Thursday, 2 February 2012
British Chiropractic Association are Straightening Up Britain!
I recently went to an event held by Publicasity PR for the British Chiropractic Association. I really wanted to go because in the past I've had back failures that have really put me out of action and my most recent one happened in the last 3 months and I totally blame that cute but rather large son of my mine! Or I did blame him until I saw all the things that I could be doing for myself to make it easier on my back.
The idea of the day was to spread the word about the importance of caring for backs, a major issue during pregnancy and when you have children (as I well know!). It was a really nice informal get together with other bloggers, where Tim Hutchful got hands on and told us about the benefits of the perfect posture for those everyday tasks. The rooms were all set up with various items that all us mums are familiar with, cots, baby slings and we also popped outside (in the rain, that's dedication to the cause for you!) to talk about fitting a car seat.
As I walked to the location in Covent Garden I met Kate from WitWitWoo and her cool son Skig. We chatted on the way and tucked into tea and cake on arrival (Skig enjoyed quite a few skittles....). We were introduced to Tim and he got stuck in talking to us about how to look after our backs and talk about the things we're doing wrong.
One of the first things we discussed was putting the baby in the cot and this was where I had to admit that my cot is set at the lowest setting and every day I lift Noah in and out and the strain it put on my back one day a few months back was enough to have me walking around bent over like an old crone for days and I needed my MIL to come and help me with the kids. It was really not funny. The cot we have has 3 settings and at the moment we should really have it on the highest, but we have been incredibly lazy (and stupid) and left it set right down at its lowest since Isla stopped using it! I showed Tim how I lifted the baby out of the cot and he said it wasn't the worst way of doing it but that I could give my back a break by leaning my leg against the cot as I lifted Noah out.
One thing I had done right was the choice of baby carrier. It's always best to use one that criss crosses over your back and not one of the sling types that go over one shoulder. This is in fact bad for the person carrying and also not great for the baby's spine either.
One of the key pieces of advice I took away with me that day was that it's always best to keep things close to your body when you are carrying them, as this will cause less strain on your back, so while we all like our baby change bags to look pretty (stroking Pacapod as I type...) we should probably be using a rucksack as this spreads the weight evenly! As it's impossible to avoid carrying the baby around, it's important to try and remember when lifting them to keep your spine straight and BEND THE KNEES! And as if to prove the point, right at the moment when Tim dropped his pen on the floor to show us the best way to pick things up, one of the kids that was there on the day stopped, crouched at the knees and picked it up for him. Just goes to show that it is the natural way of doing things.
I also spend a lot of my day playing with Noah down on the playmat and the advice there is to try and use a cushion to sit on to keep upright and support your back. Try to remember to change position as well while you're playing.
Tim also kept repeating that we should remember that our spine is straight when our ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles are all in line. A plumb line should hang straight from head to foot if we are standing properly. The way to a healthy back is of course good posture!
Check out the British Chiropractic Association site for more information about the Straighten Up Programme
Apart from being a really informative event it was also really social, other than Kate, I also saw Liska from New Mum Online and Mari from Mari's World. I ate rather a lot of crisps and I also won a fabulous foodie hamper. Thank you Aaron for having me at the event, a good time was had by all I think!