Babywearing offers a multitude of amazing benefits for both mom and baby, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. I was lucky enough to discover the joys of babywearing 13 years ago just after the birth of our first child, and I know it greatly contributed to my ability to nurse her for well over 3 years. Sadly- there are still many parents out there who think babywearing is "just for hippies", an unsafe practice, or simply know little to nothing about babywearing at all. If you're expecting or new to babywearing, I strongly encourage you to do your research and spend some time hanging out with both new and experienced babywearing moms like the great ladies over at Babywearing San Diego. They offer an excellent FREE babywearing group that meets monthly in two different locations, as well as a wealth of information, photos, and links on their website.
Baby wearing promotes breastfeeding in a number of ways. When your baby spends her days close to your body, the lactation cycle of supply and demand becomes finely tuned. Her presence stimulates the production of breastmilk, and helps your body develop a good milk supply. Babywearing also helps you pick up on the first cues of hunger, and with immediate access to the breast the time between cue and latch is significantly reduced.
Babywearing is also a great way to help with problem suckers and infants who are easily distracted by getting them relaxed, and in the position for breastfeeding. As you and your baby are held close together and your baby has quick and easy access to your breasts, your milk supply will quickly adjust to your baby's changing needs. With just a little practive, it's easy to master breastfeeding while babywearing, allowing you more freedom to go about your day without being concerned with breastfeeding in public or scheduling your day around baby's feedings. Babywearing provides all the discretion you could want, and the support of your sling or carrier means you are free to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.
Possibly best of all, babywearing creates a lifestyle where YOU are your baby's home. If your baby is dependent on baby containers, such as a crib for sleep, then you are forced to become imprisoned in your own home. I am constantly hearing moms say "I can't go then because that's my baby's nap time" and can't help but think to myself how miserable they must be. Babywearing gives you the freedom to to meet all of your baby's needs while out and about- anywhere! From the baby carrier, your baby can be stimulated during alert states, breastfed when hungry, and sleep when tired. To have all of her needs met all your baby needs is you, and babywearing meets all of your needs as a parent. So many parents think they have to choose: sit cozy at home with baby on their chest, or strap baby to a chair and venture out in the world. But what if your baby wants to nurse? What if she gets cold? What if she demands to be held? How will you push the stroller and hold or breastfeed your baby at the same time? Babywearing gives you the freedom to have it all! Baby is snuggled close, safe, and cozy, rhythmically moving, and can breastfeed anytime with privacy, all while mom has two free hands and gets to be connected to the outside world!
Even The Consumer Product Safety Commission agrees babywearing while breastfeeding is safe- so long as you reposition your baby to their recommendations at the end of the feeding. When you are breastfeeding while babywearing you can feel your baby sucking and breathing, so you know she is okay. Wearing your baby up against your chest is definitely a safe choice- safer than a crib, and safer than a stroller, as you are right there to watch over her at all times.
The simple tool of babywearing can completely integrate your baby into the life that celebrates who you want to be, while honoring who your baby is, all while strengthening your bond, and promoting a healthy breastfeeding relationship!
Reference: www.ohanawellness.com, Sage Parenting, Rainbolt, R. (2012).