Babywearing whilst pregnant is something that we are often asked about. For parents who have often carried their older child since birth the idea that they might suddenly be faced with stopping can seem daunting and even create a feeling of grief over the loss of that bond.
The good news is that pregnancy alone isn’t a reason to suddenly stop carrying if it’s something your body is used to. As in all cases, we advise you listen to your body, and rest when you need as pregnancy can be very taxing. In pregnancy, as well as the growth of your bump, care should be taken to protect your joints, which can become more sensitive to strain and poor positioning with the presence of higher levels of relaxin. It’s worth making sure you are using a well fitted carrier, that allows you to adopt a normal posture, and, again, to rest when needed. If you are finding carrying your older baby painful, and you have ensured that your carrier is well fitted and suited to your changing shape, then taking care of yourself should be prioritised.
A meh dai tied Tibetan above the bump Jeni from Little Possums
Meh dai tied below the bump. Sarah Smith, Greenwich Slings/South East London Slingers
Where to wear the Waistband?
Waistband positioning when back-carrying is another frequent issue. The usual answer is that the ‘right’ position is wherever you find it most comfortable. For some that’s below the bump, and for others above. This may depend on the carrier, the stage of pregnancy and the weight of the child. It may change throughout pregnancy too, so don’t be afraid to try some different positions.
For some people there may be no comfy place for a waistband, but don’t despair, there are plenty of carriers with no waistband! Onbuhimos are one such popular choice during pregnancy, woven wraps can be tied in many ways avoiding the waist, as can podaegis, so there are lots of options to explore! Personally, I found that a meh dai tied onbuhimo-style was my preferred choice. The waistband allowed me to use my preferred hip-scoot method to get my toddler onto my back, but once the shoulder straps were tied I undid the waistband leaving no pressure on my bump.
Front-carrying whilst pregnant can be challenging; as your bump grows and you usually raise the child on your front above the bump, it may become impractical, but if you can still see, and ‘s not straining or uncomfortable, then you don’t have to stop. You may find a ring sling or other hip carry option a more practical compromise that allows you to see though! Care should be taken when using hip carries and asymmetric carries that strain is not placed on the joints, and that you don’t adopt a misaligned or twisted posture to compensate for the weight distribution resting on one side.
If you need further carrying advice or have concerns then visit a local or online sling library or consultant, for specialist support. For any concerns about the pregnancy itself always contact your midwife or pregnancy unit.
Jenni Littlejohns- It’s A Sling Thing