Babywearing for Two – Tips and Tricks for Babywearing While Pregnant
Pregnancy and Babywearing can go together! Babywearing is a great tool to use to care for your littles and is something you can continue to use even while pregnant. It can help you care and meet the needs of soon to be big siblings and also be used to help some of the discomfort caused by pregnancy (belly wrapping).
Babywearing is considered a physical activity, so be sure to check with your medical professional that you are okay to wear your child. In most cases if you are able to carry your child in your arms then you’ll be okay to wear them. But above all listen to your body. You may find that some carriers are just not comfortable during different stages of your pregnancy or that babywearing won’t be comfortable. Do what feels right for you and follow the advice of any medical professionals who know your particular circumstances. Stop or modify your babywearing if you feel any pain or discomfort.
Why Babywearing While Pregnant can be Helpful
Babywearing while pregnant can help give your body a break by letting the carrier do the work to support your child. Carriers can lessen strain and be more comfortable than holding your child in your arms (especially as your belly grows bigger). Carriers can also provide additional support when your arms, hips and back could use some help.
Another perk of babywearing while pregnant is having your arms free to get other responsibilities accomplished. You’re free to work on nesting, preparing food to nourish the growing baby inside you, toting your other child(ren) to and from school/appointments/errands and treasuring these moments with your current babies before they become big siblings. It also gives you the opportunity, if you choose, to leave behind the heavy stroller instead of carrying it in and out of the house or car.
Babywearing has so many benefits for you and your child. Keeping them close to help meet their needs as well as reassuring them of your love and support as you prepare for your new baby’s arrival is so important for both of you.
Using Different Carriers while Pregnant
You may find that what was a comfortable way to wear your child before feels completely different now that you are pregnant. Luckily there are many options and tips to help find comfortable ways to babywear. You will typically find hip and back carries to be more comfortable and helpful during pregnancy.
Soft Structured Carriers
When wearing a soft structured carrier (ssc) your level of comfort usually depends on where you place the waist belt. You’ll find about a 50/50 split on how other pregnant mothers like to wear their carriers. You might also find that you like to wear the waistband one way during the beginning of your pregnancy and another way towards the end. It all depends on what is comfortable for you. One example of this would be finding the waistband more comfortable above your belly, up at your waist, from weeks 0-20 so it’s not putting any pressure during the bloating or beginning bump stages and then below your belly from weeks 20-40+ which can also help provide some hip/belly support. Just be sure you are listening to your body and what feels comfortable.
Using a mei tai while pregnant is very similar to using a ssc. Change up the placement of the waistband depending on where you find it most comfortable. One added perk of a mei tai is being able to do a tibetan finish. For experienced wearers, try tying the waist strap up in a tibetan finish as well for a carry with no weight on your belly at all.
Hip carries are easily done using a ring sling and they help position your child off your belly. Be aware that doing a hip carry with a larger child might throw off your balance/weight. Make sure to alternate sides semi frequently. For experienced wearers, there is the option of using ring slings for a back carry. In order to do this carry, a person should know how to neatly thread the sling, strand by strand tighten, approximate the size of the pouch, and make a nice deep seat for the toddler.
Many women love woven wraps the best when it comes to babywearing while pregnant because of how versatile, comfortable and moldable the fabric is. There are a ton of different carries to do with a wrap, including many that tie at the shoulder or chest and leave no weight or knots on the belly at all. Here is a small list of different carries you could try:
Half Jordan’s Back Carry with CCCB:
Ruck Tied Tibetan:
Belly Wrapping and More
Carriers aren’t just helpful for supporting babies. Woven wraps and ring slings can be used to:
- Increase your comfort during pregnancy
- Help turn a breech baby head down
- Ideally position a baby for ease of birthing
- Ease the pain of contractions or back labor
- Support you in the ideal squatting birth position
- Provide leverage for pushing
- Assist in regaining your pre-pregnancy health, fitness and shape by using as a belly band
Here is a great article by Wrap Your Baby that has more information on using wraps during and after labor http://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2013/03/using-a-wrap-for-labor-and-birth/
Here is a great article by Wrap Your Baby that gives information about using wraps during and after labor: http://wrapyourbaby.com/blog/2013/03/using-a-wrap-for-labor-and-birth/
Belly Wrapping with a Ring Sling:
Belly Wrapping with a Woven Wrap
Belly Wrapping for Separated Abs with a Woven
There are many benefits to babywearing while pregnant but above all make sure to always listen to your body. If something isn’t comfortable, try a different carrier or way of carrying your child. If that still doesn’t work, it is okay to not wear your child during part or all of your pregnancy. It’s most important to find what works best to take care of you, your new baby and your older child(ren). If that means getting your cuddle time on the couch instead of in a carrier that’s okay. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to use all those carriers soon enough!