Taking care of a newborn can be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll have – doing it with searing lower back pain, not so much. But after all those months of crazy hormonal changes, loosened ligaments and joints, along with strained abdominal muscles that’ve ruined your posture, it’s easier to see where all that postpartum back pain comes from.
Now, with a brand-new baby to care for (read: lifting, setting down and lifting again), it’s important to take all the precautions you can to reduce your pain.
Be Conscious of Your Posture
Try to eliminate bending or twisting your back as much as possible. This includes keeping things you regularly access at arm’s height, holding your baby close to you rather than with your arms stretched out, and keeping an upright posture. When you do need to bend down, start the movement with your legs instead of your back so you aren’t adding any additional strain. When it comes to feeding, it can be tempting to lean towards your baby, but focus on keeping your back upright and continue trying new positions until you find one that works for you without placing stress on your shoulders or back.
Integrating regular exercise into your daily routine will make a big difference in reducing your postpartum back pain while improving your mood. Keep it gentle at first and put the focus on opening and loosening the muscles with stretches like touching your toes, lunges, or side to side back rotations. Spending ten minutes a day practicing yoga or doing some light walking while your baby naps will help relieve tension. As you improve, try expanding exercises to include strength-building to improve your posture and prepare you for carrying your baby over the coming months. Be sure to check out the tips we got from Sarah Levey on pregnancy and postpartum workouts!
Get Off Your Feet
Taking care of a newborn is a full-time job, so resting is easier said than done. If possible, try not to stand for long periods. Experiencing back pain after birth isn’t easy, so take the time to sit back, relax, and put your feet up. Propping your feet on a footrest will help relieve stress in your back and get your circulation flowing. When you do need to stand, consider placing a small stool under one foot to relieve pressure throughout your legs and back.
After all you’ve been through, you deserve a break. Not only will this be good for your back, it will help you generally in your postpartum care plan. Getting a massage, from either your partner or a professional, will not only give you some much-needed stress relief, but will also improve circulation and help with pain in your back, neck and shoulders. Or, try taking a bath and letting the warm water work its magic. If you had a C-section, be sure to consult your doctor about when it’s safe for you to begin bathing. Taking time to relax will help reduce your overall stress, and your back will thank you.
Use a Car Seat & Stroller Combo
To make outings easier while protecting your back from further stress, opt for a car seat and stroller combination. With the Doona Car Seat & Stroller, straining your back to get your little one in and out of the car is a thing of the past. With one click, it seamlessly transitions from car seat to stroller, so you can get out and about pain-free.
Postpartum back pain makes it difficult to enjoy this time meant for bonding with your baby. The good news is postpartum back pain tends to resolve itself within a few months after delivery. Keeping up with regular exercise, relaxation and for more severe cases, trips to the chiropractor, will help get you through those first months so you can be focused on adjusting to life with your family’s new addition.