Saturday, November 3, 2012

How to Carry A Baby Post Pregnancy

Why standing with poor posture whilst carrying a baby increases lower back pain and prevents diastasis recti from healing?

Me and my 3rd Daughter Beau
As a corrective exercise specialist and personal trainer I assess clients posture frequently. I do this by testing muscle length so I can see which muscles are long and weak or short and tight. The way we sit, stand, play and pregnancy effects our posture. If we continue to hold poor posture because of weakened core muscles it will cause problems. Poor posture and weak muscles generally equates to muscles aches and pain!

What we need to do

I try to stand level and balanced as often as I can when I'm holding my children. I know how standing on one hip and swaying forward leading from my abdominal muscles can cause back problems and prevent abdominal muscles from healing pre and post pregnancy.
I do know though as a busy mum myself just how hard it actually is to maintain good postural habits throughout the day. This is why I suggest that you aim to change a little each day and by doing this it will eventually start to make a difference.

Don't Sway your back sticking your stomach muscles forward 

You can do correct exercises post pregnancy but if you continually hold your baby with your stomach muscles pushing forward then your abdominal separation (diastasis recti: self test) caused by your pregnancy wont heal and you may even make it worse!
Have a think about what you are doing when you are standing with this poor posture: it stretches and puts strain on already weakened abdominal muscles and connective tissue potentially separating them further. You wont see the results you really want unless you change your posture and carrying technique.

Avoid Hip Hitching

If you continually stand on one hip whilst carrying baby or small children then you will weaken one side of your body whilst tightening the other causing asymmetrical imbalances. This can cause pain in your lower back, hip, knees and even shoulders!

You may even hold both these poor postures, standing on one hip and pushing your hips forward! You need to change this.

Pre and Post Natal Hormones

The pregnancy hormones relaxin and progesterone that weaken muscles and ligaments during pregnancy so that your body can adapt to a pregnancy are mostly to blame along with a growing uterus and baby!
Pregnancy hormones are still in your system 4-6 months post birth. It is these hormones that can accelerate muscle pain caused from poor posture. You may have been pain free before your pregnancy but now poor posture, muscle imbalances and pre and post pregnancy diastasis recti can cause pain. For more on Correct Posture: Click here

Try these corrective exercises:

Activate your transverse abdominal muscle (TVA) and pelvic floor muscles whilst you are lifting, changing and carrying your children. To make sure you can activate this important muscle correctly have a look at my video guide: TVA- Activate Correctly .

Stand as often as you can with your hip bones level. Place your hands on your pelvis to see if you can feel when your hips are level and see how the feel when they are not.

Do specific exercises post birth but also make sure you think about the above points and by doing both you should recover quicker, have less pain and heal your diastasis recti!

Follow the above video and correct how you carry your babies from newborn to toddler.

For a 12 week Post Pregnancy Exercise Program which covers ALL your post pregnancy exercise. Visit my website