Rachel Power is a sling consultant and model for Oscha Slings (oschaslings.com). She shares her advice from wearing her son whilst pregnant with her daughter. ‘I carried my three year old throughout my most recent pregnancy, I believe it helped him to adjust emotionally with the worries of what this unknown new addition to our family might bring. I found woven wraps most versatile, adjusting the carries I used to suit the physiological changes in my body.
The most important thing about babywearing when pregnant is to listen to your body, don’t push yourself too far and be aware that the physiological changes may effect your centre of gravity and make it more difficult. When I showed signs of developing pelvic girdle pain in my third trimester I took a break from carrying my son and on advice from my physiotherapist used a woven wrap to help support my growing bump. After my daughter was born I did attempt a few tandem carries and occasionally still do, it’s lovely for my son to feel he still gets the bonding experience that babywearing brings.’
Connection During Change
Kate Nisbet at firespiralslings.co.uk is a mum of two and a Trageschule trained babywearing consultant.
‘Pregnancy doesn’t have to pause your babywearing journey, however you must make sure, above all that you are comfortable. Woven wraps can be tied in many different ways, allowing you to tailor the carry to the needs of your body at each stage.
If your body is already used to carrying then wearing during pregnancy will have little effect, especially in the early days. When your bump starts to grow then a nice high back carry is a wonderful option. I wrapped my toddler whilst I was pregnant with his sister and found that I preferred either to have a tibetan finish or to knot at the shoulder. This took away any pressure resting on my bump. I also preferred to have carries with multiple passes which offered a little extra support, a double rebozo or a double hammock were my favourites, although you want to make sure that any chest passes aren’t too restrictive. Remember comfort is paramount.
Towards the end of my pregnancy when everything was changing, I found being able to wear my toddler meant that we could connect and I could keep him close at time when so much was changing. We were able to support each other when we both needed it most.’
“I found being able to wear my toddler meant that we could connect and I could keep him close at time when so much was changing”
Jo Mockford at carrymybaby.co.uk recommends seeking the advice of a babywearing consultant to get the right sling for you.
‘When carrying your child in pregnancy it’s important to listen to your body and be prepared to make new accommodations as your bump grows. If your body is used to the weight of your child and there are no medical reasons to avoid it, then usually it is safe to continue. In the early days front and hip carries may still be possible, but soon enough you may find back carries preferable to avoid pressure on the tummy area. A mei tai like the Hop-Tye can be a good option as the waistband is usually soft, not too wide, and it can be tied around the waist above bump. A thick, structured waistband can often feel too much, but a buckle option like a Wompat has a soft, more mouldable waistband. If a waistband feels too uncomfortable a woven wrap like the Luna could be ideal, tied off with a knotless finish. Ultimately it can be very individual what feels comfortable so it is worth visiting your local sling library or babywearing consultant to try a few for yourself.’
Carry in Comfort
Sarah Sadler of connectababycarrier.com believes that babywearing whilst pregnant is fine as long as you make adjustments for comfort.
‘Carrying when pregnant is something that can be done as long as you listen to your body and your care team. As your pregnancy progresses you may find that you need to make changes to how you carry and adjust where straps and buckles go. The Connecta can be used in pregnancy for as long as you are comfortable and do not have a medical reason not to carry. Many mums to be find that lifting the waist strap high so it sits above the baby bump allows for comfortable carrying. The soft unstructured waist of the Connecta means that it can be moulded to fit easily around your bump with no additional pressure points.’