUST carry the car seat hold at the center of/close to your body.
- Stick to above tips. Videos on the internet describing a “new” way of carrying a car seat are contrary to PT recommendation.
4 – Getting Baby in/out of crib
- If you cannot reach the baby standing on the ground use a level, safe step for leverage when lifting. (An example is a low step with a rubber bottom or aerobic step.)
5 – Picking up baby
- Do not bend at your waist.
- Avoid rounding forward, causing a “C” curve in your back.
- Squat down and “hinge” at the waist using mostly legs to support as you lift baby.
6 – New Habits
- Overall, be aware of posture and body mechanics.
- When sitting on the ground use something to support your back.
- Try not to stay in one position for longer than five minutes.
- Our bodies like movement so finding ways to exercise and stretch are important.
7 – Stretch
- Watch Jess’ video all the way through for details on how to do four easy stretches at home that relieve the stress we put on our bodies.
- Neck and back stretches can help relieve stress and pain, along with prevent future injury.
I’m Still Having a Hard Time Keeping Up With My Kids
Pain or No Pain? Incorporating these PT Hacks and stretches found in our FB live video should help you start feeling better. Doing these will act as an at-home litmus test as you ask yourself: Pain? Or no Pain?
If you’re still experiencing pain it’s probably your body’s way of giving a red flag before an injury. We often have stiffness or soreness that if not addressed will usually turn into a breakdown or injury. This is a good lesson for us to listen to our bodies!
Us mommas are notorious for putting off our own needs as we put our kids first even down to pain. We need to flip the way we view our pain: addressing our our body’s red flags is in fact putting our kids first. Because, I’m sure if you’re like me, you’ll want to be keeping up with your kids until you’re both old and gray.
Center for Physical Rehab has several locations of amazing PT’s that can’t wait to help you MOVE FORWARD!
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