Musculoskeletal pain is a common occurrence in new Mums. With changes to the body during pregnancy and recovering from labour, followed by long days of picking up and putting down a slowly growing little bub, the body goes through a lot change and repetitive loading. As kids grow, it can be harder still to settle a heavy toddler who just wants to be picked up!
Common issues new Mum's face are lower back pain, upper back and neck stiffness from leaning over the cot, wrist and hand pain from the repetitive movements of picking up your baby and pelvic pain from the changes and stresses the body goes through during pregnancy and labour.
Although it can be difficult to take some time to look after yourself, here are a few simple tips that may new Mums get on top of their discomfort:
- If you are feeding your bub, try to feed them lying down. Particularly in the very early days, some Mums may spend 8 hours out of a whole day just feeding! Whether it's bottle or breast, find a spot where you can lie down and rest your body while you're feeding. This takes the load off your pelvic floor, and can help prevent sitting-related lower and upper back pain.
- If you are carrying your bub frequently, invest in an ergonomic and safe baby carrier. This takes the weight off your arms, enables you to move about freely and can be a lovely way to cuddle bub without getting stiff and tight through your upper back and neck!
- When lowering bub in and out of a cot, try to ensure you are folding at the hip (think "Bottom out behind you") rather than just bending through your back. Although you may not be sore at the time, if you are doing this many times throughout the day, the loading really starts to add up.
- If you are trying to settle your bub in a cot or bassinette, pull up something you can sit on rather than just leaning over the cot or bassinette. A fitball is a great option for a seat. You can easily move it where you want to sit, and because it is not a fixed surface, your tummy muscles need to keep working and your posture tends to be more upright.
If you have ongoing issues with Musculoskeletal pain, a Physiotherapy assessment is a great place to seek help. Our practitioners can help assess your individual needs and weaknesses that may be contributing to your pain, and help you structure a routine that fits in to the busy lifestyle of a new Mum to help your discomfort improve.