It’s that time in my life when everyone around me is having babies. It’s supposed to be this joyous time where you can enjoy those adorable little, but HEAVY ones. There are so many different aches and pains one can have when taking care of a baby, especially when carrying them. Lateral epicondylitis, Dequervain’s Thumb, shoulder tendonitis and low back pain. These are just a few conditions one can experience while trying to learn how to be a parent.
One of the biggest difficulties I see my friends having is arm pain due to heavy baby carriers and just plain old heavy babies. Here are some tips on how to decrease the pain and stiffness that comes from being a great parent.
- Elbow and forearm stretch: Stretch your arm out in front of you, palm down. With your other hand bend your wrist until you feel a stretch along the top of your forearm and outside elbow. Hold for 90 seconds. Then flip your out stretched arm with your palm face up. Pull your hand down again and feel a stretch along the inside of your forearm. Hold 90 seconds.
- Ice or Heat: What you use depends on what hurts. If your muscles are sore use heat, especially before stretching. If you feel like the elbow or shoulder joint hurts or was injured recently then ice for no more than 20 minutes
- Different ways to hold a baby: Change up the way you hold your precious bundle of joy!
- Switch sides or the hip you rest them on.
- Hold them in front of you with both arms wrapped around the child.
- Football carry – put the baby’s head near your elbow and hold your hand under their belly.
- Use Different Tools: There are wraps, backpack like carriers and slings that take the weight off your arms and onto your trunk.
- An unique way to hold a carrier: I recently watched a video on Youtube about how to carry a baby carrier differently. They suggest it takes the weight off your shoulder, elbow and hips and creates a fulcrum that disperses the weight. Here is the video!
If after trying all these tips the pain still persists that’s where Physical Therapy can help. Through massage, stretches, and review of techniques we have worked with a lot of new parents who have experienced firsthand the aches, pains and joys of parenthood!
If you have any questions or you are interested in therapy for your pain please go to our website and give us a call or send us an email!