Becoming a grandparent

 These days often the news of a new baby in the family brings with it grandparent duties! Caring for young children can be very physically demanding on your (ageing) body. Joint and muscular pain is common as we age and conditions such as arthritis can be easily flared up by increased strain on the joints.

It’s important to keeping your back strong and healthy to cope with your new little darlings. 
 
Caring for your grandchildren often requires lifting and bending which can result in low back pain. To protect your back, you should take care with activities such as:
  • Lifting babies, toddlers and prams
  • Carrying a child for more than a few metres at a time
  • Bending and twisting when lifting a child
Musculoskeletal changes that occur with age:
  • Reduced strength and size of muscles
  • Reduced bone strength/density
  • Poor posture
  • Reduced balance

Keeping your back strong and healthy – grandparents

Caring for young children can be very physically demanding on your body. Joint and muscular pain is common as we age and conditions such as arthritis can be easily flared up by increased strain on the joints.
 
Musculoskeletal changes that occur with age:
  • Reduced strength and size of muscles
  • Reduced bone strength/density
  • Poor posture
  • Reduced balance
Back Care:
Caring for your grandchildren often requires lifting and bending which can result in low back pain. To protect your back, you should take care with activities such as:
  • Lifting babies, toddlers and prams
  • Carrying a child for more than a few metres at a time
  • Bending and twisting when lifting a child
Here are a few tips to assist you in avoiding or minimising picking up a child you are caring for:
 
Encourage the child to be more independent
  • Assist the child to climb in and out of the bath and high chair by holding onto their hands
  • Assist a chair/stool beside the cot (wit the side down) and get them to climb onto the chair/stool then into the cot.
  • Help then and out of the car by assisting from behind with a hand under their bottom (i.e. climb onto the floor, onto the seat, and then into the car seat).
Get down to their level
  • Instead of picking the child up to cuddle/console, squat down or get onto your knees to do so.
  • Sit on the couch and ask your grandchild to climb up for a cuddle.
  • Try changing nappies on the bed, sitting or kneeling beside the bed, rather than lifting the child onto the change table
Establish regular “quiet” time
  • Try to establish a regular daily “quiet” time with the child (e.g. both resting on the bed/couch reading a book)
Pelvic Floor Care
As you age, the pelvic floor muscles, just like the other muscles in the body need extra care. It is important to protect these muscles when lifting babies and toddlers as well as when pushing a pram. Don’t forget to do your pelvic floor exercises each day to help maintain strength and continence.
 
General Fitness
By keeping your body fit and strong, you are more likely to maintain your health, slow down the age-related changes and prevent injuries
 
Our women’s health Physios are experts at dealing with issues women face throughout their life. If you’ve come to dread looking aftre the grandkids due to your sore back or simialr – we can help. Book an apoointment today on 9968 3424 or book online now.