Breastfeeding and Babywearing

Babywearing and Breastfeeding go hand in hand, or rather hands-free in hands-free. Research has shown that 81% of Mums who use a baby carrier, or are Babywearers, choose to breastfeed their baby, from those who¬† those who don’t choose baby carriers only 51% will breastfeed. Quite a difference!
Breastfeeding Baby Carriers 2
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Babywearing allows you to breastfeed conveniently, comfortably, and discreetly
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One of the main¬†benefits of breastfeeding whilst Babywearing would be that Babywearing holds the baby in place as they nurse. Babywearing allows you to breastfeed conveniently, comfortably, and discreetly whilst you are out and about. The carrier acts like a nursing cover but it means that you are still able to chat and connect with baby as he or she nurses, unlike a blanket which would stop this connection. The carrier also shields your little one from anything which might distract them whilst they feed. The beauty of Babywearing for breastfeeding is that baby is always in close proximity to the breast, so if you have a child who is more difficult to breastfeed they are probably more likely to nurse often and longer dues to being ‘so close to the sweet shop’!
As you and baby get more and more used to being in the close proximity of Babywearing you will begin to understand baby more and more and you will pick up on their little early feeding cues, soon you will easily be able to make out when baby is hungry and when baby just needs some attention. You will be ready to act quickly when they are hungry and feed them effectively.
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You will be ready to act quickly when they are hungry and feed them effectively.
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Slings and Pouch Slings are probably the best choice when choosing a Babywearing Carrier for successful breastfeeding. A sling will provide a versatility and flexibility helping you position baby correctly for feeding. A lightly padded or padded sling will also offer you some extra support which can be very useful when feeding newborns. Pouch Slings will offer a much easier learning curve than a ring sling, you can simply pop them on and off you go without any adjusting, but sometimes with breastfeeding the adjustment you get with a Ring Sling comes in really useful to make sure baby is supported and in exactly the right position for feeding. Here are some ideas for carriers for both Newborn and Older Children Breastfeeding.

Newborn Feeding Carriers – ring slings, pouches, and wraps

Ring slings are adjustable allowing you to get a secure carry when feeding and the tail can be used as a little extra cover for discrete feeds.
Pouches are not as flexible as a ring sling, so hands free nursing is tricky, you will have to provide extra support with your arm. Well endowed Mums might find breastfeeding in a pouch a little difficult
Wraps offer a really secure breastfeeding carry but are tricky to get on and master the tying, so when you are just starting out these can be a bit of a bother.

Feeding Older Children in Carriers

Older children with head control, over 4/6 months, can usually breastfeed in any carrier which is suitable for their age and weight, although I guess a carrier specifically for Back carrying might prove a problem! Typically the child should now be able to feed from a seated/upright position, with the child bending their neck to nurse. In a Mei Tai or Buckle carrier you will probably have to loosen the straps slightly to breastfeed in the seated position.

Getting used to Babywearing and Breastfeeding

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Get as comfortable with doing each individually before you try and master doing them together, take your time and be patient
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Getting used to Babywearing can take a little time and practise, getting used to Breastfeeding also takes a little time and practise. Try getting used to both at once and it would be like trying to learn to ride a bike underwater whilst you learn to swim!
Get as comfortable with doing each individually before you try and master doing them together, take your time and be patient. When you are comfortable carrying bay in the sling or carrier, and when you are equally as comfortable breastfeeding out of the carrier give them a go together.
It might be a little challenging at first, but be patient and with a little practise you will soon be a seasoned pro, and be happy to feed whenever and wherever you are on the go.
Main Image Matt Browne