Yes you can breastfeed, whether you are using a structured baby carrier, a sling or a wrap (I even have a great tip in this video if you don’t and only use a buggy).
I am lucky enough to have tried most of the baby carriers styles available on the market and I find that nothing compares with a wrap when you have a small baby. I love Didymos and Wrapsody although I tend to prefer the stretch and gauze wraps from Wrapsody as they are easier to manage. Only my Didymos silk/cotton is thinner than the 100% organic cotton one which makes it more comfortable and less bulky.
- With a soft structured baby carrier, you only need to loosen the shoulder straps a bit and baby can feed with the additional bonus of being upright (less digestive issues). Of course you need a nursing top to get rolling without exposing your belly to the cold!
- In a sling, loosen the rings to position baby and use the tail over your shoulder to cover up.
- Lastly, with a wrap, you can easily release the knot and adjust the fabric around your nursing baby easily.
I also used a wrap for my son who was born premature, check out the post “Why #babywearing a #premature baby is good for her“.
Babywearing is one of the best tool for a happy mother and a calm baby. It is something you need to learn but it is not difficult. However, you must take safety into account. Always use your common sense and intuition.
- At first, you need help from others, then safe babywearing requires practice, practice, practice.
- When you tie the wrap, always make sure you are in a quiet place, without anybody who could disturb you or run into you. Also, I loved using a mirror to check that I had tie my wrap properly when I was carrying my baby on my back. Moreover, it helped me to always make sure my baby had enough space between her chin and her chest to breathe properly.
- We must avoid our baby’s chin falling on his body completely, as it can obstruct the respiratory ways.
- Obviously, be extra careful with doors because when you carry your baby, either on your front or on your back, you take more space.
- Lastly, I really recommend you keep your baby high enough on your chest so you can kiss her head. It will ensure you do not hurt your lower back by wearing your baby too low. Also, it is a nice way to check she is comfortable at all times.
PS: please use the contact form for babywearing private lessons if you need some help while I am still in Paris, France.
I am doing my best to raise happy and healthy kids. I want to be a good mother. However, I refuse to sacrifice myself for them because I want to avoid resentment on my part and guilt on their part. However, finding the right balance is so difficult. During the holiday, I had the opportunity to dance in the hotel bar in the evening. It transformed me, because I have not danced in more than ten years while dancing has been my main passion since I am a little girl. When both of my children whined and forced me to go back to the hotel room while I was dancing, it pained me. My friend, my sister, did you find a way to find such a balance?
I want to break the myth of the first baby who takes hours to come to our world, after a difficult and painful long labor, leaving the mother totally exhausted. I am not the only one to have enjoyed an easy labor. I did my best to prepare for a home birth, reading about it and hiring an independent midwife. I had no idea how long my labor would be. What a beautiful surprise to have given birth within a matter of few hours! I started having very intense contractions around 9 pm and my amazing baby daughter was born at one in the morning. I am grateful for both the strong raspberry leaves herbal tea I drank throughout the pregnancy and for the inflatable birthing pool I used. My friend, my sister, it is definitely possible to give birth at home, within hours, without an epidural, without atrocious pain and without episiotomy.
Please find below an extract from my midwife’s notes about the day my baby daughter was born:
- early labor since morning
- irregular contractions
- regular since 8pm
- Claire is walking around at 9:30pm
- at 11pm when midwife arrives: Claire is active and mobile, puttering around in the flat, drinking raspberry leaf tea, squatting during strong contractions which come every 3 minutes
- emotional state is very well
- snacking and drinking plenty of water
- no vomiting
- at 11:30pm contractions every 60 seconds
- at 23:30pm: Claire in the shower, helps with contractions, quietly vocalising through these, sometimes singing and keeping nice and relaxed
- midnight: strong contractions, Claire is moving around the flat coping well, can feel baby moving
- contractions strong and long, membrane still intact
- having sips of apple juice
- 0:30am: pushing during most contractions now, can feel baby moving
- vacalising, labor intense
- 1am: Claire feels like being sick, contractions very powerful, feels afraid, wants to stop, isnt pushing anymore – midwife talks about fear being normal and that Claire is doing it anyway
- Claire is very quiet and poised
- 1:20am: birth! beautiful and quiet greeting, Claire scooped her baby, we haven’t seen yet if it’s a boy or a girl
- 1:25am: baby to breast, cord still pulsing
- 1:30am: out of the pool and in bed, nursing baby, blood loss approximately 200 ml, Claire lying on side
- 2am: still nursing, cord still pulsing
- 236am: birthed placenta
- 2:50am: cord clamped and cut by Claire
- 3am: vaginal exam by midwife: labial grazes, nothing requires stitches
- 3:45am: resting and having a snack
- 4:30am: midwife leaves
Breastfeeding has not been that easy at first. I had trouble positioning my newborn so she could latch on properly. I almost got discouraged during the first days. However, I was very determined to breastfeed, so much that I had started attending the local La Leche League meetings when I was four months pregnant. I loved being surrounded by mothers breastfeeding their babies. This was exactly what I needed: not abstract theory but practical example from other women. After a week of trial and error, I eventually managed to get a good position to feed my newborn daughter, so that she would not take too much air when feeding. When I started going to La Leche League meetings with my own baby this time, things got even easier. Breastfeeding became a natural part of my daily life. Breastfeeding was tremendously helped by learning the skill of babywearing. Hence, carrying my baby against my heart allowed me to feed her discreetly anywhere. If giving birth at home does not mean than breastfeeding will be automatically an easy task, it has secondary benefits. Thus, giving birth at home, enjoying the first nights with baby from the comfort of my own bed and being surrounded by a familiar environment meant for me I had more energy and peace. Whenever the life of a new mother is made easy in some way, she can enjoy peace of mind and the strength to learn this ancestral and beautiful art: breastfeeding her baby.
There is one children book which touched my heart deeply. It is entitled “Welcome With Love” and I read it so many times when the children were smaller. The drawings are stunning. I love how the story is so authentic regarding giving birth at home. Thus, the mother goes outside for a stroll when labor begins. Then, when contractions intensify, she leans on her husband. The aunt is present in the house and reassures the big brother. She tells him than mummy is making loud noises because the baby is coming soon. She has brought nice soup for the whole family. There is a drawing of a baby boy coming out of the mother back body while she is almost standing. The father gathers wood outside, then makes a big nice fire in the living room. Eventually, they all sleep together on mattresses gathered in the main room to celebrate the new baby.
I learn every day from my children. I love when my son asked: “What is this face mummy?”. He reminds me in a humorous way that the present moment is far more valuable than all the worries I can make dance inside my head. He reminds me that anxiety shows on the face and make the corners of my mouth fall down. I am glad for his little reminders which make me laugh and bring gratitude back into my life, gratitude for being alive, here, now.