Tips for Proper Lifting and Carrying
Sore back, tight hips and that cramp in your neck that just won't go away.
Motherhood is definitely a physical job - 24/7!
As new moms, you spend lots of time lifting, carrying, bending and twisting. And if you don't give your body the same attention that you would give to your little one, all these movements (plus that added exhaustion), can take its toll.
The good news is that by using simple lifting and bending techniques, you can avoid fatigue, discomfort and injury. Keep reading for more.
- Hip carry – Super convenient and practical. Carrying your baby on one hip, frees up your other hand for things like eating your lunch! But beware of overloading one side of the body. Try to keep an upright posture while holding baby on one hip. Alternating the hip you carry on, will also help alleviate strain on one side.
- Shoulder carry – Great for snuggles and closeness. As your baby grows, the increased weight moves your center of gravity forward, putting more strain on your back. Balance your workload by pressing your shoulder blades back and down. Also, shift your baby from one shoulder to the other.
- Front carry – They can see the world - and you can have a break! Using both arms to hold your baby in front puts less strain on your wrists. Make sure to pull your shoulder blades back and down to avoid any upper back and shoulder rounding.
- Always face the object you are lifting. This avoids strain from twisting.
- Bring the object close to your body before lifting. This puts less stress on your back.
- Squat, kneel down or hip hinge (deadlift motion) to lift. Keep your back straight.
- Inhale as you lower down to the object, and exhale and engage your core as you lift.
- Be aware of your posture during lifting. Keep your shoulder blades back.
- Avoid twisting. Instead, move or pivot your feet before lifting.
- Slow down and think before you lift.
- Bring your baby up to the breast or bottle rather than bending down to your baby Use pillows on your lap for support.
- Sit in a supportive chair for feeding rather than a squishy couch.
By increasing awareness during carrying, lifting and feeding, proper technique will soon become a habit so that you will naturally lift in a safe manner.