How To: Breastfeed and Babywear

How To: Breastfeed and Babywear

Originally posted on The Mommy Dialogues

Babywear and Breastfeed

“If I’m on the go, how do I breastfeed while babywearing and what carrier should I use?”

That’s a question I am asked a lot….and like any aspect of babywearing it does take practice and everyone will have their preferred carrier that they like to nurse in.  My first “rule” that I like to tell people is to get a good handle on JUST nursing, before you jump into nursing while babywearing.   Establish your nursing relationship, and work out all the kinks before trying to add in 1 more aspect to a sometimes complicated nursing relationship.  Once you’ve established your breastfeeding relationship, it’s time to try out some nursing in carriers.  For *me*, I have always found that ring slings have been the easiest and least complicated carrier to nurse in.  The tail also doubles as a cover for those mama’s who are just not comfortable baring it all while in public.

There are several ways to nurse in a ring sling, my personal favorite (and the one pictured) is called the cradle hold.  It’s very simple to get baby into position in just seconds, and puts baby exactly at breast level for easy access.  The quickest and easiest way to accomplish this, is to start with baby tummy to tummy and you literally just swing both legs over so they stick out 1 side.  That’s it.  Simple, quick, easy, comfortable and effective.  BAM nursing in a ring sling

For Mei Teis, and SSC’s, I found the easiest way to nurse was with baby sitting vertical in the tummy to tummy position and to loosen the straps and give a little shimmy to get them down to breast level and then pop your boob out. I’ll be honest and say I never really got the hang of discreet nursing in anything other then a ring sling, and typically did not nurse in other carriers.  Even as a seasoned babywearer, I never really did get a good handle on nursing in upright carriers, and found them to be cumbersome and uncomfortable.  Like with babywearing in general though, what I like and find comfortable you might hate and visa versa.  I encourage you to try out ALL kinds of carriers while nursing to find out what works best, and what is most comfortable for you.

Wraps….while I LOVE wrapping, wraps were the bane of my existence when trying to nurse my baby.  I see many moms who are able to accomplish a nursing hold in a wrap or like with the SSC/Mei Tei, just loosen it up a bit and do a little shimmy.  I was not one of those moms and I am jealous of those who found it easy to accomplish.  I love wrapping so much and tended to only use a ring sling if we were going to be out and about for awhile in case I needed to nurse, so my beautiful wraps collected a lot of dust during the early days of babyhood.  Maybe with the next baby, I will finally get the hang of nursing in a woven and I can be one of those wrapped nursing moms that I SO SO SO envy.

Happy Babywearing and nursing!