Positive effects associated with babywearing

Positive effects associated with babywearing






When babies enter the world, they expect to be, and need to be carried by us.









Be this in our arms or with the aid of slings and carriers, the positive effects are wide reaching for baby, parents and society as whole.





Positive effects for baby





  • Encourages bonding
  • Helps to regulate body systems and growth
  • Promotes and encourages breastfeeding
  • Reduces crying, often calming for fussy babies. 
  • Encourages social and language development




Positive effects for parents





  • Heightens awareness and responsiveness to baby
  • Help with perinatal mood disorders
  • Increase Paternal confidence and family connections 
  • ’Hands free’ for tasks and getting out the house.
  • Provide comfort and nurturing for older children 




Positive effects for society





  • Strong bonds are linked to more resilient children




  • Carrying keeps families active
  • associated higher breastfeeding rates
  • Carried babies have less ear infections
  • Improves perinatal mental health, good for everyone!




Read more (link)⠀⠀⠀





Listen to my @beyondbabyhood (expanded) podcast version





If you want to read more positive effects, read the original article here by Dr Rosie Knowles @ Carrying Matters.  





Read more (Book)





If you want to know even more about babywearing, it’s history, the science and why it matters to everyone that we carry our babies. 





Try Why Babywearing Matters
It’s written by Rosie, a GP who is also a bit of a babywearing community legend and I love love love this book. Well done Dr Rosie Knowles!






Why give up your best parenting tool?


Aunt bossy, nosy neighbors and pushy parents at the school gates all feel like they have a say on when your growing breastfed little one weans





You might feel pressure to wean due to cultural/historical reasons, religious reasons and even medical reasons. If it doesn’t feel or sound right, I encourage you to question it and  seek second, more specialized or culturally appropriate opinion.





Here’s why you can (and probably should) ignore them with confidence. 





Spend any time with a breastfeeding family and you will quickly see the many reasons a little one will ask to feed. A loud noise scared them, they bumped their head, someone new is in their home, they are tired, their teeth are sore and on and on. Breastfeeding is more than just food, and for many families its a mothering tool they wouldn’t quickly give up. 





Ask any sibling to a breastfed little one what they need at any moment of upset, they will tell you the baby needs boobie, mummy milk, or whatever their phrase for it is. If small children can see this one thing fixes many, why do us grown ups struggle with it so much?







2 years OR beyond.





The World Health Organisation recognize the important part breastfeeding has in a child’s early years, recommending breastfeeding continue to 2 years OR beyond. This is the bit people get stuck on or forget all together. 





Most places I go, I will end up talking to someone about breastfeeding in some way or another. I think of it like smokers all getting the urge at once, see a breastfed baby and ops all the other breastfed little ones want some. Similar happens with grown ups wanting to talk about it. Yes you probably hear more about the disapproving public in the media but this has not been my experience.





Another perspective





ABM’s recent social media campaigns #feedon give brilliant visual proof of the many parents feeding beyond babyhood with such tender moments captured.





I remember when a guy saved my toddler from some impending calamity at a conference center. Next it was time for cuddles and milk and we had a long chat about his own nursing toddler at home. I listened as he told me of the wonders of breastfeeding beyond babyhood, how it was a fabulous parenting tool but his wife where fretting how to get her to stop as she was turning two next week. 





I listened as he (mis quoted) the WHO guidance for breastfeeding duration and validated his feelings and concerns. I let him into the secrete that over the next 48 hours, the conference center was going to be filled with very normal, very well adjusted breastfeeding 3,4,5 + year olds who all still breastfeed.





These families knew the ease of breastfeeding though Chicken pox, travel on airplanes, though to reducing sibling rivalry with tandem nursing.









When ever we passed each other over the weekend, we shared a smile, I hope I gave him the gift of another perspective. 





Science measures for us the nutritional reasons why breast milk continues to be designed to continue beyond babyhood, but when we look at only this, we are missing how as a parenting or mothering tool, there is nothing that can do so much within one package!





Learning to Dance





Many parents find as  their little ones grow, the breastfeeding relationship becomes more like a dance with both a partnership element and need for your own boundaries. Without them, parents can get to a point of feeling so overwhelmed that they want to give up breastfeeding all together. This is rarely necessary and by working alongside a skilled breastfeeding supporter, it’s nearly always possible to find some adjustments to try to maintain all the benefits of breastfeeding a little longer. 





Some parents struggle with unbidden feelings of aversion, some really do just want to wean right now, and then some struggle with feelings during and after weaning. 





Final thoughts





Wherever you are at, I encourage you to acknowledge all the ways breastfeeding is the seamless answer to so many parenting problems. Don’t be in a hurry to give it up for someone else’s reasons. 





Further reading





La Leche League – Still Nursing? 





Kelly Mom – Breastfeeding Past Infancy 





La Leche League – Thinking of Weaning?





Breastfeeding Aversion and Agitation 





Books
Mothering your Nursing Toddler





The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding





Have you listened to the Beyond Babyhood podcast yet?


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