Babywearing can be a great tool for breastfeeding parents. Wearing your baby can provide an easy way to do skin-to-skin, soothe your baby, feed your baby, and take care of yourself, all with your hands free.
Benefits of breastfeeding while babywearing
Hands-free feeding! This can be especially helpful during developmental and growth spurts where cluster feeding is common.
Skin-to-skin. Keeping your baby close to you can help boost breastmilk supply and encourage production of the hormones that help make breast milk.
Discreet feeding on the go. The carrier provides privacy and coverage, and wearing while feeding means you don’t have to worry about finding a comfortable place to sit down.
Which carriers can you breastfeed in?
Whether you prefer a stretchy or woven wrap, a ring sling or a soft structured carrier, most carriers on the market allow for breastfeeding while wearing. Check the instructions from your carrier’s manufacturer to confirm before trying.
If your carrier does allow for breastfeeding while babywearing, the following tips may help:
-Put your baby on, in a parent-facing position, and tighten all straps accordingly
-Only on the side you intend to feed on, loosen the arm strap or fabric (if using a wrap)
-Gently slide baby down to breast, and have baby latch on. Make any adjustments so you and baby are both comfortable before tightening straps.
-Once baby finishes feeding, immediately move baby back up to a normal wearing position.
It is important to note that your baby should only be lowered while actively feeding. Otherwise, the carrier should always be used following the manufacturer’s guidelines for normal wearing.
Other benefits of babywearing:
– Strengthens the bond between baby and caregiver, as it allows for added closeness throughout the day.
– Strengthens baby’s core and neck muscles.
– Decreases risk of SIDS and “flat head syndrome”
– Baby gets to experience the world in new ways, from the safety and comfort of your body (and you get to see the world through the eyes of your baby!)
– Promotes early language development – babies learn by watching faces and babywearing puts your baby at conversational height
– Promotes healthy development of neural, respiratory and gastrointestinal health, and may also aid in balance.
If you are interested in wearing your baby but are not sure where to start, or you love wearing your baby but would like help with how to breastfeed in your carrier, a baby-wearing educator can be a great resource! You can find one in your area here