Correct Baby Carrier Positions

Dr. Kelly swooping in hot with correct baby carrier positions and carrying strategies to reduce (or eliminate) pain!
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Journal Club! Correct Baby Carrier Positions!

Correct Baby Carrier Position Can Reduce Your Pain

Here at Pelvic Floored, we pride ourselves on offering the best, most readable and accessible reviews of current evidence, to get you moving as efficiently and comfortably as possible. This great study, looks at how correct baby carrier and carrying position and strategies affects pain, and has many pearls of wisdom for all of us. The article we are studying today is:

“Baby Carrying Method Impacts Caregiver Postural Sway and Pain During Prolonged Standing” from Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy Vol 44 No 2 April/June 2020 by Mannen, Havens, Kahney and Nelson-Wong

Two Key Finding About Baby Carrier Positions:

1. Correct Baby Carrier Position: People who hurt when carrying babies don’t shift their weight as often. If you want less pain, start shifting your weight a bit more while standing!

The researchers classified participants into pain developers (people with a history of pain) and non pain developers (no history of pain).

They found that pain developers had less postural sway (they shifted their weight less) than non-pain developers, in both 15 minutes of quiet stance, as well as 15 minutes of carrying a baby on one side.

Man and woman in front of scenic mountains.  Man has baby in carrier on his front side.  Baby is facing man.  Evideice shows the correct baby carrier position can reduce pain.
Correct Baby Carrier Position! Here, front carrying + more weight shifting = less pain!

2. Correct Baby Carrier Position: Front is Better than Side..

Furthermore, with a baby (or object) in baby carrier in front, the pain developers showed the same amount of weight shift as non pain developers, and reported a REDUCTION in pain from average of 5/10 down to 3/10. That’s hugely significant!

Four Tips to Keep Your Back Happy When Carrying Your Baby (or other objects 😉 )

If you are in pain, or even if you’re not, here are 4 friendly reminders from the Pelvis Specialists at Pelvic Floored, to keep your back happy and pain minimal when carrying: 

  1. Keep your core gently supported–talk with a PT (read this post to find one near you) if you aren’t sure if you are doing this well, or if you think you’re doing it, and you’re still in pain…because chances are you are not doing it right FOR YOU, and could benefit from an adjustment in your strategy. 
  2. Carry things in front of you, and close to your body. This is much better than off to one side or far away from your body. 
  3. If you must carry things to one side, stay as stacked as possible, with shoulders over hips over heels, rather than a huge side shift.  (And if you have-to-have a side shift, at least keep core gently engaged) 
  4. Remind yourself to shift your weight a bit more often when standing quietly, and especially when carrying baby.  This slight increase in weight shift can help to reduce your pain!

These Easy Peasy Strategies for Improved Function and Less Pain When Carrying Baby. Available and Applicable to EVERYONE!!

Woman with baby in front facing baby carrier.  Evidence shows correct baby carrier position as being in front instead of the side.
When correct baby carrier position and strategies are utilized, parents, caregivers and kids all have the most fun!

As far as actual carriers, I personally used both Baby Bjorn (used in all the above pictures!) and Boba Baby Wraps, both carry in front and allow for frequent weight shifts, which set you up for painfree adventures! While I don’t yet have discount codes for these great products, I do recommend both, and disclose that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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Thanks for reading!

xoxo, Dr. Kelly

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