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Nursing In A Woven Wrap

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

I am grateful to have nursed V for 18 months, at which point my milk turned fully to colostrum (at 37 weeks of pregnancy with baby E) and he gently weaned. E is now one year old (today!) and still going strong. I credit babywearing with making on-cue nursing possible with both my boys through vacations, work, and everyday life.

10-month-old V is ready to touch a lizard and then get rehydrated in the hot Caribbean sun

As a Volunteer Babywearing Educator for Babywearing International (BWI), I am frequently asked about nursing in a carrier. Here's a bit about my story...

When V was born, we had trouble latching which meant feeding was slow and frequent. I felt like I was nursing every hour of every 1.5 hours. Intense! I searched You Tube for videos on how to nurse a newborn in a wrap, but everything I came across used a cradle carry, which just didn't work for my anatomy, V's latching issues, or my back issues.

When V was five weeks old, I decided it was time to get some help. I attempted to take him to the local BWI meeting, but I drove us to the wrong location. When I realized that I had missed by chance for help,  I got back in my car and totally lost it. I was the crazy lady crying and screaming in my car. Yeah, the nursing intensity and back pain was that bad (plus the post-partum traumatic stress disorder that I didn't yet know I had). Once I calmed down, I made it to the correct location where several understanding moms welcomed me though I was late. They cheered me on and showed me some tricks. What I learned that day was gold and it has stuck with me as my favorite nursing carry.

What is this magic? The front wrap cross carry (FWCC). It is a great carry for nursing because baby sits in a pocket that can be easily lowed to get to the proper height for nursing and then heightened  back to the proper, "head is high enough to kiss" position when finished. This so revolutionized my life that I made a video when V was six months old, and I was still a novice, so I could pass on the love to others who might be feeling just as desperate.

Getting baby in a FWCC:
Nursing while in a FWCC:

Recently, I did a new version with tying the carry and nursing the baby all together:

These days, I can nurse in a wrap hands-free and do just about anything, but the day I learned it, I used my hands to go home and eat my lunch while my baby had sipped at his is lunch. I actually cried tears of joy at that accomplishment. Hands for eating was a big, big deal!

Breastfeeding can be hard work and require incredible determination, but--for me--after the rough newborn days (ok, ten weeks of blisters and struggles with my first baby), it led to being able to feed baby anywhere and anytime. Plus, when baby E came along, we were able to get to nursing in a carrier from day 1. It is a joy to pass the magic on to other mamas, now.

Baby E naps after nursing on his birth day.
(Disclaimer: a wrap should not have this much slack while standing)

Are you looking for information on breastfeeding and babywearing and local to Northern Virginia? If so, join me at Great Beginnings in Chantilly on Saturday, August 10. I'll be part of the panel on Supporting the Breastfeeding Mom from 12:30-1:15. Learn more about the event here.

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