Amy's Corner. our lactation consultant answers your questions about nursing.

Breastfeeding and Babywearing

In these modern mobile times, we can do almost anything on the go, and that includes breastfeeding.  You’re probably used to multi-tasking your lunch or a quick snack and so can your baby, especially when you are wearing her.  It’s called babywearing and we highly recommend it.

Using a sling during breastfeeding is actually not a modern concept at all.  But it certainly helps out the modern mom who is active and busy.  Breastfeeding can be time consuming, a true labor of love.  So when you’re in a time crunch to get chores done around the house or need to be out-and-about, babywearing can be an excellent way to multi-task.  Your hands are free to eat, take care of another child, do some housework or jump on your computer for a few minutes.  You can’t beat that convenience!

breastfeeding and babywearingBabies love to snuggle up with mom and a sling offers closeness, warmth and a little discretion if you’re out in public.  Slings can also organize a baby into a better nursing position to encourage suck and latch.  Because it is similar to skin-to-skin contact, babywearing can improve your babies desire to breastfeed and encourage let downs.  Plus babies carried in slings are typically calmer and cry less because they are warm, can feel and hear mother’s heartbeat and enjoy natural, soothing rocking while mom moves around.  It’s actually much like the womb so it helps transition newborns into this big bright world of ours.

Another advantage of babywearing is the developmental benefits it offers your little one.  Your faces are close together, which will help your baby get to know you and your expressions as her vision becomes more acute.  You can make eye contact and googly eyes at one another!  She’ll also hear your voice constantly as you do your daily tasks, which helps her understand language and cadence from a young age.  The vibration of your voice has a soothing effect as well.

There are many versions of baby slings that make terrific choices for babywearing.  Some look like a loop that you toss over one shoulder and place your baby on one side.  Others are longer strips of cloth that you wrap around your waist and shoulders for extra support and can completely cover your baby during breastfeeding or while she’s sleeping.  These are better when you plan to be more active.

There are yet more choices for babywearing if you are using it at not feeding times, like front or back carriers.  These are similar to bookbags for your chest or back.  While not ideally situated for breastfeeding, these allow you to be mobile and have use of your hands.  Plus they are great for dads as well!  Some pack-type carriers come with an inner wrap that offers more support for newborns, and also cover pads for the shoulder harnesses that your baby may use for sucking or teething.

We hope you’ll give babywearing a go.  We bet your baby will love being wrapped up warmly next to you while you are being super productive throughout your day.  Seriously, what could be better than giving your baby her most wholesome meal while checking off your to-do list at the same time?  We thought you’d agree!

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