Tips to Prevent Injuries as a New Parent


Tips to Prevent Injuries as a New Parent

By Thomas Maybury, PT, DPT, OMT

The time after a child is born can be the most rewarding for new parents but can also be the most challenging to a new parent’s body. New stressors can be placed on your body with a newborn, due to carrying, rocking, and caring for your little one.  Improper mechanics while doing these basic things over time can create pain and add to the stress of parenthood. Here are a few tips on the right and wrong ways of doing a few daily tasks of a new parent that will help ease the strains and stresses of parenting.

Carrying/Holding Your Newborn or Toddler

Holding or carrying a newborn can sometimes lead to shoulder and neck pain if the carry is not done correctly. Make sure your shoulders are relaxed and away from your ears. This can help reduce compression pain in your neck and pain in your upper trapezius (muscle that starts at the base of your neck and goes across your shoulders and extends to the middle of your back).  Another great additional tip is to look up occasionally, to reduce the potential for neck pain to develop.

Incorrect Carry
Correct Carry

 

The Changing Table

When changing a baby’s diaper, you can use the table to reduce low back work which can offer some relief when changing diapers and bathing. If you position your hips against a stable table and focus on hip hinging verse bending over, you can reduce stress to lumbar spine (or lower back) and paraspinal muscles (three muscle groups that support your back).

Incorrect Stand
Correct Stand

 

Seated Posture when Feeding

Don’t underestimate the importance of pillows. Using a good supportive pillow under your arm when feeding (bottle or breast) or cuddling can continue to reduce stress in arms and shoulders.  And just like with carrying, remember to look up occasionally. Your neck will thank you for it.

Supported Sitting

Functional Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy is a great way to get functional exercises and strength training around childcare. The PTs at Professional Physical Therapy work with new parents and get them stronger and more comfortable so they can care for their child safely and at the same time have some fun. We use a weighted adjustable baby or the real thing.

Live Training
Practice Stepping

 

Our physical therapists at Professional PT are movement experts. If you are a new parent and are experiencing pain in the neck and/or shoulder or any other discomfort, request an appointment at Professional Physical Therapy. We are here to help you get your life healthier and more comfortable today!

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