Babywearing with Jess


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Breastfeeding in a woven wrap in a cradle position

A Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) is generally the first carry most people learn in a woven wrap. This way to adapt the carry to allow you to feed in a cradle position is shown in the video below:

 

Make sure to follow the breastfeeding safety guidelines which are talked about in the video (in case you want to watch it without sound cause you are feeding baby right now! 😛 )

 

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Using a sling to support you breastfeeding

So I shared with you some safety tips about feeding in a carrier yesterday, but I realise, it didn’t really give much of a guide HOW to do so…

If you’re still a bit lost as how to do it in whatever option of sling, wrap or carrier you have, check out this great article on the Sheffield Sling Surgery page – Breast & Bottle feeding Safely in a Sling

Rosie is a wealth of knowledge and great resources and in this article she outlines some various tips about feeding in woven wraps, stretchy wraps, ring slings and buckle carriers specifically so there of information about specifics there.

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http://www.sheffieldslingsurgery.co.uk/breast-and-bottle-feeding-safely-in-a-sling

 

Another point about feeding and slings and carriers is it doesn’t necessarily have to be a “feeding on the go” situation. These tools can also just be used to support your arm!

If you didn’t already know, newborns particularly can feed A LOT! So much so there is a whole market of pillows and chairs and other items to help breastfeeding Mum’s bear the weight of holding baby in this position for large proportions of the day (and night!).

You actually don’t need as many items as are marketed to you as you new parents. That I can assure you of. But if you don’t believe me there are lots of other places and people who can tell you the same… Like here – Babies needn’t be expensive. Stop buying stuff.

The point is, if you have a wrap, sling or carrier you can use it in just the same fashion, standing or sitting… As a support for your arm…

You don’t even need to buy a specific sling or carrier, you can use a scarf or sarong or something you have around the house already!

 

Like this….

 

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Thanks Raising Ziggy 🙂

 

And hey, awesome advantage, you can actually use your arm more…

It is a whole new post about drinking and breastfeeding here but in short, one glass of wine at the time you are actually feeding your child isn’t going to even get into your breastmilk at all in the time they are finishing that feed so lets just leave that topic for another day!

Personally, I didn’t have a drink for the whole nine months I was pregnant with my kids and I figure that’s long enough haha The night after Jai was born, I thoroughly enjoyed and savored that long awaiting and much anticipated glass of Malbec with my Mum and husband after we got the kids to sleep! So that probably gives you some insight into my views on the topic… 😉

 

 

Anyhow, back to the topic at hand…

Here is a video from Rosie showing how to use a stretchy wrap to do so.

 

 

I have shared this one because I know from talking to a lot of new mums a stretchy wrap can commonly be the carrier that people gift to them… They can also seem confusing and overwhelming..

They don’t have to be. And even if you are not too sure about having it tight and secure and safe for on the go (please head to a Sling Meet or find a local consultant, hands on help makes the world of difference!!) you may want to try this..

 

But remember the breastfeeding safety tips, check them out again here, these still apply is you are sitting or using it as a support!

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To see more about general carrier and babywearing safety, see the post about An’So Child-Carrying Safety Guidelines.


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Breastfeeding in a sling or carrier

So I knew this was coming, I have to eat some of my own words from previous posts after the Slingababy training and here is the one of the first big ones for you…

Breastfeeding in a sling or carrier.. I am not saying that I haven’t said it can be done, nor have you all probably seen plenty of my photos with my boobs in them because my children have proudly showed them off as their own for four years now…

 

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Grocery shopping with Jai as a newborn

 

But when I read my previous post, Feeding on the go, and I read the following I cringe a little…

 

Once you feel confident about latch and breastfeeding in general, and you also feel confident about wearing your baby in which ever version of wrap or carrier of your choice, let me invite you to try something that will actually change your world as a breastfeeding mum; feeding on the go.

 

So why? What’s wrong with what I said there??

Well, as was so earth shatteringly brought to my attention when I spouted that “line” that I have heard many, many times in the world of babywearing support before, I had a few hard questions asked of me.

 

Why do you have to be confident about your latch to feed in a carrier? When did you (Jess) feel confident with your latch feeding your boys? Did you feed them in a carrier before then?

 

Well, I don’t know why you ‘have to feel confident with latch’… its just what people say I guess. I’m not sure when or if I ever felt “confident about my latch” in the two years I breastfeed Josh.

Feeding Jai has been different, he didn’t have a bad tongue tie like Josh did, my boobs remembered the job from last time, I didn’t have the same self doubt and Jai has feed like a champ from as soon as he was born.

Josh was a completely different story and I for sure feed him in a carrier before I felt confident about my latch. I just popped a boob out left, right and centre for the first two years of that kids life. He may have had issues breastfeeding but a boob fixed that all that baby’s problems so I didn’t hesitate for a second to whip it out if I could.

And I just rolled with it, I made it up. I didn’t follow any rules, I didn’t know there were any I was “meant” to be following… He was strapped to my front and nuzzling at my boobs starting to grizzle cause he wanted a feed and so I jiggled and wiggled a bit and hiked my boob up with my hand so he could latch on.

And that’s pretty much it.

 

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            Feed ALL the babies!! 😉 Breasting Jai as a newborn while also bottle feeding a lamb..    

And check out the adorable look on Josh’s face!!

 

 

So I eat my own words here. I am not going to delete that from my previous post because it is a common myth about some of the guidelines that have become like “golden rules” in the babywearing community in an attempt to be helpful. Instead though, it doesn’t really achieve that…

 

So, if you want to try breastfeeding in a carrier, here is some extra tips about carrier safety for you.

 

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To see more about general babywearing and sling and carrier safety guidelines more generally, please check out this post – An’So Child-Carrying Safety Guidelines

 

Please feel free to share, print or otherwise freely distribute this infographic with attribution to Babywearing with Jess as the source 🙂

 

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


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Wearing my baby for my sisters wedding…

​My little sister got married this year!! 

It was a beautiful event in a lavish setting… In Cabarita Beach, Queensland, Australia..  

But big events like weddings (not to even mention with travel!), can be stressful or difficult to manage at times with a baby in any setting.. And at my little sisters wedding, maybe more than other times, I was so thankful for babywearing, and on many occasions! 

My two boys were the paige boys and in all the excitement of meeting with the two flower girls and their mums, seeing Nanna and Aunty Kate and “all the flowers” (haha that was what struck Josh most apparently…) and Joshy being given the rings in a special box and his special instructions, and then walking down these big stairs and in front of all these people as his brother announced super loudly to everyone, “that’s the wedding rings in there!” as he handed the box to the best man… Jai was more than a little intrigued with the whole process! 

It was special and awesome but totally overwhelming to an overtired ten month old! Luckily as we walked through the gate and down the aisle, I had my hands free enough thanks to babywearing, that Jai could cling to me like a star struck little koala and I could also remind Joshy he needed to get to the other end of the aisle and not just smile and tell everyone he has the rings heheh 😉 

And look at Jai’s wee face.. He was actually trying to feed to sleep throughout the time we where in the bridal suite and stuff and I was joking but actually half concerned I might be walking down the aisle with a boob out hahaha but it was waaay to interesting to feed to sleep then obviously… Thank God! 

After Joshy had delivered the rings, the flower girls, my beautiful Mum and Sister had also come down the aisle and the ceremony started.. 

Jai started to grizzle and fuss so I just “popped a boob out” and he quickly feed to sleep as the ceremony went on.. 

He was out for the count before it was halfway through, during the pre drinks, family photos and start of the reception… All while strapped to me. 

I was able to be part of everything, have my whole young family involved in it and not have to miss any of the action. Despite my baby being on such a super overlapping naptime and grizzly period, totally not helped by the time difference. But because he was happy and sleeping on me, I didn’t have to go check on him somewhere else or have a crying baby to contend with… 

Even if he was asleep for all the family photos hahaha 😂 


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Breastfeeding and baby weight…

I remember the first time being pregnant and soo many people telling me, “don’t worry, breastfeeding is great for weight loss!”

With many, many extra unnecessary kilos that I piled on pregnant with Josh, I felt this little security blanket, like, aside from all the benefits to baby, of breastfeeding will help me lose weight, thats a massive motivator to battle through those first really f*cking hard part when you first start to feed your baby.

And with Josh is was super hard… It wasn’t the “natural instinct” kind of thing I half expected it to be. He had a tounge tie that didn’t get released until he was about four weeks old. For those first four weeks, breastfeeding was agony, I’m not gonna lie. My nipples were cracked and bleeding and just generally sore.

He had a shallow latch and everytime I feed him, the moment I put him to my boob, I would hold my breath and wait for that kind of toe curling pain as he latched on. My midwife suggested I try to express so I could my husband to give him breastmilk in a bottle to give my boobs a break. I tried expressing at that point (I did a lot of expressing my first time breastfeeding, I haven’t used a pump once this time round cause of my negative associations to it I think!) and the milk was so mixed with blood that it was pink!

“That’s ok, you can still give it to him” she said. “yeah but what about my poor bleeding nipples?!?” I thought! Those first six weeks are a blurr of lanolin, topless time in the sun, lactation consultants, La Le Leache meets, tongue tie snip, perseverance and pain killers… And somehow we got through…

About seven or eight weeks in, something clicked. We both got better at it, we worked out how to sus a deeper latch, we learned tips and tricks and we practised hard. All of a sudden, it was more like that “natural experience” that I had initially expected, but it took us a lot of hard work at first to get there.

And through those hard times, now this part might sound vain, but of all the reasons I would repeat to myself that we needed to get this right, that breastfeeding was so important for me to be able to do, was that little personal benefit that it would help me lose weight.

And like three months in, with a newborn who feed around the clock, I suddenly realised I not only hadn’t lost any extra weight, but had well and truly retained my “baby weight” and more… And I was shattered.

Then I read about how some women lose weight with breastfeeding and others, well, some don’t. Breastfeeding, at least for me initially, made me gain it. I was sooo hungry breastfeeding, more than I was pregnant! It felt like he was sucking the life out of me but the fat stores.. well, not so much.

Then we hit somewhere between 9-12 months and he dropped a few feeds and all of a sudden, the weight started falling off without me trying! So I got motivated and started walking more (often with him strapped to my back, usually pushing an empty pram up and down the hills of Massey where we lived at the time) and in about the same time it took me to grow him in my puku as a baby, I was down about 30kgs.

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Then Josh slowly dropped more and more feeds and self weaned shortly before turning two. And, for me at least, at that point, the last ten kilos of the weight I had gained when pregnant with him just kind of fell off! Right in time for me to get pregnant again hahaha

I only even thought about any of this as the other day I put a pair of pants on and they just straight up fell down again… Then someone said to me “wow, I was just thinking you were wasting away”… Now this was only someone I know from recently, who has only known me with a newborn and in an “up swing”… See as much as I don’t like it, I’ve come to realise my weight with pregnancy and childbirth, I guess even broader than that even potentially, is often a bloody yo-yo!

I have been both unhealthily skinny and obesely overweight at different stages of my life and have had huge issues around that on a number of levels. The thing I realised a few years ago is the more I focus on it, the more I struggle with it whatever that means depending on the stage etc.

And then I thought, “ah ha! Of course, Jai is almost one…” yes this time round I was much better at staying really super physically active (kinda hard not to with a two year old anyway) and ate better but I still put on almost 30kgs when pregnant with Jai, still a big improvement on the 40kgs I put on with Josh. And I have held onto it mostly, until recently…

Now I can’t tell you how much weight I have lost (as I purposely don’t own a scale, makes me too obsessive and honestly, it’s a shit measure of weight loss anyway cause it doesn’t account for muscle density or any of those other factors!) but I do know when I pulled out a pair of pre pregnancy jeans today before taking my big boy to his first real concert (Ice Age Live! We loved it!!) cause I couldn’t find my “in between” jeans and my post birth ones were falling off… They fit!

Not my skinny jeans yet… But anyhow, wanted to share hope with those of you who don’t immediately find the weight drop off breastfeeding, that it still might help, I’m sure extended breastfeeding has helped me lose weight… I have always struggled with weight loss, partly given PSOC, but after that initial part of feeding, I have definitely needed much less effort than normal to make the weight drop off…

Yay for boobs.. But also, I guess the key take home message is, don’t worry about it too much.. You are growing a human… Your body and their hormones, this is their thing, and they are awesome, look what cool shit they can do?! But it affects and impacts us all differently and our bodies have thier own unique ways of coping with that.. Mine happens to be “gain easily and hold for dear life onto those fat stores” until I can leave my baby without boobs for over six hours, like today…

And again, another yay for totally unexpectedly fitting prepregnancy jeans! 😝


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Feeding on the go!

Breastfeeding and babywearing go hand in hand. The closeness of babywearing helps release hormones in those early days which will increase your milk production.

Once you feel confident about latch and breastfeeding in general, and you also feel confident about wearing your baby in which ever version of wrap or carrier of your choice, let me invite you to try something that will actually change your world as a breastfeeding mum; feeding on the go.

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I don’t know how I would have gone grocery shopping and kept my sanity with a newborn (as my baby would have lost the plot and a 2.5 year old in a supermarket is a special kind of torture alone!) this time around if I wasn’t able to feed on the go!

There are only minor tweaks and adjustments needed to make this possible, in most, I would even go so far as to say, all carriers. I am yet to find one I can’t feed in but my babies are boob monsters and constantly feed for at least the first year of life it seems, so this has been a huge survival tactic for me l, especially with a 2.5 year old and a newborn!

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Breastfeeding on the go with a friend, Nessa and her baby, Sophie. Both of us wearing open tail ring slings.

It has also helped us adjust to a family of four and help my eldest son and I keep doing things we have always done together, despite him now also having to share me with a boob hungry bubba!

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Sometimes it’s the only way to get dinner made…

Feeding in most carriers just requires you to drop the carry slightly lower (loosen off rings, loosen one side of you shoulder straps etc) and position your baby at the level of your boob before uncovering and helping them latch on if required.

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Babywearing at Playcentre, only way to juggle needs of different ages and stages of my kids for us anyway! (in a Diva Essenza Mei Tai)

If you feed a baby in a carrier or wrap and make adjustments to do so, it is important to readjust and tighten again once they have finished feeding. Always required but particularly important if they have fallen asleep… Plus it will save your back, having a low front carry can be quite strenuous on the shoulders and/or back.

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Breastfeeding the baby to sleep while supervising and splashing in the shallow river water with Mr 3.5 (in Natures Sway Pouch Pack)

It may not be completely hands-free, I often use one arm to support my baby’s head, the freedom to even just at least walk around while also feeding your baby can be a game changer I think! 😉

And breastfeeding in a carrier or wrap can be very discrete, I find it particularly helpful when my baby is going through that “popping on and off” phase where they can get easily distracted and drop their latch, wearing them can not only help provide more coverage (I sometimes pull the top rail of my ring sling really high in these cases, covering my boob and bubbas mouth so when he “pops off”, no one can directly see my nipple)

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Wearing Jai (7 months) in a Nature Baby open tail ring sling and feeding in Laila & Spot tshirt dress with hidden zips makes breastfeeding on the go also really discrete!

I have had more occasions than I can count where someone has gone to talk to Jai directly, look into the carrier at him or touched him while I am wearing and also breastfeeding him, and then been taken aback or apologetic when they do realise. Other times, I just have my boob just right on out there.. to be honest, after like almost 3 years of breastfeeding between both my kids so far already, I’m often more concerned about convenience rather than discretion!

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(don’t mind the sloppy as wrap job in this photo + the fact my boob is like just full on hanging out! Haha)

Have you uncovered the freedom that comes from feeding on the go? If you are unsure what kind of adjustments might be needed in your carrier, comment below and I can offer specific tips or message me at https://facebook.com/babywearingwithjess/