I hear it all the time: "My shoulder hurts from carrying my 8month old around all week." or "My baby is teething and I have to hold her all the time. Now, my back is sore."
Your shoulders and back might have been fine the week before and suddenly, boom, there is pain. The pain didn't come because you carried your baby more than usual. Well, it did. Kind of. Really, the pain came because you've been carrying your baby (and your own body) in a tissue damaging way from the start. And that one day, your body thought now is ENOUGH!
Most of us are too weak to carry ourselves, let alone a baby. Do you catch yourself standing with your hips out if front of you and your upper body pulled back?
Like this maybe?
Here am I demonstrating with my 3 month old how to balance on your skeleton rather than using your muscles to hold yourself (and the baby).
That is a lot of overuse in one area and a lot of underuse in another area. This imbalance sooner or later causes pain and has other not-necessarily-noticable-right-away side effects (pelvic floor dysfunction or osteoporosis in the hips or spine).
How about relying on your MUSCLES to do the job?
Here you can see that my legs are vertical (no leaning forward). My ribcage sits on top of my pelvis. I'm stacked nicely.
It's no balancing act anymore but a real butt workout.
(Except that it shouldn't be a butt workout because we should have the butt strength all along.)
What do you see in the photos below? Balancing act or some serious muscle use?
In the left picture, my hips are out in front and I overarch my back. I'm balancing on my skeleton again - minimum muscle use and maximum damage.
In the right picture, I have my hips stacked over my ankles and my rib cage stacked over my pelvis. My butt is working (as it should be) and my arms and shoulders, too.
Try it, this might be the best workout for you EVER. (Except it shouldn't feel like a workout because those muscle should be used to this kind of demand. We just never use our body like this. Damn modern living!)
Keep your elbows pointing down as well (elbow pits pointing up) and you're doing some serious restoration work in your shoulders.
Now use your muscles as you go about your day carrying and holding your baby. It's that easy.
PS: You can find your local Restorative Exercise Specialist to help you learn the difference between damaging and healthy movement habits.