by Amy Rainbow
The postpartum time is such a huge shift for everyone in the family. With the focus so squarely on the baby and birthing person, it often leaves the papas and partners wondering what their role is in this process. And they, too, experience emotional shifts and changes during their transition to parenthood! Postpartum doula care is a great support for the whole family - another tool that can help everyone through the postpartum chapter is holding baby on your body with a baby carrier.
Babywearing can help papas and partners through this phase by, of course, allowing them to do things with two free hands (hello, eating with two hands or playing video games!) but also by helping them feel more connected to their baby and more involved in baby’s care (1). The benefits of babywearing for both baby and partner are almost (but not quite as good) as skin-to-skin care (2): reduced cortisol for both parties; stable heart rate and temperature for baby; and, as a result of the reduced stress on our bodies, our brains are better able to grow and bond to our baby.
Our "prescription" to experience noticeable benefit from babywearing is to use a carrier for about an hour a day, at least three days per week. It can be used for errands, going for a walk, doing chores around the house, or even a nap for baby (with the wearer continuing to monitor baby's airway and ensure the carrier is providing support while baby is asleep). This frequency can help papas and partners feel more confident when caring for their baby, more connected to the process, and have a deeper bond with their baby. Plus, two free hands!
For more information on choosing a carrier, encouraging babywearing, and getting a perfect fit (or just attending one of Amy’s awesome Beers and Babies gatherings), check out the Adjoyn website. Special for Bridgetown Baby families, use discount code BTOWN10 for $10 off the service of your choice.
Adjoyn provides infant safety assistance in the form of in-home and community classes for car seat safety, babywearing help, and infant CPR. Amy Rainbow and Marcie Berzinskas of Adjoyn are educators in both professional and volunteer capacities serving families in the Portland metro area. More information about their consultations and classes can be found at adjoyn.com.