Can babywearing help milk production in a breastfeeding mum? Yep!
Can babywearing and breastfeeding work together? Absolutely!
Can I feed whilst wearing my baby in a carrier? Sure can!
Want to know more? Read on!
Why is Babywearing good for Breastfeeding?
Have you ever heard of the hormone Oxytocin? Well, it is also known as the 'Love Hormone' it helps to relax, reducing stress, helping to fall in love and bond with baby. When you hold your baby close enough to kiss in a baby carrier, the look, feel and smell of your baby helps to raise the Oxytocin levels in a mother's body. Another thing that Oxytocin does for a breastfeeding mother, is engages the let-down reflex. It's a win-win situation!
It's that simple: Wearing your baby close enough to kiss = Increased Oxytocin levels = Increased milk let down.
Is it safe to breastfeed in a carrier?
Before you can start breastfeeding whilst babywearing it is really important to master both skills independently. When wearing your baby it is always recommended that you following the Ticks Guidlines for Safe Babywearing.
Close enough to kiss baby's head
Keep baby's chin off their chest
However, when breastfeeding two of the TICKS guidelines cannot be applied:
1. The carrier needs to be loosened
2. baby's head will be at breast level and not close enough to kiss
This means the other 3 guidelines are more important than ever. While you are breastfeeding in your baby carrier it is important to make sure:
1. You can see baby
2. Baby's chin is not resting on their chest (this is not an ideal position for a baby to be in when being breastfed in anyway)
3. The carrier supports baby's spine from their bottom to the base of their head.
Please DO NOT put the carrier over the baby's head as they need to be able to move their head away from their mummy's breast at all times, especially if mum has a fierce let down!
Will I be handsfree while I breastfeed in my babycarrier?
Not 100%. You will probably find yourself supporting your baby's head or your breast with one hand. The other hand will be free to do one handed activities like have a cup of tea, push a trolley or read a book.
How do I position my baby to breastfeed in a carrier?
There are 2 main positions you can breastfeed your baby whilst holding them in a baby carrier:
1) Baby positioned upright but lower on the mother's body.
2) Baby lying across the mother's body in a cradle hold.
My boobs are prone to engorgement and block ducts, can I still wear my baby?
Yes you can, but you do need to be mindful of the girls. Check that they are not feeling engorged, hot and irritated before you put your baby in the carrier, keep an eye on them whilst you are wearing your baby and also check on them when you have finished babywearing. You might also like to consider using a carrier that doesn't rub on your breasts. Try a woven / stretchy wrap, ring sling or a mei dai. If you are really looking for a Soft Structured Carrier look at where the buckles, padding and shoulder straps touch and potentially rub your body.
Tips on babywearing and breastfeeding
- Make sure you wear a top that opens up near the top.
- If your breasts are on the larger side and you need to hold them up then roll up a muslin or hand towel to position under the breast to raise the nipple closer to the baby's mouth.
- When breastfeeding in a ring sling use the tail as a breastfeeding cover
- Drape a muslin over your shoulder as a breastfeeding cover and easy to hand when burping baby after a feed
- If your breasts are sensitive then check in on them before, during and after you wear your baby and be really selective about the carrier you choose to wear your baby in