Motherhood puts a big strain on your back. Find out what you can do ease the ache.

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Motherhood puts a big strain on your back. To help, Alan M. Levine, M.D., clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, offers these tips:

  • Begin exercising soon after delivery to restore abdominal and back muscle tone. (Get the okay from your doctor if you had a C-section.)
  • Try to get back to your normal weight within six weeks after giving birth.
  • Instead of stretching out your arms, bring your baby close to your chest before lifting.
  • Bend your knees and tighten your stomach before lifting your child.
  • Always put the side of the crib down before putting your child in or taking him out.
  • Do not carry your baby on your hip; this overloads the back muscles.
  • When nursing, bring your baby to your breast instead of hunching over to bring your breast to him.

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Copyright © 2002. Reprinted with permission from the March 2002 issue of Child magazine.

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