That adorable newborn only weighs seven pounds… So why does your right shoulder ache? Or perhaps you’re wondering, after having a child for two years now, why your back has suddenly begun to hurt when you carry him or her.

Surprisingly, parenting a young child can bring aches and pains that you didn’t expect. The following are some of the more common causes.

Breastfeeding. Sometimes babies have a “favorite” side for nursing. The problem is, frequently holding your baby on the same side, in the same way, will strain that shoulder and arm (and impact your milk supply). Check out different nursing positions and rotate them with each feeding. You might find that your baby’s preference disappears when you try a new way of holding him, too.

Car seats. When putting baby into the seat, avoid twisting or leaning from a standing position outside the car. It can actually be better to get into the backseat and proceed to buckle your child from there.

Carrying those infant car seats is another source of problems, as they place too much weight on one side of your body and pull you out of alignment. Park near the shopping cart rack and use both arms to move the carrier directly into the bottom of the shopping cart (never place it on top), if you’re determined to bring the whole thing into the store. Another option, of course, is to remove baby from the car seat and use a stroller, wrap, or ergonomic baby-wearing device.

Bending over to pick up babies and toddlers. Whenever possible, squat in front of strollers rather than bending over to get baby in and out. The same rule goes for picking up your child off the floor.

Carrying young children. Sometimes, little kids just insist on being carried. When you need to do so, avoid carrying them on one hip every time. Consider using a wrap or baby carrier to help distribute the weight correctly across your back and hips.

If you’re a new parent experiencing back, neck, or shoulder pain, schedule a visit with us. We can discuss possible causes for your injury, and help you with chiropractic adjustments and advice on daily habits that could be contributing to your problem.