How Babywearing Can Help You With Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding didn’t come easy for me, nor did my early nursing experiences feel natural. With my first three babies, I experienced multiple setbacks that made me want to throw in the towel and give up on breastfeeding all together.
Thankfully, with a lot of help and persistence, I have been able to breastfeed all 5 of my babies and have learned a few valuable lessons along the way.
Among the tricks of the trade, one surprising way breastfeeding was made easier for me was with babywearing.
Benefits of Wearing Your Baby
Babywearing, or the practice of keeping your baby close with you as you go about your daily activities, has been connected with a wide range of benefits for both mother and baby, including:
Promotion of bonding between mother and baby (as well as other caregivers)
Improved mood in mothers, especially those at risk for postpartum depression and anxiety
Healthier babies, physically, cognitively and developmentally
Lower rates of illness in baby
Enhanced parent-child interactions
Better outcomes with breastfeeding
Who knew that wearing your baby could have so many benefits, for both mama and baby?
Babywearing and Breastfeeding
I experienced the positive effects first-hand with my little ones. At first, I chose to wrap up my babies and wear them more for the convenience factor. Truthfully, it was the only way I could get anything done, especially in those early postpartum days.
What I didn’t realize was how babywearing helped improve my ability to breastfeed. All I knew was that my babies seemed much more content when they were close to me, cried a lot less, and would latch on easier when they did nurse. After becoming a lactation consultant and having a couple more babies, I realized that the closeness that is nurtured while babywearing is a positive factor in breastfeeding successfully.
The truth is that babies still need the same closeness to us as they had during our pregnancies. While they may no longer be growing in our bodies, they need our touch just as equally to be nurtured and to feel safe. Babywearing can help support this vital connection with our babies that also creates a natural passageway into breastfeeding.
Here is how wearing your baby can help you specifically with breastfeeding:
Keep baby in close proximity may encourage more frequent feedings, which can boost your milk supply when breastfeeding
Having your baby close to you can help you be more responsive and aware of your baby’s earliest feeding cues
Babies are likely to be more content and cry less while babywearing, which can make it easier to transition to nursing
Increased frequency of touch between you and your baby can stimulate hormones that improve self-esteem, confidence, and awareness
Babywearing can foster better interactions with baby, which is especially important for a mama who may feel disconnected or is struggling to bond with baby
While babywearing is not a magic answer to breastfeeding difficulties, it can be a helpful tool for improving a breastfeeding relationship with you and your baby.
Get Started With Babywearing
The good news is that wearing your baby is fairly easy, and you don’t need any fancy equipment to do so. There are a variety of wraps, slings, and baby carriers available today that can make it simple for you to keep your baby close while being hands-free.
The important thing is to find a baby carrier that feels most comfortable for you. Consider trying out some options or borrowing one from a friend before you decide to invest in one. Breastfeeding support groups can also be a free resource for babywearing tricks and tips.
Whatever baby carrier you decide to use, make sure to use it correctly to ensure the safety of your baby. There are many online tutorials to give you visuals of how to wear your baby correctly, even tips on how to breastfeed your baby while babywearing.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you need support with a difficult breastfeeding journey or are struggling in your early postpartum days, know you are not alone.