5 Babywearing Tips from a Postpartum Chiropractor
Babywearing is an ancient practice that has seen a rise in popularity in recent generations. The physical demands of parenting and babywearing can take a toll on your body, though. Connecting with a postpartum chiropractor can help ensure you feel strong and well.
At Jewell Chiropractic, we serve people through all stages of life and parenthood, from prenatal through postpartum and beyond. From our office in Portland, OR, we work with clients from around the metro area to help them regain their optimal comfort and function. Connect with us today to schedule your appointment.
A Postpartum Chiropractor’s Top Babywearing Tips
With so many benefits to babywearing, it’s no surprise that more and more parents are enjoying this hands-free way to connect with their little ones. It offers a practical way to get things done while caring for your child and is also a key piece of secure attachment parenting.
Whether you are new to babywearing or a seasoned pro, here are five tips our postpartum chiropractor would love for you to know.
1. Find a Carrier That Works for YOUR Body
My favorite pair of shoes is probably not your favorite pair of shoes. The same goes for baby carriers. Regardless of reviews, ratings, or your best friend’s experience, you need to find the one that works best for your body.
Some people find certain brands or styles to be more ergonomic for their bodies, and it’s essential to choose one that fits you well. If you and your partner will both be wearing your baby, you might need different carriers to fit correctly. Or, you may find one that adjusts enough to work for both of your body types.
2. Pay Attention to Belt Height
Wearing the baby carrier too low is a common problem that puts strain on the back and hips. If you have pain in these areas, you probably need to wear your carrier higher. Remember, your baby is not a backpack! Keep the belt higher and your baby closer to your center of gravity. This adjustment prevents their weight from pulling down on your back and hips.
3. Check Your Posture
Are you leaning forward while wearing your baby? Leaning back? A carrier shouldn’t make your posture suffer. If you’re not standing with the correct posture while wearing your child, you probably need to get them closer to your center of gravity. This adjustment will prevent that urge to overcompensate for their weight.
4. Watch Your Baby’s Position
Contrary to some parents’ concerns, your carrier won’t cause hip dysplasia. But it’s essential to position your baby’s body correctly. One thing to look at is where the carrier fabric is on their legs. Is it on the calf, causing hyperextension of the knee? Is it on the thigh, causing the knees to dangle?
You want the fabric right up under the knees, holding your baby in an “M” position, with the knees above the hips. Their legs should not be directly in front of them or directly to the sides. You’re aiming for a comfortable middle ground that we call the frog-leg position.
To check your baby’s position, you also need to note the curve of their spine. Your baby’s position in the carrier should be about the same as if you were holding them without it. When you hold your baby in your arms, their spine makes a C shape, and you want to maintain a similar shape in the carrier. It shouldn’t make your baby’s back arch.
5. Clear the Airway
As in any situation, be sure that your baby’s position in the carrier doesn’t allow their chin to fall to their chest or their head to fall too far back. A well-fitting carrier and proper use should support the head and neck to create a clear airway for your baby.
If your child doesn’t yet have the neck strength and control to hold their head up, use the head support that comes with the carrier. As your baby gets bigger, you won’t need to use that piece when they are awake.
Ready for Some Expert Help?
The Jewell Chiropractic team is here to support you and your family. With postpartum chiropractic care and other beneficial services, we work to help you feel strong, healthy, and pain-free. Book your appointment today to get back to your best form and function.