While learning to take care of a newborn, moms and dads also learn that there are changes to their own bodies. New aches and pains from normal daily tasks such as lifting and carrying a child, pushing a stroller, or picking up toys off the floor can result from improper mechanics of doing things more often than your body is used to. Below are a few tips on how to use proper body mechanics to help ease the strains and stresses of parenting.
1.Lifting your child from the floor
When picking up your child from the floor, it is recommended to use a half-kneel lift.
Start by standing close to your child. While keeping your back straight, place one foot slightly forward compared to your other foot. Bend your knees to lower yourself onto one knee.
Grasps your child with both arms and hold them close to your body.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and push with your legs to slowly return to a standing position.
The half-kneel technique is also suitable for placing your child onto the floor.
2.Carrying/holding your child
When holding or carrying your child it is best to keep them close to the center of your body. Avoid holding them with one arm balanced on your hip.
If using a carrier, remember to keep your back straight and your shoulders back to avoid straining your back and neck.
3.Picking up items from the floor
The half-kneel technique can also be used for picking up items within your vicinity.
Always remember to keep your back straight while bending at your waist.
When lifting your child from a stroller, avoid twisting your back by standing directly in front of them. Make sure to bend from your hips rather your lower back, similar in performing a squat.
When walking your child in a stroller, stay close to the stroller as possible. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Avoid pushing the stroller too far ahead to prevent hunching your back and rounding your shoulders forward.
The changing table should be at an appropriate height, directly in front and slightly below the elbows. This helps avoid any unnecessary bending and twisting that may cause an injury. Placing diaper-changing materials within arm’s reach may also help prevent any injuries to the body.