As a new mom, you are probably well-acquainted with the notion of not having enough appendages to get things done while also carrying around your bundle of joy. From one-handed diaper changes on another kiddo, to one-handed cooking and, of course, a very important yet oh-so-careful one-handed coffee pour. And if picking up socks with feet was an Olympic sport, moms would have taken the gold a long time ago.
Having your hands free as a mom is invaluable. Luckily, there are several babywearing products on the market allowing you to keep your little one close while freeing up your hands to go about your day. Whether you’re caring for other kids, working, shopping, or doing something for yourself, wearing a baby helps you get more stuff accomplished!
Not all babywearing devices are going to fit your lifestyle – literally and figuratively. Many are hot, heavy, bulky, or simply too difficult to use. The best baby carrier for you should make your life easier, not harder.
To get the skinny on the good, bad, and best in all things babywearing, we sat down with tow moms who also double as maternal health experts. We asked them their opinions on the best baby carrier in terms of safety, comfort, and one that will also ensure your postural wellness.
Dr. Deb Dlug
Dr. Deb Dlug is the founder of Well Adjusted, LLC, a company dedicated to helping patients take control of their health to live happier and fuller lives through chiropractic practices.
Janelle is a postural alignment specialist. She helps women discover the connection between postpartum pain and misalignment to help them heal.
Many women deal with pain due to postural problems when they are postpartum. Janelle gives exercises and to new moms to help them manage pain. More importantly, she helps them correct the root of the problem by using the Egoscue Method. This method uses a series of gentle exercises and stretches to help moms return balance and symmetry to their bodies.
For many on-the-go mamas, the urge to jump back into their pre-baby routine can be strong. It’s important to remember your body just went through a huge transformation! I mean, you not only grew a baby, but you also developed a new organ (we’re talkin’ about that placenta!) at the same time.
“Your body isn’t where you left it and it isn’t going to bounce back in just a few days.” — Janelle Gibbs, Postural Alignment Therapist
With other postpartum concerns and healing to consider, improper posture can make the following postpartum symptoms even worse, so you have to take babywearing seriously! You don’t want to make these worse:
*If you are a new mom dealing with one of the conditions, it’s essential you consult with a physician before wearing a baby. Your health is incredibly important as a new mom and you must avoid additional pressure to your neck or spine.
Wearing a baby may seem like it’s nothing but beneficial, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind before you dive right in:
“Wearing a baby is very demanding on your body. If your posture is already compromised, this can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort down the line. This is the last thing a sleep-deprived mom needs.” — Janelle Gibbs, Postural Alignment Therapist
Whether or not you deal with any postpartum conditions, think about the ergonomics of whatever baby carrier you choose. Ergonomics are as important for the health, comfort, and safety of your baby as they are for you.
“It’s important to be mindful of your posture when babywearing…our bodies can take a while to heal and it’s different for each individual.” — Dr. Deb Dlug
If you aren’t wearing the best baby carrier for you, there are going to be a few telltale signs:
“Take the time throughout the day to take deep breaths and feel your ribs expand, bring those shoulders back, and feel your diaphragm and pelvic floor.” — Dr. Deb Dlug
If you’re reading this and have been having postural issues while wearing a baby for months, don’t panic. Your spine isn’t doomed and you didn’t make a huge mistake.
But there are things you can do to strengthen your back and correct your posture so you can continue babywearing pain-free.
Below are a variety of recommended exercises from Postural Alignment Therapist, Janelle Gibbs. Completing these exercises regularly can strengthen your spine and keep your posture aligned so you can wear your baby with ease and allow for proper babywearing safety:
If you make the adjustments mentioned above and you don’t feel relief, it might be time to bring in outside expertise. A chiropractor or perinatal fitness instructor is a great resource for hands-on support to help you course-correct your alignment and find relief in your babywearing.
When making any decision for your baby, safety is always top of mind. When it comes to wearing a baby, buying the baby carrier your bestie uses or the one you saw on a mommy blog may not be the one for you. If it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, frame, or baby correctly, that baby carrier could do more harm than good.
According to Dr. Deb Dlug, when looking for the best baby carrier for you, beyond what is ergonomically best, consider the following.
You must also position the baby correctly in the carrier to prevent injury or pressure. As with anything for little ones, there is a lot to consider.
Picking the best baby carrier for you is not a one-size-fits-all operation, that’s for sure!
In terms of what babywearing brands are best for you and your baby, there are a few well-known and respected options for you to consider in your search:
“Listening to your body is key — if the pain that you’re experiencing is too much, then it is time to go back to the drawing board and figure out what the pain is telling you. Pain is a signal to the body that something is off.” — Janelle Gibbs, Postural Alignment Therapist
It takes your body a long time to heal and adapt, especially in the postpartum period. If you find yourself experiencing more:
You may find it helpful to start from square one and build your strength from there. Babies can grow quickly, and needing to change baby carriers is perfectly normal!
You also don’t have to wear a baby for hours at a time. A few minutes of babywearing per day can increase how long you wear your baby later on. But, remember, if the headaches and pain are too much, consider switching baby carriers.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You don’t want to wear them improperly that could hurt you and your little one.” — Dr. Deb Dlug
If you need a little more help, support, information, or inspiration on babywearing, pregnancy, and the postpartum period, download Expectful’s app! You’ll find tons of useful information and support, as well as incredible meditations to help you enjoy your pregnancy and early baby days.
We understand that growing your family while having a healthy and happy pregnancy and baby is probably a top priority for you right now.
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