Changing diapers 10-15 times a day can lead to repetitive strain if we don’t pay attention to our ergonomics. Make sure your change station is the right height – you should be able to change your babe while maintaining proper posture. Picture your ears over your shoulders, shoulders over your hips and your hips over your ankles. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed and down, and your knees slightly bent. If you have to bend over to attend to your baby’s bum, bend the knees and send the tailbone out behind you, while lifting the pelvic floor and drawing the bellybutton into the spine. This works the core muscles, protects the lower back, and gives the hamstrings a gentle stretch! If your little one is a fan of diaper-free time on the floor, get down with her and use the time for a quick core workout… just make sure you have an absorbent cloth handy for any wee emergencies! Some ideas:
Prop yourself up to form a bridge over your baby using your forearms and your knees or toes (more intense). Maintaining steady breathing, draw your belly button into your spine, keep your hips level, and shoulder blades apart. Hold as long as you can maintain proper form, working up to a minute. Sing the ABCs to your babe to keep it fun!
Lay beside your little one, on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Fold your arms across your chest or put your fingertips beside your ears. Inhale and relax, then as you exhale, lift your pelvic floor (do a Kegel), draw your belly button into your spine and slowly peel up until the base of the shoulder blades is just lifted off the ground. Inhale and slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat 10-20 times, each time saying a peek-a-boo to your babe on the way up!
Tickle-Me Side Plank
Lay on your side beside your baby, lining up your knees, hips and shoulders. Lift your body off the ground by balancing on one forearm and either the bent knees or the side of your bottom foot (more intense). Maintaining steady breathing, draw your belly button into your spine, keep your neck and hips in line with the spine, and relax your shoulders. Hold as long as you can maintain proper form, working up to a minute. With your free hand, play some tickle games on your baby’s tummy, like ‘Round & ‘Round the Garden!
*Not suitable for women with abdominal separation.
Thank you Callie Camp of Fit 4 Two Vancouver East for the article and thank you Tracy & Cameron Gibbons of Fit 4 Two Surrey for being our lovely models.