Q: I am having problems with pain all over my body and I don’t know why. Could it be from carrying my baby for the past year?
A: You enjoy being outdoors with your baby, especially during these last warm, sunny days of the year. The new carriers make it easier to keep your child close and secure, while your arms are free. Chiropractors make a few recommendations to enhance this positive experience. During the first several months after birth, use a front carrier. This will hold the baby close to your center of gravity and take the stress off your back and shoulders. Look for a model with a hip belt that distributes weight evenly, so you do not hurt your back. The carriers with diagonal straps that swag across your body and cradle the infant also prevent back strain.
When the baby gets older, use a backpack with wide straps for your shoulders and waist to help equalize the child’s weight. The shoulder straps should fit comfortably over the center of your collarbone. Try on several models with your son or daughter in place to see which is the most comfortable. Also look for a style that adjusts to fit different adult heights.
Be very careful about your baby’s posture as well. Since the cervical spine of a child under a year old is not completely developed, be sure to use a sling that keeps your infant’s head and spine stable without bobbing. Similarly, do not jog while using a carrier because the baby’s body is not adjusted to the cyclic pattern of running. This motion can do damage to the baby’s neck, spine and/or brain.
I have four children and remember carrying each of them. Over time I had less pain because I got smarter about how I carried them. The tips I mention here will help, but just to contrast it for you here are two things that are sure to create pain for mommy or daddy sooner or later. First, is carrying a child of any size on your hip with your pelvis shifted out to the side used as a seat for the child. This will eventually lead to problems. Second is lifting and carrying a conventional carrier too much. You will maybe start to have pain and not even know why. Some have a handle that can help from arm and wrist pain, but all of them create great imbalance of the spine. Limit this stress to yourself as much as possible.
If you experience any pain from using a carrier or are concerned about how to carry your baby, call your Doctor of Chiropractic. Chiropractors are licensed and trained to diagnose and treat patients of all ages and use a special form of care for younger children and babies.
My office and providers voluntarily offer community health talks free of charge to those in the Morgantown area. Each speaker is a representative of The Foundation for Wellness Professionals.
We can also be reached at 304-225-9355 for questions regarding this community health service, if your organization is interested in wellness speakers.
5:30-7 p.m. Friday: Live demo for facial microneedling with PRP (platet rich plasma) and for microneedling for hair restoration with PRP at 699 Burroughs St. Limited seating. Call 304-225-9355.
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