1. Adjust your baby carrier
The first thing to do is quick and easy: check that you are actually using your baby carrier correctly, and that it’s the right kind of carrier for you.
- You can check the T.I.C.K.S. Rule for Safe Babywearing here – print it out and stick it on your fridge.
- Carrying Matters is a really high-quality website with lots of resources & photo tutorials.
- Go to Eventbrite, Facebook, Google, Meetup and type in “babywearing + your location” to find local support groups & meetups. In Canberra we have the Babywearing A.C.T group which is a good starting point.
If you can’t find any local babywearing groups, video demos are a good alternative. Make sure you actually practice while you are watching the videos (with a doll until you feel more confident).
Some good video demos on YouTube
Once you feel confident that you’re using your baby carrier correctly, the next thing to adjust is your…self.
2. Adjust yourself
The way you stand and walk affects your comfort while carrying your baby.
Maybe you tend to lean forward with the weight of your body over your toes. Maybe you jut your chin up and forward, or tuck your pelvis. Maybe you slump your shoulders.
You might have gotten away with these habits prior to giving birth, but add a heavy load – your baby – and you may start to experience chronic pain in your neck, shoulders, and back.
You can make some really simple little adjustments to your posture while carrying your baby. Not only will you reduce your discomfort in the moment, but you may lower your risk of long-term health problems associated with poor posture.
Helpful links for adjusting your posture:
Have a look at the Gokhale Method, a a system of healthy posture and movement to help restore your structural integrity. There are only two teachers of this method in Australia and we are very lucky that one of them lives in Canberra: Tegan Kahn. She offers a free introductory workshop, so go and check it out. I found it so helpful that I’m taking the Foundations Course with Tegan now – it’s really transformative, and I’d recommend it to anyone, but especially to mothers!
Katy Bowman at Nutritious Movement is another fantastic resource – she is a biomechanist who blends a scientific approach with straight talk about sensible, whole-life movement solutions. This podcast episode, Babies and Movement, is especially relevant.
In part 2 of this blog post, I’ll share the third thing you can try if babywearing isn’t working for you. It’s simple, effective, and time-tested, and yet many people feel huge resistance towards this solution. What could it be? 🙂