Nine Simple Strategies to Prevent Back Pain After Baby

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These nine tips come to us from guest blogger Dr. Dawn Andalon, a physical therapist specializing in women’s health at Level 4 Physical Therapy and Performance in Carlsbad, CA.

1. Change up Your Sleeping Position

Sleep with one pillow only.

Anything more will bend your neck more than it should and means the muscles in your back, neck and shoulders are stretched more than they are designed to do so.

2. Improve Your Core Muscles (Not Just Pelvic Floor)

When you’re out for a walk and after only a few minutes you find you need to lean on your baby’s stroller for support because your back aches, or you try to go for a jog but can only manage a few minutes until your back hurts, then you’ve got a problem with your core muscle group that needs fixing fast.

If you’re suffering from lower back pain, groin, hip or pelvic girdle pain (PGP), then without having this ‘core’ group of muscles working, you’re very unlikely to be able to get back to your pre-pregnancy condition.Consider learning the proper way to activate these muscles by a physical therapist who is trained in Pilates!

3. Regular Exercise Is Vital

It might seem you don’t have the time, especially now, but there is always time to add a simple daily exercise routine your life, even if just for a few minutes each day. (Your postpartum doula can help you brainstorm how to make this happen, or take care of your baby while you get a workout!)

Swimming is a very effective way to begin your recovery from lower back pain and is also a proven way to begin the release of the feel good chemicals your body holds back if you’re not exercising, known as “endorphins”. This can also provide great stress relief.

If you do have lower back, hip, groin, or pelvic girdle pain, then please be very wary about starting an impact-type exercise plan too soon (running, step class, boot camp, etc.). Consult a Women’s Health Physical Therapist to discover whether you might have locked joints that need to be loosened or released by hand.

4. Get The Stroller At The Right Height

Make sure you don’t have the handlebar at a height that is below your elbow height. This means that you constantly have to lean forward, which adds stress to your spine.

5. Pick Up And Carry Your Baby Correctly

As tempting as it is to carry your baby on one hip, you will be adding untold amounts of pressure to your hip, groin, pelvic girdle and symphysis pubis problems.

You need to evenly distribute the weight of your baby as best you can. And often the best way to do this is with a professional carrier or sling. Switching hips, unfortunately, won’t prevent the problems listed, so consider minimizing hip carrying, especially if you are experiencing discomfort.

6. Wear The Right Sized Bra

If you’ve jumped from a B cup to a D or DD, it’s important to visit and get fitted in a specialist lingerie shop to minimize stress on your lower and mid back regions. Consider avoiding high-fashion places – most of the best solutions are found in a small boutique type shop with women trained on how to find the right bra size.

7. Avoid High Heels

Wanting to look and feel great again after nine months of pregnancy can sometimes lead you to pull out those sexy heels.

When you wear a pair of high heels, you’re asking an already weak lower back to work 25x harder than in comparison to wearing a pair of flat supportive shoes. If you have to wear them, pick them for an evening of valet parking and seated fun!

8. Adjust The Crib Height

Lifting your baby with a weak back is a nightmare for some new moms. Lifting from a low crib is even worse.

As your baby becomes heavier, it’s even more important to be aware of the way that you lift him or her out of the crib, stroller or car seat.

The core muscle group being strong is an absolute must, but you also need to consider the height of the crib. Can you adjust it? And if not, can you position yourself so that when you do lift, your legs aren’t completely straight?

9. Stay Hydrated

Being dehydrated can cause muscle aches and pains, fatigue and dizziness. So, it’s important that you keep your water intake up in an attempt to ease off any extra or unwanted tension in your back muscles. One really simple way to avoid this is to cut out the stuff that makes you dehydrated in the first place, like excessive coffee, tea, alcohol and energy drinks.

Sip water often throughout the day. Or, if you’re the type who forgets, make a point to chug a big glass all at once if you know you’re going to forget to come back to it later. Do that a few times throughout the day to get your recommended water intake.

If you continue to have symptoms that are not relieved with this advice, you might consider an expert Women’s Health Physical Therapist. Easily the fastest way to settle back pain is to have it done for you by hand. Sometimes exercise isn’t enough to unlock the problem, because if you have joints that have become locked, stiff or stuck during pregnancy, there is only one way for them to become loose — and that’s by hand. The techniques that a postnatal physical therapist will use prepares the body to be able to workout and exercise, meaning you are going to be much safer, have more movement, feel stronger and get your energy back fast.

Don’t hesitate to contact Level 4 Physical Therapy’s women’s health specialist about your back pain.

Phone: (760) 503-4440 or email:

By reading this publication, you agree that following any advice herein is at you own risk and agree to hold harmless Level4 Physical Therapy & Performance, Inc., its owners and employees. We are able to offer you this service at a standard charge. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied in this blog post. 

By reading this publication, you agree that following any advice herein is at you own risk and further agree to hold harmless One Moon Doula Services, LLC, its owners and employees.

Kathryn KeenerNine Simple Strategies to Prevent Back Pain After Baby

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