As I type this I am almost 38 weeks pregnant with my 5th baby. My youngest will be 3 next month, and although she walks really well, if she gets tired or the weather is particularly cold or windy, she asks to be carried. Carrying whilst pregnant is a very personal thing. You have to listen to what your body is telling you at different stages of your pregnancy, and carry according, but it is definitely possible.
I’ve had hyperemesis gravidarum throughout my pregnancy and from very early on I found even the slightest pressure on my stomach really uncomfortable, so for me, and many women who suffer from sickness, anything with a waist belt was very uncomfortable. Of course, this doesn’t mean that your buckle carriers or mei tai’s have to be relegated to the bottom of your stash, it just means that you might want to re-think the position of your waist belt, wearing it either higher or lower than usual.
Another good option is a woven wrap, great for back or hip carries, and can be tied off in different ways, for example a chest belt, or a ring sling worn as a back carry.
Many women also find a Podaegi carrier another good option, as you can again wear the straps at different heights once you have made the seat for your child. Onbuhimo (or Onbu for short) carriers can also be used, as these carriers are all about taking the weight on your shoulders, and are historically used for carrying on your back.
I’m very lucky that as my daughter has always been carried in a sling, she is great at getting herself in the right positions with minimal fuss, but just be aware that getting your child onto and off your back may get a bit more awkward as your centre of gravity shifts and your ligaments get stretchier. I’d definitely advise a visit to your local Sling Library or Carrying Consultant if you have any queries.
My best bit of advice though is to listen to what your body is telling you and experiment.
Also remember that you might get out of breath quicker than usual, so give yourself a bit of extra time to get places.
Written by Lindsay Rhodes of Chesterfield Sling Library (Originally appeared in Issue 1 of Close Enough To Kiss)
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