I see it all the time: Women tend to have increasing low back pain towards the end of their pregnancy, and then suddenly, after the baby is born, the pain moves up into the neck, shoulders, and upper back. In fact, I see this pattern so often that I frequently warn mothers-to-be to expect the pain migration. The lower back pain can be explained by the rapidly growing fetus in the uterus, changing the mechanics of the mother’s body. After the baby is born there are a few new causes. In addition to the round-the-clock nursing or bottle feeding which lends itself to neck and shoulder stiffness, a big culprit is infant car seats! While optimizing baby comfort, these cumbersome contraptions maximize parent awkwardness. Sure it is convenient to strap the child in the seat at home and then transport him or her to and from the car for shopping trips or visits to grandma, but the convenience comes with a price! Anyone who has lugged a car seat for more than a few steps knows that it can get quite heavy, and that there is no real comfortable way to carry it. The car seat is bulky and necessitates throwing your whole body off-balance in order to lug it around. These contraptions are here to stay, so make sure as a new mother (or father) that you take care of your own body and keep the upper back and neck loosened up! Fortunately, the transportable car seat stage only lasts for a few months, and then you can get back to walking straight again!