Here’s a special guest post, prepared by two of our fabulous Salus University Occupational Therapy graduate interns; Megan Dunn, OTS and Alyssa Armstrong, OTS. Hope you enjoy this useful information.
Being a new mom is a wonderful, exhilarating experience. Motherhood also comes with its challenges, and physical pain may be one of them. Occupational Therapists (OTs) can educate moms about proper body mechanics and energy conservation techniques to prevent injury and address pain during breastfeeding, diaper changing, lifting, and other daily activities related to caring for baby.
To prevent or reduce back pain, it is important make sure you have good posture. Moms are constantly picking up baby, carriers, diaper bags, etc. Therefore, good body mechanics during these movements is essential. You should avoid bending or twisting, and always remember to squat low, stick your bottom out, and lift with your legs, not your back. Also, it is important to keep everything close to your body when lifting.
Taking baby out and about can be stressful and physically straining, as well. Another great tip is to only take what you need when you go out. Using a hands-free baby carrier can do wonders for your back, shoulders, arms, and hands. We also recommend switching sides when carrying baby; this might be uncomfortable at first, but your body will thank you in the long run!
When nursing, try to bring baby to you so that you do not bend over in an awkward position. Nursing pillows such as the “boppy” pillow and “my brest friend” can be lifesavers! We also suggest doing daily stretches in the comfort of your own home to ease back, neck, and wrist pain. If you are feeling extreme or reoccurring pain that will not go away, it is important to visit your primary care physician. For more tips to alleviate pain, contact OTatBRC@gmail.com.
Megan and Alyssa, are the latest Salus University Occupational Therapy graduate interns who will be at the BRC until the end of March. We are thrilled to have them contributing to the influential work and beneficial services provided by the BRC. You may be wondering what exactly Occupational Therapy is, and how they can help you. Their field is dynamic and holistic, and they collaborate with clients to develop individualized goals in areas such as: self-care, social participation, hobbies/leisure activities, work, education, and many others.
Our OT interns offer classes on a variety of topics with a focus on both mothers and their babies. Becoming a new mom can be physically draining and affects the body in many ways. OT can offer strategies to prevent injury and maintain proper positioning while caring for and carrying baby. OT can also address the stress that often accompanies motherhood by providing moms with helpful coping skills to enable successful participation in their everyday roles and routines. Overall, they always strive to promote the health and well-being of moms, babies, and their families.
In addition to facilitating these classes, the OT interns are available to administer developmental screenings for children ages 0 to 5 years. They assess five different domains: social-emotional, adaptive behavior, communication, cognitive, and physical development.
For more information on the weekly topics covered, please visit the BRC website. All classes and screenings are FREE. We look forward to seeing you and your baby at the BRC!