The Healthy Back Blog: For mums


Happy Jubilee! by louisehampton

What a shame the weather has not been kind this weekend. In true British style we braved the weather to attend a local picnic in the park but would have been so much better without the rain!

Hope everyone is making the most of the time off -don’t forget to keep moving around and trying to fit in some stretches to help your back. It’s really important to change position every 20 minutes or so as the back generally has a poor blood supply and so gets its oxygen supply through movement.

If you do experience any pain don’t ignore it – a Chiropractor could take a look and let you know if it is something they can help with. To find a Chiropractor go to the British Chiropractic Association’s website www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk.



So why is posture so important when you have children? by louisehampton

On Saturday I went to a blogging event organised by the British Chiropractic Association. Myself and Tim Hutchful were there to give advice on posture whilst carrying children, putting them in a cot and everyday activities.

The day was really well attended. Thanks must go to the following people: http://www.parentwheels.co.uk/
http://www.bringingupcharlie.co.uk/
http://witwitwoo.com/
http://www.methemanandthebaby.com/
http://marisworld.co.uk/
http://newmumonline.blogspot.com/
http://housewifeconfidential.co.uk/
http://www.realsuburbanmummy.com/
http://www.emmysmummy.com/
http://www.oomphalos.co.uk/
http://i-heart-motherhood.blogspot.com/
http://mummywhispererblog.com/
It was really good to meet you all.

At the event we concentrated on the importance of being aware of your posture when carrying out everyday tasks with children. There’s not one definitive way of doing anything but just thinking about your back is a great start.

So much of what we do involves us bending forward so it is extremely important to spend time extending back and strengthening our backs to protect them. If you do need to bend forward to pick something up rather than having straight legs like in this picture which puts a lot of pressure on the calves, hamstrings and low back. If you simply lift one foot off the floor this task becomes a lot easier to do.

If you do have to spend a lot of time bending forward doing some strengthening exercises to protect your back will really help. One such exercise is being demonstrated below. With any exercise it is important to do the stretch gently and to stop if you experience any pain.

More tips to follow ….



New year – Time to get fit with the baby by louisehampton

Doing exercise when you have a baby is not easy but I have found now Toby moves around a lot more getting some exercise around the house is more do-able. It is also really important to keep up the pelvic floor exercises and to work on the core muscles to protect the back.

I play games with Toby such as chase and crawl round the house after him sucking my tummy in and extending my arms and legs as I go to help my core muscles.
The basic exercise is sometimes called the “bird-dog” it is performed on hands and knees. Extend one arm forward and the opposite leg backwards. Keep back straight and abdominal muscles tight. This exercise should not be done without consulting an expert in rehabilitation such as a chiropractor – it is important that exercises are done correctly.

Another good exercise is to do some sit ups with your baby on your tummy as you sing row row row the boat. Make sure you don’t strain your neck by keeping it relaxed and use some of your babies weight to help you when coming up especially to begin with.

 

The third exercise I tend to do is gently rocking the pelvis up and down. When the pelvis is tilted upwards gently contract the glutes (muscles in the bottom) and suck the tummy in.

 

An easy form of exercise is of course going for a walk but best avoided in the snow as it is easy for the buggy to slide off the path or for you to fall over.


If you do experience any back pain it is worth getting it checked out by a Chiropractor who can see what’s going on. To find your nearest Chiropractor visit the British Chiropractic Association’s website at www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk.



OMG we’ve started solids!! by louisehampton
October 15, 2009, 9:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ok so 2 weeks ago I decided it was time to start Toby on some solid food but I didn’t realise how messy this is! Food seems to go everywhere but in his mouth at the moment, and the stains are impossible to get out.
Messy feeding time!
I never realised I would become so obsessed with the different techniques to remove stains from using washing up liquid to vanish to pre soaking everything it makes the whole process of washing clothes so much longer. Most of his clothes are beige or light blue so orange carrot stains don’t look too good if I can’t get them out!

The next thing is where to feed him. If we have been out at friends I have taken a Bumbo with me and fed him in there but it is not ideal as he constantly rocks backwards and forwards so you have a moving target! With the Bumbo on the floor I am also crouching down to feed which is not the best position for the back.
Toby in his Bumbo
Toby’s highchair is definitely the best place I have found to feed him in. We bought it from Mothercare and the main features are that it can tilt back a bit so is perfect whilst he is little. Also it has a piece of plastic between his legs which means he can’t slide out. I tend to sit on a chair to feed him but really the chair is a bit too low as I find my arm aches towards the end. I noticed some highchairs are adjustable in height so this might have been a better option and then I wouldn’t have to reach up to his mouth so another time I think I’d go for the Chicco Poly or something instead. Those highchairs are not cheap but I noticed there are quite a few on Ebay.
Having lunch!
Toys are us do some excellent bibs which Toby puts his arms through so they cover most of his body which is ideal at the moment, they also have a waterproof backing which is excellent to stop all the water penetrating through to his clothes when he is learning to drink from a beaker.

Anyway enough rambling for one day hope this advice is useful and if you have any questions or comments please let me know. As a Chiropractor I am always after the best ways to protect your back when doing everyday tasks so if anyone has found a better way of doing something let me know …



Stretches to do during play time by louisehampton

Now Toby is 5 months I find I am spending more and more time playing on the floor with him as he rolls around.
Toby on the floor
I have found this is an excellent time to do some stretches to help my back and to sit in different yoga positions.
Stretching the back
The cat stretch is a great position to be in while Toby is on his front. On your hands and knees, first breathe in and look ahead.
Cat stretch

Next breathe out whilst arching the back to tilt the pelvis forward. Repeat 5 times tightening the pelvic floor muscles at the same time.
Arching the back

I find hamstring stretches are good to do whilst Toby is sitting up. With your legs out stretched breathe in to prepare and then breathe out as you bring your head towards your knee and hold this position for 5 seconds.
Hamstring stretch

If you are spending a lot of time on the floor sitting on a cushion can also help your back. Back pain should not be ignored so if you are in pain it may be worth contacting a British Chiropractic Association Chiropractor to see if they can help. To find a Chiropractor in your area visit www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk for more information.



Transferring from a mosses basket to a cot by louisehampton
September 1, 2009, 1:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

As Toby was such a long baby he only managed to be in his mosses basket for 8 weeks. His mosses basket was also his pram so this meant he would easily sleep anywhere which was great.

Toby in his pram at 2 weeks old

Toby in his pram at 2 weeks old

When choosing a cot we looked for one which not only had three mattress heights so that this could be lowered as Toby learnt to sit up etc but the side of the cot also lowers.

Toby in his cot with the side up

Toby in his cot with the side up

Toby in his cot with the side lowered

Toby in his cot with the side lowered

This means that when I pick Toby up out of his cot I am not having to bend down very far so it’s a lot better for my back. Travel cots are a different story so I try not to use one unless I have to – especially at the moment as he isn’t even sitting up so picking him up from that far down is not good for the back at all.

If you do find your back is sore why not see if a Chiropractor can help? A list of Chiropractors in your area can be found by visiting the British Chiropractic Association’s website

Toby on the bed!

Toby on the bed!



Carrying your baby by louisehampton

At first carrying Toby seemed easy, he was relatively light and so even carrying him in his car seat was not too much of a problem.

Toby in his car seat

Toby in his car seat

As he has grown it has been important to change the way I carry him. I try to carry him straight out in front and close to the body to keep me as balanced as possible. I have started using a carrier to do this like mowing the lawn which works well! He is now far to heavy to carry in his car seat so I make sure I carefully lift him out of it.

A friend of mine hurt her shoulder last week, she carried her baby in her car seat and due to the weight she pulled a muscle in her shoulder. Luckily she saw a Chiropractor straight away and because she has medical insurance she could claim for the cost of treatment through that. The British Chiropractic Association is the best place to find a Chiropractor in your area.

Mowing the lawn with Toby in a carrier

Mowing the lawn with Toby in a carrier

After having a baby the core stability and stomach muscles are weaker. It is important to strengthen these muscles as they also help to support your back. When lifting your baby gently sucking your tummy in can really help to stabilise your back.

Me and Toby

Me and Toby