|My beautiful boys|
Okay workout moms who are planning on getting pregnant, pregnant or have young babies or toddlers at home. If you are worried about maintaining your strength and physique on top of worrying about your new baby. I strongly urge you to consider BABYWEARING!!!!!!!!!!!
I could write a book about the benefits of BABYWEARING but here I’ll just provide some references and tell you the benefits through the perspectives of a workout mom and feeding/speech therapist.
Let’s talk physique and strength first. When I first found out I was pregnant, it became most obvious in the gym. That hormone (progesterone) that surges through your body to loosen your ligaments in preparation for the pregnancy and birth is like kryptonite when you’re working out. I thought I lost my elbows doing dips when pregnant, so much harder and way before my belly turned into another two beings. THEN you get weighed and you are losing weight, in the beginning but not for long. Well, a weight lifter knows that weight loss is lost muscle. You need that muscle during and especially after pregnancy. Keep working out, I truly believe my muscle saved my life but that’s another story.
I had to have an emergency C-section with the boys and the recovery is BRUTAL. I would take a hard core leg day recovery over a C-section recovery any day. I think I’m still recovering after 2 years, specifically in the ab area. After my C-section all I felt was defeat and weakness. I HATE those feelings.
Babywearing was a huge part of my recovery, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It enabled me to hold my babies longer and together, close (touching) to my body when I felt guilt that my body failed to hold them full term (they were late term preemies). They were close together after spending two weeks separated in their isolettes. I was confident that they were maintaining their body temps ( a problem they had in the nicu) when I was wearing them. They were most content when I was wearing them as infants, babies and toddlers.
As they rapidly grew I learned from a great bunch of moms how to wear my growing twins at the same time. There are a variety of ways and as they get bigger you learn and adapt. When they were infants I carried them both in the front. When they were between 6-8 months, I did hip carries. From then on it was one in the front and one on the back.
|Wrap and an Ergo|
Babyweary workouts are fun and easy. Strength training requires endurance. The simple act of wearing your baby/babies works and increases your endurance muscles. I am stronger now than I was pre-pregnancy. I worked out with my babies and we all loved it. I recommend holding onto something for added stability to get used to your post-pregnancy body and ensure safety.
Not only are you still working your muscles and maintaining your sanity but you are doing wonders for your baby. From a speech and feeding therapist perspective, when you wear your baby they are in a position where they can see and hear everything the same as you. Hearing your conversations, hearing and smelling the food your eating and being an active participant. They are learning more than they would in a carrier simply based on their position.
|Our little refluxer|
All babies have some degree of reflux (spitting up), some worse than others. Our one boy had troublesome reflux that disrupted his feeding patterns (time to intervene). We did medication for 6 months and a feeding schedule, it was not easy and honestly I wouldn’t have been able to do it without babywearing. When he was upset, the only thing that calmed him (and us) was when he was being worn with a pacifier in his mouth. It was instant calm once I got him situated in a wrap. PHEW! Wearing your baby enables them to be in a position that is optimal for digestion.
|proud and calm with two infants|
Babywearing was and is a wonderful experience and I am so grateful I had the knowledge and support (thanks to a great friend) to do this with my boys. I wanted to share the same wisdom with my fellow moms. Check out this amazing team of moms who started a non-profit to enable opportunities for babywearing www.liftmeupbabywearing.org