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. One of the main concerns I hear as a chiropractor is, “Is it safe to wear my child while pregnant?” The short answer is yes, babywearing is OK and safe while you’re pregnant. You of course want to get the OK from your prenatal physician for physical activity first, though. The benefits of babywearing while pregnant are no different. Babywearing is an excellent way to bond with your older children, and it can still be comfortable even with a growing belly when you use the right baby carrier, choose the most comfortable babywearing position, and listen to your body for cues of when to stop.
You can use all sorts of ergonomic baby carriers while pregnant. ErgoBaby’s soft structured carrier (SSC) and baby wrap are wonderful while pregnant. The baby wrap will provide snuggles in a front carry, while the SSC can be used on the front and back. Once a mother’s belly begins to blossom, there might not be as much room to wear a carrier on the front. Also the lower back might feel more fatigued as the belly grows, due to the hyperlordosis that many pregnant mothers experience. At this stage, moving to a back carry is often preferred. With back carries in a SSC you can chose to wear the waist belt above or below your belly. This decision is left up to the mother and her comfort level.
These photos demonstrate both styles of back carries.
There are some factors to consider when babywearing during a pregnancy. We can break this into three categories: new babywearers, experienced babywearers, and advanced babywearers.
A new babywearer will need practice and will have to pay attention and learn from their body’s response to carrying a child. Monitoring their back, abdomen, legs, neck, and shoulders while wearing a carrier. If any pain or discomfort arises, they should stop and observe. If pain continues, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact their chiropractor or prenatal physician. Wearing an older child in a carrier can take some time to build up endurance and the recommendation is to start off slow and listen to your body.
Experienced babywearers have worn a child before in a carrier for 30 minutes to 1 hour at least one day a week. These pregnant mothers are able to observe their body’s reactions and know when they need to rest based on their past experience using a carrier.
Advanced babywearers can be classified as a mother who has worn their child for multiple hours at a time on most days of the week. These pregnant mothers will most likely have no issues continuing to wear their older children throughout their pregnancy. Their bodies are conditioned and they know how to listen and observe the cues of when they are tired and need a break.
As a general rule a pregnant mother’s body tires at a more rapid rate, especially towards the end of pregnancy when the hormone relaxin will have begun to disperse in preparation for labor. During this time, the body will be more prone to fatigue and a pregnant mother should pay close attention to 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. See our disclaimer here.