In babywearing consultations, the question often arises as to whether breastfeeding is also possible while carrying, what needs to be taken into account and what requirements must be met. I would like to describe this here.
First of all: Yes, it is possible to breastfeed while carrying! But it does not always work and is not an option for all mothers.
Also, breastfeeding is possible with all types of carriers. However, it is easier with some than others. Carriers can easily be made looser at the straps, and with ring slings, the sling can be loosened at the rings.
With the sling, however, some tying methods are better suited for breastfeeding than others. For example, the wrap-around cross-carry could be finished with a side slip knot. The sliding knot makes it much easier to loosen and tighten. The babies should of course continue to be well supported, and may need to be supported slightly by hand.
Breastfeeding while carrying requires some practice for many moms and also the babies and is not possible in all cases. It is often not possible during lactation because the breast is then too firm and not mobile enough. It is also somewhat more difficult for mothers with rather large breasts, but in most cases it is possible. Of course, not every mother likes this breastfeeding position. For babies who spit up a lot, breastfeeding in a carrier is also not necessarily comfortable.
Instructions for breastfeeding in the baby carrier
Ergobaby has published a guide to breastfeeding while wearing your baby in a carrier, which I would like to mention here.
Why breastfeed at all while carrying?
But why breastfeed at all while carrying? Well, it can make everyday life a lot easier, especially when there are bigger siblings at home. The baby doesn't have to be held as much and the trip to the playground doesn't have to be coordinated with breastfeeding. After all, breastfeeding can also be done while walking.
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This can also be a way to offer a different breastfeeding position and situation for some very upset babies or for some breastfeeding problems.
I am sometimes asked if the cradle position with the sling or ring sling is suitable for breastfeeding. I can't recommend this, especially with larger babies, as it pushes the head too much towards the breast, making breathing and swallowing difficult.
I personally breastfeed with my daughter while carrying her from time to time, but I also enjoy the quiet moments with the two of us when it is possible otherwise. This helps us both to calm down even better and I find that breastfeeding is much more intimate.
But because I don't always have the opportunity to sit quietly in everyday life, breastfeeding in a carrier is a great relief for me.