Safe Sling Use Part 2: Breastfeeding in a sling?
One of the most frequently asked questions is "Can I breastfeed in the sling?"
As a mom I do understand why this question: social blame, privacy, the urge of setting up a private and safe nest for your little one. Plus the idea of nursing while carrying your baby around is extremely attractive!
As a coach my answer is "Yes and No!"
Are you confident breastfeeding? Are you very confident wearing your child?
If you are confident, you know your baby and yourself, you do a proper positioning and a proper posture, always keep the airways clear and support neck and back... then you may go for it.
If for any reason you do not feel confident, you are still trying to find the right position, adjusting the fabric every now and then... Well, don't do it!
In this case you better take the baby out of the sling and perhaps use the sling as a cover. Probably just the fact that you are wondering whether breastfeeding in a sling, it is a sign that you should not go for it. At least not now.
Breastfeeding in the sling is considered "Advanced Babywearing" and you should be able to follow the TICKS Guidelines (see my previous post) while nursing. The risk of asphyxia can be high if airways are blocked even for few seconds and if the baby suction is compromised by wrong positioning. Plus posture and head support are keys for successfull breastfeeding.
Consult your coach and start breastfeeding in the sling at home, practising until you master it before including breastfeeding in the sling in your routine. If you are still not comfortable, please do not feel any pressure. You don't have to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.
You are a wonderful mama and an amazing babywearer!