Mothers who care for their babies full time may lift equivalent of nearly one tonne every day according to an analysis performed by insurance company, Million Dollar Woman. As a new Mum myself, I have now experienced just how much lifting and bending is required throughout a day! It may not be a large weight you are lifting in one go but the repetitive lifting required for changing nappies, feeding, settling, sleeping and playing with your baby adds up throughout the day! So mums With Babies – You Lift The Equivalent Of A Small Cow Every Day!
Other factors such as sleep deprivation, weak abdominal and back muscles, a history of back pain and improper lifting and bending technique can lead to back pain in many women. Back pain not only affects your physical health but can affect your emotional and mental health too. Mothers who have pelvic or low back pain are at greater risk of postnatal depression according to a study in the European Spine Journal (2011).
Follow these five easy steps when lifting your baby or child to ensure you care for your back:
- get as close to your baby or child as possible (drop the sides of the cot down where possible)
- bend your knees, squat (with your feet shoulder width apart) or lunge down and keep your back straight
- tighten your stomach muscles
- avoid twisting and
- use your thigh muscles to stand up
You could have a little note in places you lift regularly to remind you to use your correct lifting technique! Your role as a Mother is so valuable and important! Enjoy good health this Mother’s Day! Keep an eye out for the next article which will give you some more tips for looking after your back and your health as a Mother.
Do you know a recent Mum who would find this helpful?
Article written by Dr Melanie Woollam (Osteopath)
Million Dollar Woman: Insurance for Woman http://www.milliondollarwoman.com.au/resource-centre/news-and-media/mums-lift-baby-tonne-every-day
Impact of postpartum lumbopelvic pain on disability, pain intensity, health related quality of life, activity level, kinesiophobia and depressive symptoms. European Spine Journal (2011). Gute, A., et al.