Pregnancy and childbirth are a stress test for your body and it is not uncommon for new mothers to struggle with considerable back pain. They arise from the change in posture during pregnancy. The weakened abdominal muscles, which are loosened by hormones, cannot support the back either, as they usually do. The result is back pain.
It can take months for the body to recover, but does that mean not carrying your child? Of course, that is out of the question.
It is important not to strain your body too much and to find a way to keep your baby close to you and this is exactly what a baby carrier is ideal for.
Why wearing it properly is so important
After the birth, it takes time for the pelvic floor, connective tissue, ligaments and abdominal muscles, which were severely overstretched during pregnancy, to regenerate.
During this time, virtually any incorrect carrying or lifting can lead to painful overloading, tension or even strains. It is not for nothing that it is advised not to lift anything heavy after pregnancy.
However, a baby also brings a lot of weight and is lifted and put down several times an hour, depending on the child’s needs. In order to avoid problems with the pelvic floor and the back and to get the damaged tissue afloat again, you should definitely attend a post-natal training course.
But also carrying your baby in the baby carrier works like a light workout with an increasingly heavy weight. It is of course important that your baby sits correctly in the carrier and that the weight is evenly distributed over the shoulders and pelvis, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Incidentally, a baby carrier or sling is actually the better way to carry your baby, because when you carry it in your arms, you adopt a leaned forward position, which unfortunately only puts more strain on your back.
The baby carrier, your friend and helper
There should be the midwives and gynecologists who advise against using a baby carrier or a sling, for whatever reason.
If you let your baby disappear in a baby carrier, it is exactly where it wants to be, very close to mom. Once you have tied the stretcher correctly, you relieve your back and take a much more upright position. It’s a real win-win situation, I don’t even want to start with all the other advantages of a baby carrier .
Most baby carriers have very well-explained instructions enclosed, which are often even supplemented by videos on platforms such as YouTube. Even beginners can quickly find their way around a baby carrier and if all else fails, you can always get help from a baby carrier.
This is how you should carry your baby
You can carry your baby on your side or on your back from birth, but I would only recommend that to very experienced mothers. If you are still inexperienced when it comes to carrying in a baby carrier, then simply keep your baby in front of your stomach for the first few months.
Somewhere between four and six months, when your baby can hold his head, has a little more stability and has also become significantly heavier, you can start carrying him on your back.
The AO should be a stable and wide hip belt, as well as padded wide shoulder straps. They distribute the weight best on the shoulders and hips and thus relieve the back.
Alternatively, shoulder straps made of fabric panels can be used, which can be fanned out very widely and then also distribute the weight well.
Even if the thing is often called the waist belt, it should be worn significantly higher up in the first few months. As a guideline, you should be able to kiss your child’s forehead without much effort, then the height is optimal.
The baby carrier should be tied tightly so that your baby sits snugly against your body. Heavy loads should generally be carried close to the body in order to distribute the weight well and this of course also applies to the baby in the baby carrier.
If the carrier sits too loosely, there is a risk that your baby will slip and you will end up finding a balanced position. The stretcher is well tied, albeit close to the body when leaning back and forth and does not slide back and forth in the stretcher.
Make sure that you stand straight when tying the stretcher and that you only make a slight hollow back at most. If you tie the stretcher and lean too far forward at the same time, the straps will be too loose and your child will slide down when standing up, which then leads to a relieving posture again.
It all sounds very complicated at first glance, but I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t got the hang of it after a few attempts.
Your baby should sit in the carrier like a big M. It means that the knees are higher than the bottom. This position is called the spread-squat position and is the healthiest position for your baby. A carrier made of a soft fabric is also important, preferably a cloth, because your baby should curl up slightly in the carrier and have a round back. You can find more about this and suitable carriers in our baby carrier test .
Proper wearing checklist
Here are the most important points to check once you’ve put on the stretcher:
- Is my back straight
- Is the baby sitting at the right height (can I kiss the forehead)?
- Is my baby sitting in the spread-squat position?
- Can the baby do a round back?
- Is the baby sitting upright and well supported on the sides?
- Is the head well supported and not wobbling back and forth?
- Does the baby stay in place even when leaning back and forth?
- Can i move well?
If you can answer all of these questions with yes, then you have managed to put the baby carrier on optimally for you and your child.
Back pain despite or from the baby carrier
As mentioned earlier, your body takes a long time to recover from the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Sometimes there will be worse and sometimes better days, it doesn’t necessarily have to be due to the stretcher.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be. If you have back pain with the baby carrier or get it from carrying it, then there are a few reasons to consider.
It can be, for example, that the carrier is too loose, your baby somehow slips and your pain is caused by the one-sided strain. This could be due to the hip belt, shoulder straps, or even both.
But it can actually be due to the stretcher. Every mom and every child is different and we have also found that one baby carrier causes back pain, while another model does not cause back pain at all.
In such a case, you can try a different stretcher. For example, you can change the carrying system and, depending on what you have at home, try a fullbuckle or halfbuckle or simply a different manufacturer.
It is also possible to switch from baby carriers to slings.