Ergonomic Parenting

Written by Jo Ann Prior


Ergonomic Parenting: Best Ways to Prepare or Adapt Your Nursery.

The months following the birth of a child are some of the most rewarding for new parents—and the most challenging to a new parent’s body. Here are some tips on how using proper body mechanics within an ergonomically friendly nursery can help ease the strains and stresses of parenting.

The Changing Table, Before placing the baby on the changing table, it is essential to keep the baby at the centre of your body.

Hold your baby at the front-centre portion of the torso, rather than on the side at the hip.

Holding the baby on the hip can damage your low back and pelvic area.

Additionally, carrying an infant close to your body helps you keep your centre of balance and reduces strain on your back. The ligaments in the hip and lower back are very soft and there's not much stability.  

The table should be at the appropriate height for parental use.

When changing your baby's nappy, the best table placement and height is directly in front of and slightly below the elbows. This helps avoid the type of bending and twisting that can cause injury.

Other tips:  Place all nappy-changing materials within arm’s reach—for instance, in wide-set drawers directly below the changing area. Always bend at the knees, not the hip.

You may wish to place 1 leg on a stool when you are using the changing table. This can help take the strain off your back and neck.
Bending and Lifting
Parents can practice proper body mechanics by learning to bend and avoiding twisting when picking up their child.
When you are lifting your child from a cot or stroller, stand directly in front of the child to avoid twisting your back. It is important to bend from your hips rather than from your lower back, much like rising from a squatting position.
To return your child to the cot or stroller, use the same technique, and always remember to keep your child close to your chest. If the cot rail cant be lowered, place a step stool next to the cot and place one foot on the stool to reduce strain on your lower back as you bend and lift your child. 

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