#014 Babywearing & Breastfeeding With Special Guest Amberley Harris

February 01, 2018

Here’s what we covered in this episode:

  • General rule: babywearing and breastfeeding are two separate skills. Master your breastfeeding first and feel confident with babywearing, then try combining them
  • Breastfeeding while babywearing comes with stacks of benefits for mums:
    • Convenient while out and about
    • Can be a discreet feeding option
    • Makes a quiet space for your baby even in a busy environment
    • Multitasking
    • Saves time if you’re in a rush
  • It comes with a bunch of benefits of baby too:
    • The movement while feeding can help them relax
    • Recommended by Dr Sears to calm fussy babies
    • Feeding in an upright position allows babies to self-attach (depending on your situation) and they can feel more in control
    • When baby’s head is higher than their feet, they can control the flow of liquid and decrease choking risk
    • Aids in digestion
    • Having baby close will increase the likelihood of you feeding them, enhancing milk production and baby’s growth
  • Introducing Amberley Harris, a Melbourne based midwife. Amberley is passionate about providing breastfeeding support for mums after they take their babies home from hospital, especially the first 6 weeks.
  • Breastfeeding stats in Australia: 39% at 3 months, 15% at 5 months
  • We don’t see a lot of mothers breastfeeding in Australia – minimal exposure until we have to learn it for ourselves
  • Women should show their friends (especially those yet to have kids) how they breastfeed
  • Get as much help as you can while you’re in hospital (press your buzzer with every breastfeed) to learn the principles of breastfeeding and attachment from the start
  • Why Amberley loves baby carriers
    • Bfing and babywearing go hand in hand – keeping baby close
    • It’s normal and natural to keep your baby close (they were in your tummy for 9 months!)
    • Babies who are carried sleep better, are more content in general
    • Enhances milk production for mums (keeping the breast available and close to meet baby’s needs)
  • Babies might be a bit milk crazy in the beginning if they’re in the baby carrier thanks to the smell and proximity to their food. This is normal. In the first 6 weeks it’s important that they establish your milk supply, then they will start to relax a little more.
  • Another babywearing benefit is having other people wear your baby to give you a break in the early days
  • Carriers that Amberley has used for her babies/toddlers include stretchy, ring sling, Ergo structured carrier, woven wrap
  • Carrier options for breastfeeding your baby:
    • Ring sling – loosen, bring baby down, feed, then lift and re-tighten. Downside is you can only feed on the opposite side to the ring (a bit awkward to swap sides). Benefits include using the tail as a breastfeeding cover and are really portable.
    • Soft-structured buckle carrier – loosen shoulder straps, wriggle down on the side you are feeding on, feed, move back up into the centre, tighten again. Easy and supportive.
    • Meh dai or woven wrap – works, but can be fiddly and you will need to tighten and retie it afterwards.
    • Onbuhimos are not recommended.
  • Bonus tips:
    • What works for me may not work for you – it depends on baby, your boob size, baby’s size, and what you’re most comfortable with. Have a go at a few options if you can.
    • Be aware of safety – chin off chest, airways clear, check that you can always see your baby (even if you’re using a hood or cover), use one hand to support their head or neck area.
    • Don’t wear too much tight clothing, as you want to make access to the breast as easy as possible.
    • Check for buckle straps or rings pushing on your breast tissue (could cause a blockage/mastitis)
    • Be patient with yourself – it might take a little time to learn. If you’re frustrated, stop. Take baby out and feed normally. Try again another time.
  • How to learn more about babywearing and breastfeeding:
    • Look up babywearing breastfeeding tutorials on YouTube
    • Go to a local babywearing meet for help in person
    • Book in with a babywearing consultant who can give you tailored, one-on-one advice


You’ve got this, mama!

If you need any help in picking a baby carrier or getting assistance with the one you already have, I’m here to help!

To connect with Amberley and check out her packages to help new mums with breastfeeding, go to|| @maternalinstinctsbyamberley

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