Backache from Carrying New Baby. Part 1

Q.I have an eight-week-old baby. I’ve had my six-week postpartum checkup and everything is great. However, I’ve started having some mild back pain. I think it is from carrying my son up and down the stairs all day — I change him in his nursery and then come back down to the living area. What can I do to strengthen my back muscles? Are there any tricks on how to carry him so that I’m not straining my back?

D.C.

A.Postpartum back pain is a fairly common problem in my practice. Many woman have back pain during pregnancy, as a result of the weight of the fetus and the amniotic sac. You say that your pain started in the postpartum period; this is also fairly common and — as you suggest — is often related to lifting and carrying an infant.

A. The first thing I stress to my patients is to use proper lifting techniques. Lifting a baby from a crib or bassinet often involves bending forward; this is improper body mechanics. If possible, it is best to use your legs when lifting rather than bending forward with your back. Secondly, when carrying a young child, it’s best to hold the child close to your body, not with your arms extended.

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