Ask Amma

Nursing in the sling

In How on 30 October 2013 at 10:10 pm

Nursing is a wonderful thing and a lovely little verb as well, referring to the action both of the baby and the mother, or as the International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization might say, it is the action of the motherbaby[1].

Nursing in sling.  Image: Shutterstock

Nursing in sling. Image: Shutterstock

Some motherbabies nurse soon after birth and with no apparent learning curve.  Others take more time.  Some mothers donate milk to others who struggle with supply.

Two practices that make nursing easier are:
1.  Nursing while lying down / dozing off.
2.  Nursing in the sling.

Most people learn to do (1) just because the need to sleep is so powerful.  Nursing while walking or doing other things becomes a need once you know you can do it, thanks to the sling.

I had not even known nursing in the sling was a thing until one day after coming out of the grocery store I sat down to nurse and my baby just kept on nursing.  I had to go home, but she was still nursing.  Could we possibly do both?  She was half asleep but still nursing.  I slowly pulled the sling with her in it up so that she was sitting at hip level and adjusted the length so that she could remain there while nursing.  Slowly I stood up and found that I could walk home while she continued nursing, fully supported by the sling.

From that day forward I knew how to nurse in the sling.

The nursing kurta helps those who like to be out and about, and at the same time, discreet, or simply well-dressed.  Combined with the sling, it really makes it easy to nurse on the go.

Note:  When you’re nursing in the sling you’re already multitasking, making it difficult to catch on camera.  So all I have is a stock image but readers are invited to send in pictures once they’ve practiced the art of nursing in the sling.

[1] An IMBCO representative spoke at the Birth India conference in Bangalore and explained their use of the term motherbaby in their work for healthy childbirth: “we don’t separate mother and baby even in words.”

See also

Slings
Why I love my ring sling
Nursing Kurta

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  1. […] Nursing in the Sling […]

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  2. […] * A note on nursing nighties available in India:  Unfortunately most of them come with zippers which can be awkward.  You can alter a nightie by making two slits to allow for easy latch-on while sleeping, while keeping the rest of you warm. The nursing kurta also goes well with the sling, and makes it easy to nurse in the sling. […]

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  3. well, I did try to nurse in a sling, actually it was a desperate attempt, coz Sharuya would feed only while I walk and rock him at the same time after he started teething at 5 months. I also went to the local breastfeeding support group meeting with the sling and learnt how to do it properly, but Sharuya wouldn’t just like being in a sling or even any carrier. I think he doesn’t like being tied to me. (unless we go for a walk in the park, when he is distracted with many other interesting things!). Also due to his length (more than 2.5′ now, nursing in the sling became impossible, that was also partly due to the fact that he wanted to nurse in a horizontal position, cradled (generally in my arms) and being rocked at the same time. In the sling with the baby of his size it was very cumbersome. I wish there was a solution to that. He still feeds like that many times when he’s too active, or cranky!

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    • It was exactly to address this issue of wanting walk, rock and nurse at the same time that we found nursing in the sling useful.

      The first time we nursed in the sling, K was lying across my lap .. because she fell asleep in that positionI was able to maneuver the sling around her and stand up while drawing it to the correct tightness. Having once done it I was able to do it again. Perhaps trying again when he is sleep-nursing might help?

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  5. […] Read more about Nursing Kurtas and Nursing in the Sling.  […]

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