Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Breastfeeding in Baby Carriers

Breastfeeding with baby in a carrier is liberating. Once I learned to breastfeed Rhys in his Ergo, I was able to breastfeed while walking, while hiking, while shopping, and even once on the kiddie train at Knotts Berry Farm (no joke). Being able to breastfeed while moving around enabled my husband and I to incorporate Rhys into our active lifestyle with ease.

To breastfeed in the Ergo:

* Wear easy access nursing clothing. A nursing tank with a full sling offers a bit of coverage to the top of the breast and can help you nurse discretely. A v-neck or low scoop neck top that you can pull down to nurse would also work well. What won't work as well: A shirt that you have to lift from the waist for nursing access.

* Loosen the shoulder straps. For regular babywearing, baby should be situated at "kissing distance", so that you're able to kiss the top of baby's head. For nursing, baby should be a bit lower, at breast height. Loosening the shoulder straps a bit will help accomplish this.

* For additional coverage, if desired, a nursing cover can be worn. In my personal experience, Rhys rejects the nursing cover when being fed in a cradle position, but doesn't object when in the carrier. However, if you're able to nurse discreetly (or if you're exercising your right to nurse indiscreetly!), baby may enjoy the view while you walk and nurse.

* Uncover the breast, slide baby over and help baby latch. It may be necessary to support the breast from underneath while latching.

* Go about your business! Hike! Shop! Wait in lines at amusement parks!

Nursing is also possible using a Moby or other wrap style carrier. Either in the "Hug Hold" which is very similar to the Ergo carrier positioning, in the Moby Wrap's Breastfeeding Hold as described here or in a nursing carry like the one demonstrated by this mom via YouTube.


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