As a parent, it is your duty to care for your newborn – to insure your child is safe at all times. But who is looking out for your safety – specifically, your back safety? Nearly, eighty percent of all people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In fact, back pain causes more disability for people ages 45 and younger than any other health care problem. Caring for a newborn is difficult, but when you hurt your back during the process, it can be nearly impossible. Here are three important steps to protect your back, while caring for a newborn:
1. Pick up Children Correctly
Parents, grandparents, and daycare workers will likely agree that picking up children at some point has hurt their backs. Why? People perform it incorrectly! But do not worry, with three simple steps, you'll pick up beckoning children painlessly more times than you'll want. First, get close to the child and squat down. Then, keep your back straight, bring the child close to your body, and stand. Avoid using your back to pick up the child. If performed correctly, you've turned a neutral (straight) spine and did not use your back to pick up the child.
2. Change a Baby's Diaper Properly
Parents of newborns know too well how often a baby's diaper needs changing. Hopefully, you're not placing unnecessary stress on your back each time you perform this important task. Use a changing surface that is high enough to prevent forward bending of your low back. However, if this is not feasible, keep your back straight, or neutral, and squat to bend forward. Work at a proper height to protect your back.
3. Properly Push a Stroller
The most important thing to consider when using a stroller is the height of the handles. When you push the stroller, the handles must be at a level that will prevent poor posture. If the handles are too low, it forces your back to bend forward, rounds your shoulders forward, and causes a forward head tilt. Avoid this. Check the handle height and ensure you are not slouched while you push the object. Keep your spinal neutral (straight) through the task. The height of the handles should enable you to push the stroller with the force directed out of your low back. Think of your low back as the area between the bottom of your ribcage and the top of your hips.