Tone passed this article to me that contains great advice for mums when pushing prams. However, having read the article I would definitely include dads too!
Having to push a baby, toddler or small child in a variety of different prams, strollers, double buggies etc can have a big impact on the health of your back, arms, shoulders and wrists.
How often do you see a parent practically bent double trying to push a buggy containing not only a baby but also a wriggling toddler and goodness knows how much shopping you have managed to cram in the bottom bit!
These days buggies seem to have every attachment under the sun, supposedly to make your life easier so you can carry everything including the kitchen sink, but take a moment to stop and think about all that extra weight that you are having to push.
And something I have noticed, and was true for my own husband, is a taller dad having to bend over and hold the handle with one hand because it is too low for him to comfortably steer with two hands.
So here is some simple advice to try and avoid aches and pains for both parents. I have added the link to the original article at the bottom of the page.
New parents are not only having to get used to manoevuring a new mode of transport for their precious bundle but also holding that little darling when feeding, comforting, rocking and lots of cuddling!
Take a look at your wrists – your hands may be at an angle to the wrist from anywhere between 45°– 90° which is putting your wrist under a lot of pressure. There should be no creases in your wrist so try to adjust it so there is a straight line running down your arm through to your hands.
Lower back pain
Being a new parent (mums especially) does NOT mean you have to put up with permanent back pain! Being pregnant will already have put pressure on your lower back and pelvis so it is really important to look after your back. Those little bundles of joy get heavy very quickly and you will find yourself constantly bending from the waist to pick up baby or whatever toy has been thrown out of the pram – a favourite game that will induce gales of laughter from baby and you acting like a yoyo!
So, what to do to protect your back when pushing buggies: no more head down, bum pushed out when heading up hill. Try to stay standing tall, keep your hips close to the pram and activate your glutes – you will feel this in your bum rather than lower back. This will really help protect your back and also be a nice workout for your derriere. Suitable exercises to help find your glutes include the oyster, lunges and squats.
A good idea would be to get a personal trainer to guide you through some exercises so you know you are doing them right – perhaps you know other new mums and can arrange group workout.
Neck and shoulder pain
When choosing a pram make sure you get one with an adjustable handle – really important for parents of different heights.
You should be aiming to have your hands just above hip height. So take a little time before you start pushing – chest up and out, shoulders down (detach them from your ears – a common position for them to be when you are tired, stressed and try to juggle life with a new addition to the family.)
Readjust the handle every time if necessary to make sure you are feeling comfortable.
I find an invaluable exercise several times a day is to roll my shoulders and bring my shoulder blades down and ‘re-set’ my default position (looking in a mirror or shop window can really help).
If you are a new parent you have many years ahead of pushing your child around so start off with good intentions and get the position right to protect yourself so you can walk tall!
Tone’s ChiroMoves App has lots of easy stretching exercises to help keep you relaxed and supple throughout the day. Click here to download and for more information: