The arrival of a little one into the family is a blessing. It is a time of joy, happiness and love. There are many changes that happen in the months that follow. Making sure that your little one is warm, fed and safe is first on the agenda, but I’ll leave that bit to your expertise.
A few reminders to make your day a bit easier. Being mindful of your own body can go a long way. It can mean that you don’t suffer unnecessarily from pain, particularly back pain.
THE CHANGING STATION
Whether you have an actual station or chose to change wherever you find yourself, it is important to remember posture. If where you are changing is ever a bit low then this can place undue pressure on your lower back. Pointers:
1. Bend your knees & stick out your bum – Similar to a squat position.
2. If it is too low, like on a bed – Get on your knees and straighten out your back.
3. If all the above are too difficult simply change where you are changing your child.
This can be a challenging one because you ca find yourself in many different positions and at all times of the day/night. Regarding the time of day you find yourself lifting, this is something we will just have to accept. However, the variety of different positions we find ourselves in is something we can be mindful of. From an awkward car seat, to a play centre, bouncer or simply the ground, it is important to remember these simple things:
1. ALWAYS have your hips facing the child before lifting – NEVER twist your back.
2. Bend your knees and hinge from the hips – like squatting
3. Before lifting make sure to make a concerted effort to engage your core.
4. When lifting, bring your child close to your body, if possible, before making any steps.
1. Always keep your child close to your body.
2. Try not to favour one side. This can be difficult as everyone has a stronger side but it can play havoc with your body in the long term – Imbalances which may cause injury or pain.
If you want to play with your child often lying down on the ground with them is the best way. Apart from bringing you to their level, helping to engage with them, it also saves your back as bending over can put too much pressure on your lower back. Similar to this lying down with your child avoids you sitting in poor posture while playing with them. An interesting and fun way to bring yourself down to their level is sitting in a deep squat. Playing around in this position can be very beneficial and stimulating for the musculature around the hips.
TAKE HOME MESSAGES
1. Be more aware of your body.
2. LIFTING – Shoulders & hips should face your child. Bend your knees like a squat.
3. CARRYING – Keep child close to body. Don’t favour one side.
4. CHANGING – Mindful of your back. Bend your knees & squat or get down on your knees.
5. PLAYING – Lie on the ground, kneel or deep squat position.