World Breastfeeding Month/Week is great, a time to raise awareness, share information, celebrate, do crazy huge giveaways, encourage, and share stories. But I have to be honest here, I’m only a tiny bit into it. Why? Because as a breastfeeding mom and a supporter of breastfeeding moms, it’s world breastfeeding DAY every day and everywhere. It’s just a part of what I do, a part of my life. Breastfeeding is more than the biologically normal way for me to feed and care for my babies and toddlers, it has actually become one of the most important tools in my parenting tool box. It tops the list.
Breastfeeding and babywearing, parenting power tools each in their own right, together strategically efficient. It’s not they have to go together but when they do it’s a win win for all involved. Ring sling, wrap, soft structure carrier, whatever your favorite carrier is, it can be one of the most supportive tools to your breastfeeding. And like breastfeeding, as a mother of 6 active little girls, babywearing is a tool I use every day, everywhere. As World Breastfeeding Month draws to a close, I want to share how babywearing can be a useful tool not only for your parenting in general but specifically related to helping you reach your breastfeeding goals.
How Babywearing can help you reach your breastfeeding goals:
Babywearing makes for easy skin-to-skin care. If the wearer is topless or wears a low cut top with lots of skin available and baby is naked or close to naked, babywearing can easily facilitate the important skin-to-skin access that all babies benefit from specially in the early days but even Zrejnuk,.aching far beyond. Why is skin-to-skin contact so great? Helps baby regulate breathing and body temperature, better blood sugar levels, maintains baby’s heart rate and blood pressure, encourages breastfeeding, promotes emotional bonding, reduces infant and maternal/paternal stress, can help prevent or lessen postpartum depression, is comforting to baby, reduces crying, helps developmental process, lowers anxiety, and so much more.
Babywearing keeps baby close for ease in picking up hunger cues. Even if it isn’t the breastfeeding mother always wearing the baby, any caregiver can easily and quickly pick up onp] baby’s cues that it’s time to eat, allowing for a quick response which will help the mother’s supply and baby’s stress levels.
Babywearing enables mom to be active while being close. Whether she’s working, doing chores, or caring for other children, babywearing keeps baby close and let’s her multitask her responsibilities. Moms that feel like they can keep up with their other responsibilities while caring for their infant are more likely to reach their breastfeeding goals because they won’t feel trapped in their home. Having a happy baby safe and secure and being able to be productive in other areas is a huge confident boost that will go a long way not only in her overall parenting but can directly impact her breastfeeding goals.
Babywearing encourages breastfeeding in public. Have baby, will go out. Since babywearing can help moms be on the go it can also help them breastfeed in public. Moms isolated and stuck inside their house often struggle with anxiety and postpartum depression. Both babywearing and breastfeeding can simplify getting out and being active in social settings, reducing the risk of isolating mothers and developing postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety. Once she works out how to breastfeed in a carrier (tip: practice in front of a mirror to see what it looks like- you’ll be surprised how incognito breastfeeding in a carrier can be if you are concerned about that.), breastfeeding in a carrier can be much easier than using a cover if mom feels she should, easier than taking baby out of the carrier and feeding even if she feels she doesn’t need to cover, and easier than a bottle of expressed milk or formula. And it takes us back to the previous point, mom can be active not only while being close but actually while breastfeeding. Because when you have a 3 year old and a new baby, sitting down in a quite setting with a pillow and staring into your baby’s eyes while they feed for the 67th time that day (I exaggerate… 24th time that day) isn’t always possible. Being able to feed your baby and keep up with the 3 year old is priceless!
Babywearing helps normalize breastfeeding. You read that right and no, it’s not a stretch. Since breastfeeding is encouraged and supported by babywearing the more families that utilize it the more breastfeeding will increase in both numbers and visibility. As more and more women begin to confidently feed their babies with their breasts, breastfeeding will become more and more normal. Like walking, when breastfeeding is normal there will be better support available for those that may encounter difficulties because it simply won’t be acceptable to ignore breastfeeding problems any more than it would be acceptable to ignore problems walking. Babywearing helps normalize breastfeeding by encouraging breastfeeding, helping more moms breastfeed while out, and supporting moms in reaching their breastfeeding goals.
Even for moms that aren’t comfortable feeding in their carrier (but don’t despair if you struggle with feeding in the carrier, it may get easier with time, in a different carrier, or with practice and help from someone) babywearing can be a useful part of your breastfeeding journey and even help you reach your breastfeeding goals for many of the reasons listed above.
World Breastfeeding Month? Just a month? It’s great but that’s just a drop in the bucket. I breastfeed. I babywear. Every day. Everywhere. 365. Way beyond World Breastfeeding Month.
Do you breastfeed every day? Everywhere? Does babywearing help you?
If it’s always breastfeeding day for you or has been, share the breastfeeding and/or babywearing love by posting a photo of you breastfeeding and/or babywearing (or the badge or banner below) and let others know! Use the hashtag #BFBW365 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and help normalize breastfeeding and babywearing for all parents.
This week The Leaky Boob is teaming up with Beco Baby Carriers to encourage breastfeeding every day, everywhere. In showing their support they are also sponsoring a chat on The Leaky B@@b Facebook page on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 8pm Central for an hour about breastfeeding 365 and what’s in your parenting toolkit. We will be giving away 4 Beco Soleils with accessory packs as part of the chat. RSVP for the chat using the chat below and participate on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 for a chance to win a carrier to help you breastfeed and babywear every day, everywhere.
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