Postnatal A-Z: L for Lifting correctly
Today's postnatal A-Z is L for Lifting correctly. This may sound obvious but to a new mum who is tired and just wants to do what's best for her little one, it's not always so. A mum's core including pelvic floor is not what it once was and if you had a C-section, you would have been told not to lift anything more than 4.5 kilos for several weeks (which is tricky if your baby weighs 5 kilos!).
Even if you had a vaginal birth, if you wish to pick up your baby in his/her car seat, you're suddenly adding up to 10 kilos in weight. That's a lot for your postnatal body to handle and the last thing you would want to give yourself is a prolapse. If you are able to wait for your 6-week postnatal check-up, you will be giving your pelvic floor a chance to heal. The issue with lifting car seats is that in addition to being heavy, they are tricky to lift properly as we tend to carry them away from our bodies and using one hand - not the most ergonomic design.
Babies get heavier surprisingly quickly so sometimes we can get caught out when they're older too. Even some dads who like to toss their 7-year-olds in the air have been known to give themselves a hernia!
So with all this in mind, here is a quick how-to guide to lifting:
1. Get close to the thing that you want to pick up
2. Bend your knees
3. Pull your bellybutton towards your spine and lift your pelvic floor on an exhale and lift close to your body
This will avoid some of the more common injuries that can happen when we pick something up that is an arms-length away and rotating our torso in the process.
In a Buggyfit class, we do lots of exercises to strengthen your abdominals, pelvic floor, legs, bum, arms and back to rebuild the strength you need for mumhood.