Yes You Can Breastfeed When Babywearing!
7 November 2019 | Admin
Babywearing is a total lifesaver -especially when you have more than one child.! Chasing after a toddler, taking older children for a walk or simply emptying the dishwasher is a lot easier without having to put your baby down. With a baby carrier or sling you’ll keep your little one safe and snug close to you while going about your day but many mum's also wonder will they be able to nurse their baby while babywearing.
Did you know you are able to recognise hunger cues much earlier when you have your baby in a wrap or carrier close to you? As soon as your little one starts rooting and moves his head from side to side, you know it’s time for a feed - before your baby gets distressed. If only you wouldn’t have to bother taking them out of the sling and fight with meters of fabric or an endless amount of buckles before being able to feed!
Good news: Breastfeeding in a stretchy wrap or baby carrier is possible - and with a bit of practice, easier than you thought! Here’s how to go about it!
Babywearing & Breastfeeding - The Basics:
1. What to wear when nursing in a carrier:
The biggest challenge when feeding in a wrap or carrier is managing all the additional fabric. Hence, the right choice of clothes can make a huge difference. If you have tops or dresses that are especially designed for nursing mamas, then these should be your first choice.
However, there is no need to invest – keep it simple instead. Choose a loose-fitting V-neck top, a button-down shirt or anything else that is easy to pull down. It is generally easier to pull clothes down when attempting to breastfeed in a stretchy wrap or baby carrier, but if you prefer to have the top half of your breast covered, layering your clothes is a great option: Wear a strappy top or vest underneath a loose-fitting t-shirt or even better, a crop top. When you want to feed, you pull the t-shirt up and the vest down! You can also invest in a very handy breastvest for under your regular top and then you don’t even need to pull the top part of it down.
2. Practice, practice, practice!
For a hassle-free babywearing and breastfeeding experience out and about, it is vital that you know what you are doing. If you are trying to figure out how to position your carrier, get your clothes out of the way and get a good latch while trying to do your weekly grocery shopping you might put yourself under too much pressure, which will result and yourself and your baby getting worked up and upset - so it’s best to practise at home first.
Figure out how you can get baby in the perfect nursing position in your wrap or carrier, try different style clothes to see which works best for you and take your time. Watching yourself in the mirror might help you to figure out the perfect position, especially if you would like to be able to feed as discreetly as possible. Once you have mastered the art of breastfeeding while babywearing in the comfort of your own home you can do it anywhere with confidence and without too much hassle!
Tip: For your newborns, it might be easier if you are not wearing a top when starting to practice breastfeeding in a sling at home. Soak in all the skin-to-skin you can get and add some clothes once you are comfortable to do so!
3. Safety first!
Regardless of the wrap or carrier you are using, you always need to keep a close eye on your little one. You should be able to see your baby’s face at all times (not just when breastfeeding in a carrier). To ensure your little one is comfortable and can breathe properly, make sure that their mouth and nose don’t get covered by fabric and always monitor they are breathing regularly while feeding.
And always bring your baby back into his/her normal carrying position when finished with the feed.
Babywearing & Breastfeeding: The Carriers:
1. Breastfeeding in a Stretchy Wrap
Stretchy wraps like the ever popular Moby Wrap and equally fabulous Boba Wrap are easy to use wraps, which are perfect for newborns upwards. The reason they are so easy to use is their stretchy fabric, which molds right around you and your baby keeping you close and snug without adding too much bulk or restriction – perfect for breastfeeding on the go!
If you are wearing your baby in an upright position, you simply need to bring your little one a bit lower down in order to breastfeed easily. Grab your wrap on both shoulders to pull some more fabric from your back to your front. Now simply stretch the wrap downwards, while shuffling your baby’s bum with it. Especially when carrying a newborn baby you should always make sure that his head is supported sufficiently while adjusting his position.
Once your baby is sitting lower down you will be able to pull your top down or up and help him latch by supporting your breast and bringing it in an easy-to-reach-position. You might have to hold your breast during the feed in order to make sure your baby is able to latch properly. When your baby is done just bring him back up again and adjust the wrap accordingly.
2. Breastfeeding in a Structured Buckle Carrier (eg Ergobaby, Tula or Boba X)
Buckle carriers like the different models from Tula, Ergobaby or Boba are very popular for babies beyond the newborn stage. No fabric that needs to be wrapped and no knots that have to be tied – a buckle carrier is perfect for a quick and easy carry.
If you would like to breastfeed while wearing your baby in buckle carrier, your aim is the same as with a wrap: Get your child as low as possible! In order to do that you first loosen your waist strap and wriggle the entire carrier as far down as required. You baby’s bum and back will naturally follow the carrier. Now you release the shoulder straps as much as needed to give yourself and your baby more room around your chest.
Reach for your breast and hold it with your hand until your baby has latched. Adjust the shoulder straps in a way that will support your babies head during the feed, so you can remove your hand and go about your day! Once you are done feeding, simply lift your baby up and adjust the straps back into its original position.
Breastfeeding on the Go: Babywearing for the Win!
It doesn’t matter if you are at home and just need to get on with some chores or if you have promised your other kids you'd take them to the playground – babywearing will make sure you will be able to do what you want and when you want while keeping your baby close to you while nursing away happily.
With a small bit of practice, you will soon be able to breastfeed while babywearing, which means even more freedom for you and your family - after all, it is true what 'they' say - babywearing IS a lifesaver!
Do you have any more tips or nice stories about breastfeeding your baby while babywearing?