Avoid and Treat New-Mom Injuries

Mommy Mistake: Balancing Your Baby on a Cocked Hip

mother holding up baby

The injury Pelvic girdle pain. There are actually a range of potential postpartum pelvic problems and nearly all begin with misalignment of the back, pelvis, or tailbone.

Prevent it Avoid holding your baby on one hip, supporting her with just one arm and tilting your pelvis in the process. Instead, hold her with both arms, close to your body. When you do use the hip carry, switch sides regularly. Maintaining correct posture can help prevent pelvic pain. Try to avoid slumping in a chair or standing with your pelvis thrust forward in swayback fashion, advises Amy Stein, a physical therapist in New York City and author of Heal Pelvic Pain. Change position often to maintain good blood flow to the area. To keep your pelvis from tilting too far back and putting pressure on your tailbone while sitting, use a cushion to support your lower back. If you're breastfeeding, alternate between sitting and lying down.

Heal it "Seek out a doctor who's knowledgeable about pelvic pain," says Deborah Coady, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at New York University's Langone Medical Center. Treatment may include targeted exercises and massage. Good circulation is crucial to the repair process, so heating pads and warm baths that promote blood flow can be helpful for pain relief and long-term healing.

Originally published in the April 2011 issue of American Baby magazine.

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