How to take care of yourself after you have had a baby

Everything can seem a bit overwhelming after you’ve given birth. There’s the feeding, the lack of sleep (on both the parents end and the baby’s end!), copious amounts of nappies that are overflowing the bin and that doctor’s appointment that you almost missed for your child’s next check-up.

So, with all that going on, it’s very common that the last thing on new parents’ minds, is themselves.

Hang on a second! Yourself?

Yes, you as a parent deserve some part of the day to take care of yourself as well. So, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you take care for yourself after having a child. We realise that some of these are mother-specific, but most of these can apply to fathers as well (we love that paternal leave is becoming more and more common!).

7 top tips for looking after yourself:

Tip 1: Neutral Wrists
When you’re holding or lifting your newborn, make sure that you maintain a neutral wrist! Don’t let your wrists flick or bend too much in one direction or another, or you may end up with sore wrists. Never fear though! If you develop sore wrists, make sure you come and visit one of our physiotherapists, who will be able to help you with your wrist pain!

Tip 2: Keep Baby Close
Lift and hold your newborn as close to your chest as possible. This reduces the amount of stress put through your shoulders and upper back, reducing the likelihood of injury.

Tip 3: Master your Squat
Ensure you lift anything with a good squat technique to help make sure your back doesn’t get sore. Take a look at our Precision Physio Concord Instagram or Facebook page for squatting tips and tricks!

Tip 4: Stretch your Back
Start doing some back stretches whenever you have time! Since your back and hips may get tight due to constantly having to bend over, doing stretches to maintain back mobility is a great way to stay on top of that.

Tip 5: Watch your Lean
If you’re breast feeding, make sure you ensure that you aren’t leaning forward too much. Having your shoulders/back too far forwards can lead to a sore neck, shoulders and back. Equally, ensure that you have a neutral wrist (make sure you don’t have your wrist bent too much, or it can lead to quite sore wrists and hands!). Use props such as a good pillow under your arms to help lift your baby! If you’re getting sore breasts or sore perineum with breast feeding or after giving birth, ice/heat packs specifically designed for those areas can also be really soothing.

Tip 6: Do Exercise Specific to you
Make sure you’re doing the right exercise and maintain a healthy level of activity for yourself, and don’t let your own health escape you! Book yourself in with a Women’s Health Physio as soon as your GP, obstetrician or gynaecologists recommends, to assess your pelvic floor and abdominal separation, or address any other concerns that you may have regarding your body.

Tip 7: Give Pilates a Go
Join our Pilates classes! We have Pilates classes that are specifically designed to take care of new mums (and also fathers, or anyone with lower back pain!). They work on back and hip mobility, core control, correct movement patterning and activation of all the right muscles.

If you’re inspired to start working on your stretching from home, here are our Top 5 Stretches for Mums – give them a go.

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This blog was written by Kelly Jones, Physiotherapist at Precision Physio – Concord. If you would like more information, or to work specifically with Kelly, you can contact her through the Precision Physio Concord clinic: 02 9736 3950 or book in online.

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