Baby Body Mechanics: Protect Your Back!

By Karen Woodman, Obstetrics PT
 
Correct posture principles when caring for your baby:
 
  • Keep your back slightly arched and bend your knees when lifting your baby.
  • Before standing or lifting, pull in and lift your lower belly muscles, continuing to breath.
  • Hold your baby close to your body.
  • Try using support when carrying your baby (i.e. slings, Baby Bjorn, Snuggli, etc.).
  • Sit straight and tall when breastfeeding; do not lean down into the baby.
  • Support your baby during feedings with a pillow/Boppy.
  • Try alternate nursing positions (football hold, side lying, cradle, or cross cradle).
  • Carry only what's needed in your diaper baby, or better yet, use a backpack.
  • Use the stroller attachment for your car carrier instead of hauling it around.
  • Avoid pushing your hip out to hold and carry the baby. Instead try to carry Baby with weight balanced over both legs and the baby front and center.
 
Source: APTA Section on Womens Health Postpartum Recovery handout.