Babywearing with Jess


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What’s in a MAMA Maternity workshop??

I recently had the first of the monthly workshops to be held at MAMA Maternity!

There was five attendees and we managed to cover a huge amount of content!

So what is in these workshops..?

 

Well firstly I go over briefly a wee bit about baby physiology and some of the history and benefits of using a carrier with our children and babies. I will talk about safety and positioning in a carrier and answer any questions you guys might have about that.

 

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So at the start there is a bit of us all just talking and me giving my take on any points of confusion or answer any particular questions people might have.

 

Then I jump into a bit of a quick series of demo’s just designed to give you some kind of taster of the various styles and options available to you. I fear too many people buy an option that doesn’t work for them and rule out the concept of using a carrier all together…

 

 

After demonstrations, I provide some more take home information and open the library for playing and exploring with the dolls. I will post more soon about the use of dolls in these settings, but in summary, our kids pick up so much on the vibes we put out, if we practise and play with a baby in the sling, they sense our hesitation of uncertainty in what we are doing… The opportunity to play with dolls first gives you the chance to feel more confident about what you are doing before you even pick up your child!

 

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The beauty of these workshops, and indeed the nature of consultancy in the babywearing world, is the focus on tailoring the content and focus on what the people within the workshop want to do… There are limited spaces on each workshop to ensure I can at least attempt to meet all the varying requests and expectations in this setting which is just intended as a “taster” to the world of babywearing.

 

At my recent workshop earlier in the week, there were a few different requests and areas of interest… There was the Mums and Bubs yoga teacher with no kids of her own who wanted to learn more about babywearing for her clients (check out Lauren Kate Yoga ;), a few ‘experienced’ babywearers who were keen to pick up some new tricks, a new mama keen to hear about slings and carriers could help with her new baby and a pregnant mama interested in exploring the options before she even has her bubba.

 

 

Steph and baby Jessica (7 weeks) had been given a ring sling but where not quite sure where to start or if this was the best option for them. Together we decided, since she already had one at home, we would try using that from the library to see if that option could work for them. So while Steph settled bubs, I went through another demonstration more slowly and in detail to show her how to set up the pouch and put baby in.

When baby Jessica was happy with a full tum, another workshop attendee, Muirie, took the chance to sneak in some newborn cuddles while Steph and I went through the process together using the dolls. I also explained some other ways in which she might find her ring sling beneficial and alternative methods.

 

 

Here Lauren and I were discussing the importance of cupping your shoulder and spreading the back pass in a ring sling so to spread the load of baby. We also spent quite a bit of time discussing how carry your child in any kind of carrier helps to keep an ergonomic alignment when bearing weight.

I actually bought my first ring sling when Josh was about 15 months old (Jai’s age now!) because he so often wanted quick ups and downs in my arms but holding him on my hip was making me bend myself in a kind of C shape to support his weight on my hip bone. The process of doing so over and over again exacerbated the tilt in my pelvis from post birth which I hadn’t really made any effort to correct before then.

 

After some serious pain in my lower back, shoulders and neck and many many trips to the Osteopath, I spent quite a bit of time in the Pilates studio to try and correct it. Wearing a ring sling to hold Josh in that same position he had grown accustomed to being carried in meant the exaggerated bend wasn’t necessary, my back and shoulders help support his weight instead of my hip bone. While I was still essentially carrying him in just the same way, the nature of the sling meant I kept my back and spine straighter and was strengthening my core muscles, not those in my lower back which were trying to compensate for the unnatural curve in my spine and hips.

 

We then also got to spend a wee bit of time playing with wraps and showing some of the ‘old hands’ at babywearing a few off the tips and tricks I picked up through the Slingababy consultant training process 😉

 

These guys where a great ‘taster’ of all the kinds of people I was hoping to be able to benefit from the workshop setting and while it meant we covered heaps of content and various focuses in the short time we were together, everyone also benefited from seeing and sharing everyone else’s experiences, questions and exploration.

 

The next MAMA workshop is scheduled for the 17th October, 2016 at 1030am-12pm – https://www.facebook.com/events/1138734226207351/


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I didn’t babywear today…

For the first time since my youngest son was born eight months ago, I didn’t wear him at all today.

This weekend I have been hiding away from my kids and husband busily working on renovations in the wee cottage we have on our property. Painting and home renovations are very therapeutic to me; I am an “active relaxer” and in order for me to clear my mind, I need to be really engaged in something physically to give my brain space to think.

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Renovations in progress! Thanks to Mr 3 for helping pick the colours 😊

As I was contemplating that very thought, it occurred to me that renovations & home DIY stuff has been something I have turned to everytime I have been faced with something that seemed too big to handle.. When my Dad died, I completely renovated my house before renting it out. When his mum, my Nanna, passed away not that long after, I renovated my now husband’s family property. When I had a miscarriage not long after that, I retreated without my husband and son, to the new property which we had just bought and did all kinds of renovations there..

Maybe it is something about the old state of things being restored and renewed that helps me process and move forward from things. I always seem to have a sense of completion or I guess a kind of closure on that chapter of my life once I have physically finished the project..

Anyhow, as I was painting and thinking and processing and healing, a few conversations I have had recently with some of my beautiful mama friends kept coming back to me… And then this meme made its way into my newsfeed…

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Then the thought occurred to me that I think sometimes, I might be quite good at hiding it! 😉

Yes at the moment, I wear my kids quite a lot; yes I also breastfeed on the go with my youngest in a sling or wrap quite often; yes my youngest will happily “wrapnap” on me amongst chaos and noise; and yes, because my big boy has been carried a lot of his short life too, I sometime wear both of them at the same time! But we do this because it works for us and that’s not the same for others, and nor should it be.. Besides, just cause that’s what people see, doesn’t make it our constant reality, nor is it without its downsides…

The fact is babywearing is just a parenting tool, one I am very passionate about, but it is also a workout! Carrying around 10kgs strapped to me for usually at least a few hours a day for the last eight months has taken its toll on my body and I am starting again to have issues with old injuries after many years without thinking of them. Breastfeeding on the go is bloody draining, not to mention dehydrating, especially in this crazy hot weather! And if I don’t make self care and listening to my body a priority I am prone to getting “touched out” & snapping at everyone (I know this not because I am great at doing self care but more because I am actively trying to get better at NOT doing the latter)…

I was going to write more about Babywearing Self Care but think that probably deserves it’s own post… My point was more that those things are just the way we have best worked out how to cope with this transition to a family of four…

You may wish that your baby would breastfeed or nap in a carrier like mine, but I wish my baby would sleep without me beside him somewhere besides the hammock he has outgrown and yet we continue to try stuff him into! You may think it’s impressive that I will tandem wear my children, I am impressed your three year old will actually hold onto you when you piggy back them! It’s all perception and perspective…

We recognise each others strengths as parents, but how often do we forget all that shit and just pat ourselves on the back for the awesome stuff we do for our own kids?!

Comparison and self criticism seems to come with the territory with motherhood in my experience and yet we do ourselves no favours with it. Recognise the awesome shit other mums do, tell them about it & remind them they are awesome (we should tell each other more often I think!) but then do the same for yourself.

You are awesome, you do amazing things for your kids and your family, don’t let anyone (or yourself for that matter!) make you compare or question otherwise!

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