We’d like to offer some tips for our moms, dads and caregivers on protecting your back as you are caring for infants.
Meal Time for Your Infant
Moms and dads both can enjoy feeding time with their infant. But even a young baby can quickly get heavy causing strain on your neck and shoulders. Here are a few tips on getting comfy while feeding your little one.
• Be sure to sit in a supportive chair with rests for your arms and your feet on the floor.
• Always use a nursing or other pillow to support the child fully. If you are nursing your child, bring the child up to you to breastfeed and avoid bending forward to reach the child.
• Even if using a bottle, be sure to frequently change which arm you are resting the child on.
• Nursing moms can also vary their positions further by lying on their side to feed her infant.
• Be careful to avoid keeping your head down for extended periods of time. It is very important to talk to and look at your little one, but be sure to look up frequently to ease your neck muscles.
Diaper Time = Bath Time = Fun Time
Changing and bathing your young child can be very hard on your back. But a few simple changes can make all the difference. Here are a few tips to save your back while keeping your child smelling and looking fresh.
• Changing a child should be done on a changing table or other higher surface if possible. If you have to use a bed, avoid bending at the waist and consider sitting in a chair or kneeling on the floor. Older children can climb up into your lap to dress.
• Sink or infant baths for younger children can really save your back as you avoid bending over. If using the sink to bathe your child, open up the cupboards underneath the sink to use as a foot rest.
• Tub baths can be very hard on your back. You always want to squat or kneel on a soft surface to avoid bending over at the waist. Use your stomach muscles and keep the child as close to you as possible to stand up.
• Always put safety first when bathing and dressing your young child. Never leave a child unattended and use safety mats and other safety items to keep him or her protected.
Amy Barrup PT, CWS is a Physical Therapist at North Country Hospital. Amy has worked there for 18 years. She is a native to the area having graduated from Lake Region UHS prior to receiving her Physical Therapy degree at UVM.