Relieving New Parent Aches

Woman receiving treatment from physiotherapist for her aching back

When my first baby was born, I was warned and prepared for the sleepless nights, the endless nappy changes and the dire need for quick and easy meals. The one thing I was not ready for, was the aches and pains that came with being a new parent. Not the soreness from birth, but the back, neck and shoulder pain from the awkward positions of nursing, rocking and lifting bub in and out of her crib.

Long hours are spent in positions that often put strain on a new parents back, neck and shoulders and the repetitive stress can lead to long-term injury and slow rehabilitation if not looked after nice and early. So we’ve found five small ways to relieve that tension and those new parent aches!

1. Reminders to stretch

There are a few great stretches that can really help the neck, shoulders and back, but the hardest part sometimes is remembering to do them! So set your phone alarm every few hours to remind you or pop a little message on the bathroom mirror or fridge door. These days if you have a smart watch, they have a feature to detect when it’s been a while since you’ve been up and moving! It might seem that they remind you annoyingly frequently… but it’s easy to lose track of a lot of time when you’re a new parent! We’ve included a few quick stretches below that can really help.

neck and shoulder stretches
Stretches from yogawithliana.com

2. Use the other arm

Becoming a little more ambidextrous can really help with the repetitive strain injuries. You may not have even noticed that you carry the capsule or shopping predominately in one arm or even balance bub on one hip in particular. Switching sides can feel weird at first, but will definitely help out your body in the long run.

3. Check your pram posture

You might not have realized, but there are a number of ways you can adjust your pram to be more ergonomic! This includes adjusting the height of your handle to improve comfort in your wrists and shoulders when pushing. But there are also a number of ways you can improve your own posture while walking around with bub. Ensuring that your hips are rolled forward to create a neutral spine can help with abdominal strength and also shoulder alignment. Making sure those shoulders are also rolled back and down and your pelvic floor is switched on too. This is also a good time to sneak in some of those stretches! Pop a reminder on your pram!

posture when pram pushing
from momleta.com

4. Ergonomic Pillows

I did not realize myself just how difficult it would be to maintain good posture while breastfeeding. My physio once told me that you could try to do everything correctly, but you will still have to compromise your posture a little. That’s no reason though not to improve everything you can in the meantime! It’s important to make sure bub is elevated up to the breast, instead of lowering your chest down to them to feed. A boomerang shaped pillow is perfect for propping bub up and keeping them in close to feed. There are many pillows designed specifically for this purpose, but a regular boomerang pillow from your local department store does the trick just as well!

The Boppy nursing pillow
The Boppy Pillow

5. Seek relief for your new parent aches!

We all know how hard it is to get away from bub and the “mum guilt” that comes with taking the time to get a massage, but it is SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT! You need to look after yourself in order to look after them! Taking the time now to get to a physio, remedial massage or acupuncture will save you from a chronic injury and a lengthy recovery time. Cast that guilt aside and remember that when you are in your best self, you are the best for them!

womens physio stretches

Hospital Bag Essentials

packing a hospital bag

New Mum Advice: Hospital Bag Essentials

The lead up to the arrival of your newest addition to the family is an amazing journey full of excitement, fear, celebrations and probably more than a few emotional moments. But you’ve done it! You’ve reached the third trimester! While the nursery is probably all decorated and packed and the car seat is installed and ready to go, you maybe haven’t thought about what you’ll need on hand when baby’s birthing day finally arrives. Never fear Mama, we’ve made this list of Hospital Bag Essentials to make it all a little easier for you!

  what to pack in a hospital bag

When should I pack my hospital bag?

You want your hospital bag ready to go when your baby is! Keeping an eye on your expectant due date and remember to note if there are any chances that bub might come early. This could be the case for twins, for example. Your OBGYN will certainly let you know all of this and much more detailed for your own pregnancy. Many suggest generally that it’s good to have your bag packed from around week 36, just to be safe.

What to pack…

Your Hospital Bag Essentials list should definitely include:

  1. Cozy, non-slip socks or slippers. Believe me, you don’t want to traverse a hospital barefoot, but you’ll certainly want to keep your toes comfy while you’re walking around the hospital before and after labour
  2. The usual purse suspects: Photo ID, health care and insurance information
  3. Your mobile phone… and your charger!
  4. Comfortable attire – lose-fitting shirts, robes, jumpers and underwear
  5. Maternity bras and nursing pads. Even if you are not planning on breastfeeding, you will definitely appreciate having a little leak protection. Check out our bamboo nursing pads HERE
  6. Non-perishable snacks and change/eftpos card for the vending machine.
  7. Lip balm! You’ll be surprised how dry your mouth gets during labour. Also packing some sugar-free lollies could help too (definitely not sugar lollies though, as they will dehydrate)
  8. Your toothbrush, paste, hair brush, facewash, shampoo and conditioner, and moisturiser
  9. Prescription medication, glasses/contacts if you where them.
  10. Leaving the hospital attire: Matching outfits for mum and bub are total Instagram goals… but there’s a pretty big chance that’ll be lower on your priority list by now! It’s recommended you pack comfortable six-month maternity wear and a blanket and beanie for bub

  dad to be hospital bag

What should my partner pack?

The partner has an important supporting role during this process and delegating some of those hospital bag essential to hubby will certainly help. He should remember:

  1. A shirt that he doesn’t mind losing. He’ll want to hold bub and also enjoy skin to skin interactions, but if you’re having your partner present at the birth, there’s a good chance he’ll be in a shirt that gets damaged or soiled (not to mention that you may be pulling on it a tad during labour). This is the number one item we hear from new Dads that they wish they knew they needed sooner!
  2. His belongings – changes of clothes, toiletries, phone and charger (a battery charger for your phone too), a camera, snacks!
  3. Something to keep you both distracted or entertained during down times – perhaps a book, puzzle, podcast or something to watch
  4. The car seat! To take baby home, you’ll need to ensure you have a ride home with a suitable, safe and correctly installed car seat for your newest addition

If you have any essentials you think we’ve missed let us know on our Facebook or Instagram page!

  third trimester preparing for birth

Good luck Mama!