Welcoming a child into your family can certainly be a wonderful event. It can also be physically demanding, and not just for mothers. While dads don’t experience added spine pressure from the actual process of giving birth, there are other tasks and routines associated with baby care that can be stressful on any backbone or the parts that support it. If you’re a new father, keep reading to learn what you can do to prevent back pain.
A new bundle of joy doesn’t weigh all that much. Still, holding a baby for long periods can take a toll on your spine and the muscles that support it. Make holding your baby less of a burden on your spine by varying your positions as you stand or sit with your newborn. Further help out your spine for times when you’ll be holding the baby by:
• Being mindful of your posture
• Targeting the core muscles that take direct pressure off your spine when you exercise
• Taking breaks to stretch your spine-supporting muscles
Even if going to the gym on a regular basis isn’t something you do right now, don’t forego exercise altogether. From walking and doing yoga to setting up a small home gym, there are many creative and effective ways to exercise at home. You’ll also be rewarded with a reduced risk of experiencing back pain when you make the effort to fit exercise into your new schedule.
Having a new baby in your household can affect your diet, too. This can happen if you end up stress eating or resorting to convenience foods because of a lack of time to plan and prepare meals. The weight gain that can go along with unhealthy eating habits can contribute to back pain by putting more stress on your backbone, especially in the lower back area. Prevent this potential source of back pain by:
• Putting together a healthy meal plan everyone in the family can implement and enjoy
• Making healthy meals in advance that can be frozen and easily heated up
• Keeping healthy snacks handy that can give you quick energy
You may find yourself periodically getting up in the middle of the night if you need to check on the baby or you hear a concerning sound on the baby monitor. That said, a lack of high-quality sleep can contribute to inflammation and, in turn, irritate nerves near your spine. Maintain a spine-friendly sleep schedule by creating a comfortable sleep environment and sneaking in naps during the day when you’re not watching the baby.
As a new dad, there will likely be times when you’ll need to repeatedly bend down to reach into a crib or pick up various baby items. All this extra bending can affect your spine and lead to back pain. Minimize this issue by:
• Bending at your knees, not your waist
• Placing an adjustable crib on a mattress so you can safely reach it without bending too much
• Considering creative crib designs that can safely keep your baby at a greater height, such as a crib with a plush mattress
If you’re a first-time father and you have issues with new back pain or your spine-related aches and pains from previous problems are worsening, talk to your doctor or a Los Angeles spine surgeon. The sooner you take this step, the more likely it is you’ll find a way to keep your back pain in check so you can enjoy time with your new baby even more.
Intermittent back pain isn’t unusual among new parents, but if you’re experiencing severe or persistent back pain, make sure to see a spinal health specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. The pioneering physicians from The Spine Institute have years of experience with every type of back pain, and they lead the industry in innovative treatment methods, including alternatives to spinal fusion. Los Angeles patients should call one of our friendly representatives at 310-828-7757 to schedule a consultation.