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The baby that broke the mom's back OR how to get stronger while holding baby

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?
no_ha_0.jpg
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?
Like this:
yes_yo_0.jpg
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?

no_0.jpgbaby_up_higher_yes_0.jpg
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!)

Tip:
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.

 

Comments

I suffer from a lower back injury that was surgically repaired 5 years before the birth of my first child. Needless to say I suffered immense pain walking her around the house. It didn't help much that she never slept during the day and night, unless she was in my arms. So the pain in my back was constant but also sitting down didn't help much. The spasms continued for sitting down for long periods of time is as hard on the lower back as it is standing, maybe worst? Some of the methods you have pointed out would definitely helped out.

Posture is so important, whether you're holding a baby or not. I often look at weight lifting tips in order to learn new ways to help mothers hold their newborn children effectively. If it works for professional bodybuilders, it should work for new mom, too.

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