Yes! It is possible to breastfeed in a carrier!
No doubt it is very subjective to each mother’s skill and baby’s preference, but it is a skill worth learning.
Babywearing and Breastfeeding in a carrier has many helpful benefits for both mother and baby
- Mother is able to respond to the baby faster when the baby signals for feed
- Mother is able to multitask while feeding
- Baby is able to go back to sleep on the mother’s chest
- It is easier to burp the baby when he is seated upright in a carrier
- Newborns may find it difficult to keep their latch while being upright.
- If the latch is weaker when upright, give the baby more time to get accustomed to feeding in an upright position by practicing during non-meal time (if there is 😉)
- Try practicing while sitting upright on a reclining chair. Start from a 45 degree angle and incline slowly.
- Practice upright feeding without a carrier in different positions to understand the baby’s preferred position
- Use a separate nursing cover if the baby tends to fuss and flip away the carrier cover or ring sling tail.
Some mothers may receive “on-job-training” by their baby without “prior notice”. That's because when such situations occur, mothers will do whatever it takes to breastfeed the baby as quick as possible.
How to adjust the carrier to accommodate a breastfeeding child?
- Loosen the carrier to create space between the baby’s face and mother’s chest
- Lower baby down bit by bit to ensure baby’s bottom is still well seated with knee to knee support.
- Adjust the carrier height for the baby to comfortably latch on and feed
- Ensure that the baby still has sufficient spine support even though the carrier is now looser and lower
- You may need to tilt the baby to the side a little in order for the baby to latch on comfortably
- You may also need to use one arm to support baby's neck
Most mothers have to wear the carrier lower and looser to accommodate the baby’s posture/position to feed. After feeding, it is best to tighten the carrier back up so that you do not continue to put unnecessary pressure on your shoulder and back.
It is good to practice babywearing the baby in an upright and snug position.
Benefits of babywearing in an upright and snug position
- Promotes healthy development of baby’s spine and hip
- Reduces colic
- Weight is well distributed on wearer’s body
- Exercises baby’s vestibular system while following wearer’s movement
Here are some breastfeeding and babywearing videos by mothers.