Celebrating International Women’s Day: Empowering Moms with Baby Carriers

International Women’s Day (IWD), held annually on March 8th, highlights the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women globally. It brings together governments, corporations, charities, educational institutions, women’s groups, and more to celebrate women’s advancement and raise awareness against bias. 

The first IWD occurred on March 19, 1911 after being proposed by Clara Zetkin at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. Since then, the day has evolved beyond its socialist political roots to embrace a broader feminist message seeking gender parity.  

This year’s IWD theme is “Choose to Challenge” – encouraging people to call out gender bias and inequality while celebrating women’s achievements. As we reflect on the day’s significance, let’s also consider how we can tangibly support mothers worldwide through their motherhood journey. One impactful way is by gifting baby carriers that provide comfort and mobility for moms of infants.  

The Evolution of Baby Carriers 


For centuries, mothers have carried their babies using various forms of infant carriers. Indigenous cultures worldwide traditionally used slings and wraps made of skins, fabrics or handwoven textiles to keep babies close while leaving the mothers’ hands free. The cradleboard, a flat infant carrier used largely by Native Americans, enabled moms to continue tilling, harvesting and performing chores with baby strapped snugly to their back.  

In the western world, flat baby carriers evolved into bassinets, prams and pushchairs for transporting infants. However, the industrial era led to a decline in baby wearing. By the mid 20th century, the prevailing wisdom was that babies would be spoiled or developmentally delayed if carried excessively. Pediatricians cautioned against too much mother-baby closeness.  

Thankfully, modern research confirms what indigenous cultures knew instinctively – that keeping babies physically close is hugely beneficial overall. As the natural parenting movement gained ground in the 1960s and 1970s, interest in babywearing was rekindled. However, few options existed that were convenient and comfortable for active Western lifestyles. In the early 2000s, a mother living on Maui was not satisfied with the baby carrying options available to her. Looking to keep her new son close to her body, she tried several different carriers, but found nothing that satisfied her needs for comfort and balance. She was deeply inspired by indigenous babywearing practices and The Continuum Concept — the idea that, from birth, we must be treated with great care to achieve optimal wellness in our future life. 

With this premise at the top of her mind, and a background in design, she set out to create something that was beneficial for her baby as well as comfortable and easy for parents to use. Drawing inspiration from the traditional mei tai baby carrier, the very first Ergobaby Baby Carrier was born.  

Countless innovations have aimed to enhance baby carriers for ease of use and ergonomic comfort. 

Today, babywearing has entered the mainstream with modern parents embracing the mobility and flexibility enabled by thoughtfully designed soft-structured baby carriers, wraps, and slings. When selected properly, baby carriers distribute weight evenly, support proper infant development, enable nursing, and align baby’s hips naturally. This allows baby to benefit from the motion, rhythmic parent breathing and warmth of being carried while freeing up parents’ hands.  

Celebrating Motherhood on IWD 


As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s important to honor motherhood – one of the most influential female roles worldwide. From pregnancy through child-rearing, mothers invest incredible effort in nurturing children while often balancing work and family demands. Their resilience and sacrifices enable future generations to thrive.  

Sadly, motherhood remains undervalued by society, and mothers are often isolated from social and community life. Almost 25% of new moms experience postpartum anxiety or depression. Discrimination in hiring and promotion remains all too common for working moms. Gendered disparities in housework and childcare burdens persist as well.  

In 2023, nearly two times more women became SAHMs than in 2022. 52% of working moms say the cost of childcare has made them consider leaving the workforce and 64% need flexible work schedules to return to work. (Read more about this in Motherly’s State of Motherhood Annual Report.) 

This IWD offers a chance to acknowledge mothers’ contributions and have open dialogues around supporting motherhood. Events, marches and campaigns globally will celebrate maternal strength while calling for policy change enabling work-life balance and gender equality.   

The Multitude of Benefits from Babywearing 


In addition to keeping infants safe and comfortable, babywearing offers tremendous benefits that facilitate parenthood. For nursing mothers, baby carriers enable discreet breastfeeding anytime, anywhere. The physical closeness while babywearing is calming and soothing for newborns, leading to reduced crying as babies sense the warm familiarity of mom or dad.  

For parents, keeping baby happily strapped in a carrier frees up the hands to multitask. Moms can cook, clean, work on the computer or even do low impact exercise like yoga while bonding with baby through the motion of their body. This allows parents to regain some of the independence and routine of pre-parent life without sacrificing attentiveness. Studies show parents who wear their babies experience decreased stress and anxiety and even reduced symptoms of postpartum depression. 

Perhaps most profoundly, babywearing aids emotional bonding and synchrony, creating secure attachment between baby and caregiver. As babies experience the rhythm of their carrier’s breathing and gait, neural connections form that generate comfort, trust and the feeling of being understood. This sets the stage for positive lifelong development. Some adopted children who missed early maternal bonding even benefit from remedial babywearing by their adoptive parents. 

Choosing the Best Baby Carrier for You 


With the multitude of baby carrier options now available, selecting the right one for your needs and body type is key. Here are some factors to consider: 

– Baby’s age/size – Some carriers accommodate newborns while others suit older babies best. Check weight limits and adjustability. 

– Front vs. back carry – Front packing enables bonding through eye contact and easy nursing access. Back packing is great for older babies who want to face outward and see the world. 

– Type of carrier – Think about a woven wrap, ring sling, soft-structured carrier with buckles, or backpack-style. Each offers different benefits. 

– Ergonomics – Look for ample lumbar support, padded straps, and fabric that keeps baby’s hips, knees and spine in the optimal “M” position. 

– Breathability – Mesh material and the ability to open panels or unzip offers ventilation for baby and parent. 

– Extra features – Nice additions include multiple carry options, pockets, hoods/headrests and the ability to discreetly nurse. 

Test different styles in person with baby to assess the fit. A proper baby carrier keeps baby safe while balancing parent comfort and ease of use. Once you find the perfect match, you’ll stay empowered to care for baby while enjoying improved mobility. 

Learn more about Ergobaby’s different carriers and how to wear them. 

IWD Events and Campaigns Worldwide 


Beyond just one day, charities like Every Mother Counts work year-round to make pregnancy and childbirth safe worldwide. Their Respectful Maternity Care initiative promotes understanding and support of maternal mental health. Chamber of Mothers is a nonprofit focusing America’s priorities on mothers’ rights. And LUMO Leadership is a resource for parents going on leave and looking to return back to the workplace.  

Local babywearing advocate groups are active in many communities as well, offering mom meet-ups, lending libraries and educational resources.  

Get involved in campaigns and conversations relevant to your experience as a woman and mother. 

Continuing the Motherhood Support All Year   


Truly empowering women and mothers requires more than acknowledgment on Women’s International Day. All year long, we need policies, programs and cultural change enabling gender equality and work-life balance for moms. From ensuring paid parental leave and flexible work options to expanding childcare accessibility, there are many areas for improvement. We also need open dialogue around maternal challenges, whether postpartum mood disorders or insensitive workplace attitudes.  

On an individual level, we can uplift the mothers in our own circles through simple acts of encouragement, practical support and affirmation. Something as thoughtful as gifting a high-quality baby carrier demonstrates commitment to easing the load for an expectant or new mom. Choosing a carrier allowing her to bond with baby while regaining freedom and confidence epitomizes empowerment.   

This International Day of Women and every day, let’s celebrate motherhood in all its diversity while enabling moms to thrive. Because when we support mothers, we invest in stronger families, communities and nations for future generations of women. 

Vittoria Allen

Vittoria is a writer based in San Diego. A lover of good food, slow living, and a good novel, she shares her life with her husband and two daughters trying to squeeze out the beauty in every moment.