Lets celebrate National Breastfeeding Celebration Week by celebrating how slings can be useful when breastfeeding!
We are asked a lot about breastfeeding in slings, so here are the most frequently asked questions and our answers
Can you feed in the sling?
Yes you can. It’s a skill that needs to be learned alongside using the sling and breastfeeding itself. Some people find it really easy, some people find it harder. Your body shape, your baby’s body shape, any concerns such as tongue tie, the age of the baby and your confidence all play a role. Your local sling library or consultant can help in person!
What slings can you feed in?
All of them with practice. The skill is about adjusting the sling to allow the baby access to the breast. Depending on your body shape and your baby’s age, you may find it easier in certain types of slings than others.
Can you feed from newborn?
Yes but as with using a sling with a newborn it comes with a need for greater awareness of safety. With a newborn you need to remain aware of your baby’s position and airway. Many people find feeding in the sling becomes easier once baby has greater head control after 3-4 months.
What position can you feed in?
Many! Upright and cradle are usually easiest but rugby ball is also possible.
Can I feed hands free?
With a very young baby no, breastfeeding in the sling will not be hands free as you will need to support the head and possibly the breast. As baby gets older it may become easier but generally you may find that you get only one hand back!
Do I have to feed in the sling?
No. If you don’t want to or can’t figure it out then that’s not a problem or a reason not to use a sling. The huge range of other benefits still apply. If you do want to breastfeed and there are issues then using a sling can help maintain your milk supply as you work past the issues via the close contact.
If you are feeding in the sling then these safety aspects should be considered!
Baby’s head should be uncovered and free to move so that they can come off the breast when they need to and maintain an open airway
Baby’s hands should be either side of the breast and free to move
Baby should be secure in the sling if it is bearing their weight. Their bottom should be securely in a pouch
Once you have finished the feed baby should be returned to a secure upright position so that their airway doesn’t become compromised.
Enjoy your week, and do share a photo of you feeding in your sling if you like!