We’ve all heard of baby proofing the house, but what about baby proofing yourself? Delivering your little one has put a lot of stress on your body. But, now that your baby has arrived, the real work begins! So many of the daily actives that we carry out as parents can take a toll on our bodies – especially post-delivery. Here are 4 seemingly innocuous activities to watch for and modify (as needed) to help offset some of the post-delivery body stress:
- Lifting. One of the worst body ache culprits after the baby is born is lifting. You lift the baby; you lift the basinet, you life the laundry. Remember, your body just went through a MAJOR trauma. Albeit an amazing trauma, but still, a serious process. For the first little while after you deliver, try to focus on regaining your strength and minimizing the over-exertion. You’re likely tired enough as is! When lifting is necessary, make sure to use your legs and not just your back to minimize lower back pain.
- Hunching. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing. The connection and bonding it enables for new mothers and babies is incredible. But, the position we frequently sit in to do so can be really hard on our backs, shoulders and necks. Not only that, we also hunch over when we’re pushing the stroller and changing the baby. Try to be conscious of the position of your neck and shoulders during these activities in order to minimize the impact of hunching forward. The less stress you put on your muscles, the more mobile and flexible you’ll feel.
- Too much, too fast. Post baby, life gets really busy! Things you didn’t even know you’d have to be considering get added to your running to-do list and the schedule revolves exclusively around feeding times and sleep schedules. During this time, family and friends will likely want to include you and your family in social gatherings and celebrations. As tempting as it might be to say ‘yes’ to being included in everything, it’s important to take a minute to consider your energy levels. Saying ‘no’ when you have to doesn’t make you a bad friend or family member, it just means you’re tuning in to what you need!
- Exercising. These days, there’s a lot of pressure on new moms to get back to their ‘pre-baby weight’. TV and magazines bombard us with images of celebrities who drop the baby weight in what seems like days. REALITY CHECK: this is not the gold standard. While some women may naturally loose the weight more quickly than others, don’t put pressure on yourself to match anyone else’s process. Instituting healthy, post-baby routines is important, but try not to rake yourself over the coals if it takes some time to get back to the new “normal”.
This list is certainly not exhaustive. What activities and habits did you modify to account for your post-delivery body needs? We always love hearing from you, so drop us a line!