The latest blog in my series of guest bloggers is from Amina who is a qualified babywearing consultant. Here she explains about the benefits of using a sling to carry your baby and the benefits it can bring.
“As slings and baby carriers become more popular, many parents are becoming aware of some of the great benefits for their baby, such as increased sleep, reduced crying and stimulating development. However, did you know that carrying your baby in a well-fitting sling can also be a great aid to postnatal recovery for mums?
During pregnancy, many changes take place to allow your body to accommodate the growing baby and prepare your body for birth. Hormones (especially ‘relaxin’), help the ligaments to become more elastic and flexible, abdominal and pelvic muscles are stretched and lose strength, and your pelvis tips forward to counter-balance the weight of the baby. All of this can affect your posture, put strain on the pelvic floor and make your body more vulnerable.
Birth itself has its own impact on your body, depending on the type of birth you’ve had, and it can take up to 6 months for new connective tissue to be created and for your body to feel stronger. Breastfeeding women may experience weaker joints/muscles for longer due to the different levels of hormones, and it’s important to look after your body postnatally and be aware of how sensitive it may be.
One way of helping with postnatal physical healing is through investing in a sling or baby carrier. Babies love to be picked up, and carrying them in a sling rather than in your arms puts less strain on your muscles, spine and hips. This is due to the sling helping not only to keep the weight of the baby close to you, but also distributing the weight more evenly so pressure is not put on just one area of your body. A sling can also allow baby to be carried nice and high, particularly helpful for women recovering from a C-section or stitches.
Slings are also a great method of transport! Though a carseat is essential, carrying your baby in one can put a great deal of pressure on the spine and forces your body into a very unnatural position. Even a buggy or pushchair, (particularly if the handles are at the wrong height or if it’s heavy and being manoeuvred onto public transport/up steps) can aggravate you body’s weak points. A carefully-fitted sling or carrier will afford much greater mobility at relatively low cost, and can help you keep your body in a more ‘neutral’ position which avoids undue pressure, twisting or stretching of your muscles.
Using a sling can have great psychological benefits too. Being able to get on with everyday tasks virtually ‘hands free’, whether attending to older siblings or just making a cup of tea, can be a real boost. Recent research shows that carrying your baby in a sling helps to soothe babies and reduces their stress levels and crying. This in turn helps to relax parents and aids bonding, which is particularly important for mums to help them avoid or recover from postnatal depression.
On top of this, being able to get out of the house easily is really important for mums, especially in the early weeks with a new baby. Research has shown that a good social network is a vital means of emotional support, especially for women experiencing the joys and challenges of life with a new baby. Being able to pop your baby into a sling can give you just that little bit more freedom to get out there and ‘do’ things! So, if it isn’t there already, why not put a sling on your ‘must have’ list!
I am a qualified Babywearing Consultant and enjoy spreading the babywearing love! I offer 1-1 and small group workshops to help parents choose and use slings and carriers safely and comfortably. I also hire out slings so that parents can ‘try before they buy’. ”
Find out more by visiting:www.snugasabub.co.uk
or contact firstname.lastname@example.org