Carrying Your Baby – for World Doula Week 2018
Carrying your baby keeps them close, smelling your skin, feeling your heartbeat and hearing your breathing, moving as you move. Your baby will experience the enormous difference between womb and world, and being carried helps to reassure baby, to calm them, and to pre-empt much of their crying. Held close to you, you’ll be able to tune in to their cues more readily, and you’ll reduce your risk of postnatal depression or low mood.
Carrying ‘in-arms’ engages your muscles in a variety of ways, and the same is true for your baby. In-arms carrying is important for babies too.
Using a sling or carrier frees up your hands and spreads the load in a different way, and the gentle all-over pressure of the fabric from the carrier can be very soothing to your baby.
So, how do you start with choosing a carrier and with how to use it both safely and comfortably?
If you have hired a birth or postnatal doula, you may find that they are also a trained Carrying Consultant or Carrying Peer Supporter, and that they will be able to support you in choosing and using a carrier. Otherwise, pop along to your local Sling Library – most have weekly or monthly sessions which are free or very low-cost to attend, and you can find out about different options, try at least one, and for a small fee, hire a carrier so that you can really get a feel for whether it suits you before you buy one.
Pregnant mums and partners are also welcome at sling libraries – it’s great to have the knowledge before baby arrives! Sling library sessions are also a fantastic place to meet other parents and parents-to-be. Partners, grandparents and other relatives are welcome too.
Sling library sessions can be very busy, and you might like to consider booking a one-to-one consultation with a Carrying Consultant to give you more time. There will usually be a fee for this service – a bespoke session where you can have all your questions answered, try a variety of options, and learn how to use one carrier thoroughly.
Carrying Matters – website packed with carrying info, by Dr Rosie Knowles
Slingababy – Basics of Carrying
Why Babywearing Matters – book by Dr Rosie Knowles
Find your Local Carrying Consultant or Sling Library