New mums are being encouraged to transport bub to and from the car in a baby carrier or sling, rather than carry their baby in heavy car seats, to prevent possible injuries.
Experts say car seats are already heavy and bulky, and with the added weight of a baby, lifting them can cause women to develop or worsen pelvic organ prolapse.
Physiotherapists say car seats shouldn’t be removed from a car by a new mum for at least the first six to eight weeks after birth. The UK’s Professional Network of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) told the BBC that car seats aren’t designed to be carried.
“You’re carrying a heavy weight off to one side far away from your body often with your hand turned backwards or forwards and that’s not a comfortable or ergonomic way to carry something,” explained Amanda Savage, from POGP.
How to safely transport baby to the car
New mums are being urged to carry their babies in a sling or baby carrier. If baby has to be carried in the car seat, the advice is to keep it as close to your body as possible and avoid extreme twisting.
The BBC reports that the UK’s Baby Products Association says strict safety regulations inhibit making car seats lighter but, “brands are always looking at solutions to provide greater ease of use for parents as well as to protect their wellbeing”.
“Carbon fibre construction, which is extremely strong and lighter than most plastics, may be a possibility in the future, but it is extremely expensive and likely to make the manufacturing costs prohibitive and beyond the reach of most families.”
What is a pelvic organ prolapse?
It’s when one or more of the organs in the pelvis slip down from their normal position and bulge into the vagina. The largest cause of prolapse is pregnancy and birth – it happens to half of women who have been pregnant. The pelvic floor weakens during pregnancy and childbirth, particularly if you’ve had to push for a long time.
According to The Royal Women’s Hospital lots of women don’t even notice a prolapse when it first happens, but as it moves down you may:
- Sense that your vagina is different. It may feel heavy or like it is dragging. This may be more noticeable when you sneeze or cough. And if you have been standing for a long time or have done something very physical such as running.
- See or feel a lump. This can be inside your vagina or poking out of it.
- Have achy pain in your pelvic region or back.
- Have difficulty going to the toilet. You may need to urinate a lot, have trouble emptying your bladder or bowel, or urinate accidentally.
- Have a urinary tract infection (UTI) that often comes back again.
- Some women also say they have discomfort, pain or less sensation during sex.
Ask other mums
Wondering how other mums are coping with postnatal life? Our pregnancy and baby groups on Facebook are a safe and supportive place for new mums to ask questions with other mums due or had their babies around the same time as you.
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