Pregnant and new mothers

A few top tips…

Back ache during pregnancy

As the baby gets bigger your spine is pulled in to a more arched position so:

1) In the last trimester (3 months) try to occasionally lie down with knees bent and feet flat; flatten your spine slightly towards the floor/bed.

2) Roll your knees from side to side gently whilst in this position.

Also try

3) Resting with knees and ankles supported up at right angles: try lying on floor with calves supported on the sofa.

Try to avoid standing still; either move about or raise yourself up and down on your toes to encourage circulation and prevent varicose veins.

When turning over in bed: try and keep your knees together as you ’inch’ over bit by bit, lifting your bottom only a small amount at a time.

When turning over in bed: NEVER sit straight up; always roll to one side and lower legs whilst pushing on your hands.
Pregnant and New Mums
Choose a cot which has drop sides available to you: get in the habit even when your baby is tiny of putting the side down every time you lift him/her in or out.

Do not lift a Moses basket in and out of the cot. When your baby is ready for a cot it is time to discard the basket.

Do not lift a car seat in and out of the car with your baby in it or carry it around at arm’s length. This is a very hazardous process and you will not notice just how heavy your baby has become before it is too late. Try to get in the habit of just lifting the baby out: they will get used to being disturbed but your back will not forgive you!
Nappy changing
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Generally try to avoid changing nappies on the floor and use a waist level surface instead. Also sitting sideways on a bed whilst you do this is particularly hazardous if you have had pelvic pain during your pregnancy. If you cannot avoid it then make sure you ‘swap’ sides each time you change so you are using the muscles more evenly.

If you have to change nappies on the floor DO NOT use the upright kneeling position (2 knees on floor). This leads either to low back pain or a pain higher up nearer your shoulder blades. Instead: use a ½ kneeling position (one knee down and one knee up with foot flat and sit on your haunches if you can – nappy_changethis will keep your spine more neutral and keep your weight within your base of support (see illustration).

If you tuck the toes of the kneeling leg under you at the back you will be prepared to move forwards fast if your baby/toddler is trying to ‘get away’!
Bath time
Also try to use the ½ kneeling position if you are at the edge of the bath: you can always keep changing the knee which is lower to relieve any tightness which develops but it is better than using the 2 knees down on the floor.
Lifting toddlers/carrying small babies
If you are unfortunate to already have back ache but have a toddler wanting a cuddle: sit on the edge of the stairs or a chair and get them to climb up to you. This is quite a good position even if you do not have back ache.

If you have a crying baby who needs a bit of comfort try supporting him /her on your forearms, face down (but with their head higher than their tummy to prevent regurgitation): one of your arms goes between their head and shoulder and the other arm goes between their legs.

Carrying a baby on your hips is not ideal but if you must do this- really try and become ambidextrous and use both sides alternately.
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