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It’s so wonderful to be expecting another child into a growing family. Pregnant women and their bodies are amazing while growing a new little life. However, we are more cautious as pregnant women, and one thing some moms worry about is whether or not baby carriers are safe to use with their toddlers while they are pregnant with their next little one.
Is it safe to babywear while pregnant?
The short answer is that if you are healthy and have no medical reason to avoid lifting loads then yes, babywearing during at least the early months of your pregnancy shouldn’t pose any risk to you or your children. To set your mind at rest though, check in with your healthcare provider, especially if you don’t already regularly carry your child, as some consider babywearing a type of physical activity.
The benefits of babywearing while pregnant are no different from babywearing before you got pregnant, and can even be greater if you have a child who needs extra reassurance about becoming an older sibling. Babywearing is an excellent way to bond with your older children, and it can still be safe and comfortable even with an expanding bump when you use the right baby carrier, choose the right position, and listen to your body.
Best Baby Carrier While Pregnant
You can use all sorts of ergonomic baby carriers while pregnant. My favorite was ErgoBaby carriers and a Moby baby wrap are wonderful while pregnant. The baby wrap will provide snuggles in a front carry, while the carrier can be used on the front and back. Once your belly begins to blossom with your growing baby, there might not be as much room to wear a front baby carrier. Also, your lower back might feel more fatigued as your belly grows. At this stage, moving to a back carry is often preferred. With back carries in a soft-structured carrier, you can choose to wear the waist belt above or below your belly. This decision is left up to you and your comfort level.
From my personal experience, below your belly was more comfortable for me as it provided more support for my growing belly when babywearing.
Can I hip carry while pregnant?
If you have reached the point where you aren’t comfortable with a front carry but aren’t quite ready to back carry, you can always try out the hip carry. Some pregnant women who are in that happier time of pregnancy (think the second trimester when your energy is back and your belly is in that cute bump stage) like the hip carry. There are some pregnant women who use a sling and hold their older child off-center above their belly, while others use a hip seat and fasten the wide waistband comfortably below their belly. A hip seat is great if you have a toddler who wants to be held but 30 seconds later wants to be put down to explore.
How can I safely wear my baby or toddler while pregnant?
There are some factors to consider when babywearing during a pregnancy. We can break this into three categories: new baby wearers, experienced baby wearers, and advanced baby wearers.
A new baby wearer will need practice. You will have to pay attention and learn from your body’s response to carrying a child. Make sure you monitor your back, abdomen, legs, neck, and shoulders while wearing a carrier. If any pain or discomfort arises, you should stop and observe, and you may need to give yourself a break from wearing your older child. If pain continues, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your chiropractor or obstetrician.
Wearing an older child in a carrier can take some time to build up endurance due to the weight and size, so the recommendation for those new to babywearing is to start off slow and listen to your body.
Experienced baby wearers are those that have worn a child before in a carrier for 30 minutes up to 1 hour at least one day a week. If you fall into this pregnant mother category, you are able to observe your body’s reactions and know when you need to rest based on your past experience using a carrier.
Advanced baby wearers can be classified as a mother who has worn her child for multiple hours at a time on most days of the week. You will most likely have no issues continuing to wear your older children throughout your pregnancy unless your prenatal physician advises against it. By now, your body is conditioned, and you know how to listen and observe the cues of when you are tired and need a break.
As a general rule, a pregnant mother’s body tires at a more rapid rate, especially toward the end of pregnancy when the hormone relaxin will have begun to disperse in preparation for labor. During this time, your body will be more prone to fatigue and you will need to pay closer attention to your body’s cues.
Most medical professionals consider wearing a child in a carrier to be a physical activity while pregnant. Please consult your health care provider before starting any new activities while pregnant.