Experts from The Professional Network of Pelvic, Obstetric and Gynaecological Physiotherapy (POGP) have warned that lifting and carrying baby car seats can put new mother’s postnatal recovery at risk while manufacturers claim they are limited on design and weight by strict safety regulations.
Physiotherapists said the heavy first-stage seats can be awkward to carry, leaving women vulnerable in the weeks after giving birth and can cause or worsen pelvic organ prolapse.
Amanda Savage, from POGP, said the seats were not well designed to be used for carrying a child around.
“You’re carrying a heavy weight off to one side far away from your body often with your hand turned backwards or forwards,” she explained. “That’s not a comfortable or ergonomic way to carry something.”
Amanda emphasised that women were often “very, very vulnerable in those first few weeks,” when they should be lifting as little as possible and strengthening support muscles.
POGP advised putting a car seat on a lightweight frame with wheels and to use the car’s Isofix fittings if possible to minimise twisting.
Chairman of the Baby Products Association and UK gm at Cybex, Luke Burns told the BBC that manufacturers are limited on design and weight by strict safety regulations.
“Brands are always looking at solutions to provide greater ease of use for parents as well as to protect their wellbeing,” he said. “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.”
Meanwhile, Dorel’s managing director Barbara Echevarria revealed that Maxi-Cosi hopes to launch a ‘revolutionary design’ next year. This would be lighter and will also; “meet the highest standards of car seat safety and alleviate the strain on parents’ bodies.”