New Mum Tips - Posture, Back Care & Wellbeing

by Chris Julian

5 Top Tips for New Mums image

5 Top Tips for New Mums (and dads!)  - Protecting your Back, Posture and Mental Wellbeing with Little Ones in Tow...


Parenting is simultaneously the hardest and most rewarding thing most people will ever do. We spend months preparing for how to care for this tiny human being, and once they arrive, the busy schedule of their little routines can become all consuming. Carrying your baby can cause neck and back problems. Get tips to look after yourselfUnderstandably, our own needs tend to come last on the the agenda!

Here at The House Clinics Bristol we see lots of Mums and Dads with little ones who have developed problems and injuries as a result of the physical demands that parenthood throws at them; the cocktail of sleep deprivation, loss of usual exercise routines, and changes in diet (ever tried to whip up a healthy stir fry with one hand during 'witching hour?!).


Here are our 5 top tips to avoid overloading your joints, muscles, and 'nerves', to help reduce the chance of developing problems and pain...


1)  Feeding: For Mums in the early days, maintaining supported positions and postures while breastfeeding is really important to avoid neck, shoulder, and back pain (easy to say but harder to do we know!). Try to sit in an upright position with cushions and pillows providing some lumbar support, and ensure your arms are supported too, in order to reduce tension in the shoulders. Once baby is latched and feeding, try to look up in front of you rather than down all the time, so your neck is not in a flexed position for long periods of time. Try different positions too, like lying down or standing, to vary the mechanics and postural positions. The same points apply for bottle feeding of course. Many new mums experience back and neck pain, and increased associated headaches, due to poor posture when feeding and carrying their small children.


2) Aim for Symmetry: One thing you will likely notice is that both yourself and the baby have a favourite side for feeding, holding, cuddles, bobbing to sleep etc. New mums need to look after themselves physically, The House Clinics, BristolThe classic one is holding baby on one hip all the time. When we always do things on one side of the body, and not the other, not only is this potentially overloading structures on one side, but our body develops imbalances and muscle memory for that alignment - a postural version of the old wives tale 'pulling a face in the wind'. We encourage our patients to be mindful of this and to try, when possible, to use both sides equally.


3) Do your pelvic floor exercises (Dad's too!!): The sheet of exercises given to Mum's by the midwife post-natally, including pelvic floor exercises (or  Kegels), is almost certainly the last thing on your mind in the early days. However, we cannot emphasize enough how important they are. Not only are they crucial in post-natal recovery for 'women's health' reasons, but the pelvic floor muscles also form an integral part of your core-muscle system,  which when dysfunctional, increases vulnerability to back pain and injury. There aren't many Dads with young kids that can honestly say they've been doing regular core exercises - hence the importance for men as well!  You may be thankful for improved core-muscle activation when you're on your 900th deep squat, trying to get your bundle of joy back to sleep at 3 am! These simple exercises can be done literally at any time and in any position.  And a good habit is to remember to activate these muscles when lifting baby in and out of the cot, car seat, etc to protect your back.


4) Get back into your exercise routines (but don't rush it): Even if it seems there are no spare hours in the day, getting into some form of exercise is great for your mental wellbeing as well as your body. There are many great options like 'Buggy Fit', yoga and pilates classes involving Mum AND baby, as well as gyms with a creche, that make exercise much more accessible as well as a positive social experience. The main thing is to take it slowly and not rush.  Remember that in addition to the physical recovery post-partum (both in natural and c-section deliveries), hormonal changes continue for several months post-pregnancy, which may influence inflammation and pain sensitivity in the body, ligament laxity, and endurance capacity. This is particularly relevant for women who may have done a lot of long-distance running, high-intensity weight training or high-impact sports. Just remember to take it easy and seek guidance from a health professional to return to these activities at the right time.Postural care for new mums, The House Clinics, Bristol


5) Manage your stress and wellbeing: Let's be honest, as much as they are amazing, squidgy bundles of joy, babies are stressful!!!   This plays havoc with our neurological function and emotional state, particularly when the sleepless nights start to kick in. We know that stress puts our body into a 'flight or fight' state in which the sympathetic nervous system becomes chronically overactive. This can lead to increased pain sensitivity, inflammation (swelling), altered hormone levels, to name just a few adverse side effects. Finding whatever works for you; whether it be trying a mindfulness app, meditation, yoga, treating yourself to a much-needed massage, or a walk in the outdoors with the buggy - try and manage the stress and recognise times when your body is in this state...and remembering to breathe is a great start!


How Can We Help?

At any stage, whether you're experiencing neck or back pain, increased headaches, or you would like a preventative check-up and some supportive treatment and advice, here at The House Clinics we would love to support you. Not only Mums and Dads but babies and children can benefit from Chiropractic care too! Don't allow those aches and pains to take the joy out of parenting and become the norm. Call now to discuss your needs  0117 9420200 or book online at



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