Birthworkers can be the first advocates for babywearing: but when you’re trying to advocate for the mother, the baby, the partner, the family, breastfeeding, the birth of choice… it’s understandable it’s not priority #1! Here are five things to know about babywearing and how you can help a family:
- Babywearing is good for mothers and babies. It promotes bonding between parent and baby. It helps parents respond to baby’s cues and the skin-to-skin contact helps regulate baby’s temperature, heart rate and breathing. Whether the birth has been perfect as envisioned, or whether it has taken a different direction: babywearing can help promote the initial bonding between parent and child in the first weeks and months.
- Babywearing is good for breastfeeding. Skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin and helps the mother’s milk supply to establish. Keeping baby close to the breast also helps a baby who is having trouble getting started with breastfeeding learn that the breast is a great place to be. It can also help reduce a new mother’s anxiety about a breastfeeding relationship that is brand new!
- Babywearing increases a new parent’s confidence– both in their own abilities and in their new role. A parent who can settle her baby easily is a more confident parent. A parent who has a basic skill-set that also allows her to take care of her own needs will also make a transition into parenthood more gently. It’s a big change for all of us. Birth workers support the transition into parenthood and so does babywearing.
- Babywearing doesn’t have to be expensive. A great newborn baby carrier is a home-made stretchy wrap. They are cheap to make, require no sewing and are safe. These are a great tool for doulas and midwives to have on hand- and they’re probably within your (limited!!) budget. Here’s instructions on how to make some.
- Babywearing is safe for healthy, term newborns. Here is our link to basic babywearing safety and here is a downloadable pamphlet you can print or email to clients.