New parents need to be aware that the means they choose to feed or carry their babies has postural effects on both themselves and their children. A nervous system stressed by a compromised structure will affect the body’s overall ability to function effeciently.
Is there a correct posture for feeding or wearing your baby? Yes, we have some advice.
Feeding Your Baby
Whether you breast-feed, bottle-feed or do a combination, you may be hunching over your baby as he enjoys a meal.
Perhaps you’ve been unconciously sacrificing your posture to ensure that your baby is properly positioned at the breast. Or maybe your upper body and back simply aren’t well-supported. Either way, figuring out the right posture for this day-and-night duty will go a long way toward cutting out headaches and doing away with that typical postpregnancy slouch.
- Your first step is to assemble the right upper-body and back support so when you sit down for a feed, your posture-saving props are already there for you. Create a nursing station for yourself and your baby that includes a firm nursing pillow and a lumbar-support cushion.
- Next, look at your feet. Do they reach the floor comfortably when your back is fully supoorted? If not, use a low footstool. Your knees should be aligned with your hips, your thighs parallel to the floor.
Wearing Your Baby
Wearing your baby in a sling or front carrier may contribute to a rounded upper back and shoulders that slump forward. The next time you wear your baby, follow the two posture-enhancing steps below
- Straightening your back and tighten your bs by contracting your belly button toward your spine without squeezing your butt muscles.
- Draw your shoulder blades down toward your hips as far as they can go. Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades toward each other. Release these extreme postions about halfway until your upper back feels strong but not tense.
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