The baby carrier/car-seat.
Despite well-meaning attempts at creating ergonomic handles, baby car-seats remain super awkward to carry, and much heavier than postpartum women should be handling.
The average car-seat weighs about 8 lbs., without the new baby. So, leaving the hospital, you’re looking at an average of 16 lbs.
Now, in most cases, mom has dad to help, or another loved one to help. If mom had the advantage of a vaginal birth, the risk is minimal, and lifting this weight is manageable. But if mom had a c-section, she isn’t even suppose to be driving for a good two weeks, with strict instructions to not lift anything heavier than the baby.
What about baby’s first pediatrician visit at a week old? Unless you have help going to that appointment, mom has to lift the thing out of the car and return it to the car (‘the thing’ and ‘it’ meaning the car-seat). (That’s a whole other post in itself, the c-section post that I have yet to do)
For now it is important to know that it is possible to maneuver the car-seat with minimal risk, paying attention to form and alignment, while activating the proper muscles.
Why is it important to know how to properly lift and lower a car seat?
- During pregnancy, the body is flooded with several hormones, many of which assist the body in stretching and relaxing (relaxin is one of the hormones.)
- After pregnancy, it takes the body several months to return to its original hormonal state; and if the woman is breastfeeding, these relaxing hormones stay in the body until breastfeeding ceases.
- If new mom lifts and carries the wrong way, she can easily throw her alignment out of proportion. This happens more easily than if she were not postpartum due to these remaining hormones.
The following video will show you:
- how to safely lift and lower a baby carrier/car-seat
- to and from a surface – applies to in and out of the car (another video I need to record)
- to and from the ground
- a few stretches and strengthening moves
- how to activate all the right muscles
- saving new moms’ already recovering bodies from unnecessary stress and imbalance on the joints.
Let’s get to it!
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Alison B. Marsh
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Erector spinae activity during three methods of lifting a baby car seat in postnatal women and matched controls
Brown, Helen et al.
Physiotherapy , Volume 90 , Issue 4 , 204 – 209