As I babysat my new niece this week, I was quickly reminded of just how much babies love being held and rocked, like… at all times:). Constantly standing and soothing a baby can be extremely tiring and hard on a new mother’s healing body!
Often when we stand holding a baby, especially for long periods of time, we end up leaning back with our baby’s weight on our chest. Our hips have a tendency to press forward while our rib cage thrusts up. (see picture 1). This position compresses the lower back, stresses the healing abdominal wall and leads to downward pressure on the pelvic floor.
How to correct this? Ideally, become aware of distributing your weight equally through both feet, unlocking or softening your knees while keeping your rib cage stacked over a level pelvis (see picture 2). Does this take more work…? Yes it certainly does! Is there help out there…? Of course… read on!
- Find a wall to lean against! Place your bum and pelvis on the wall and keep both feet about a foot away. You will be supported and much more comfortable.
- Try placing one foot on a small step stool while you are holding. Alternate sides from time to time. Having one foot raised on a stool keeps your ribs and pelvis stacked and neutralizes extra curve in your low back, making this posture comfortable and ideal.
- Remember that exercise ball you bought for labour and delivery? Get it out and sit on that in your stacked position (ribs over top of pelvis). This is a great way for swaying, rocking, and GENTLY bouncing baby.
- Feeling tired with all that holding? It might be time to bust out a well-fitting baby carrier to help support the weight of your baby – more on this in a blog to come:)
Hope these tips help you!
Now get rocking/swaying/dancing baby mamas!