Baby-Carrying Method Impacts Caregiver Postural Sway and Pain During Prolonged Standing

Research & Knowledge,

Journal of Women’s Health Physical Therapy

Authors: Erin M. Mannen PhD, Kathryn L. Havens, PhD, Alexandra Kahney, SPT, Erika Nelson-Wong, PT, PhD

Baby carrying has been shown to have emotional, physical, and psychological benefits for both the baby and the parent, not to mention offering the practical and sometimes necessary option for hands-free moments. But what are the postural and pain impacts of baby carrying methods?

In this study, researchers wanted to determine whether there was a difference in postural sway for women when they hold a baby in their arms vs. with a baby carrier. Additionally, they wanted to determine postural differences in women who develop pain and women who do not develop pain with prolonged standing.

The authors conclude: “Regardless of the biomechanical cost, mothers will continue holding and transporting infants until the end of time. The results of this study suggest that babywearing may offer the caregiver a biomechanically advantageous way to hold infants during prolonged standing, particularly for those who develop [low back] pain.”

For more information, read the research report.