parents experiencing PND

An estimated 20% of mothers and 10% of fathers suffer from Postnatal Depression, the likely true number is far higher. One of the main things these parents need is a helping hand whilst they recover. One such help is the sling.

Carried babies cry up to 43% less than non carried babies. A more relaxed baby means a more relaxed parent.

Your child is having their needs met just by being in the sling. You can then use that time to meet YOUR needs, use it to look after yourself. Whether that be a cup of tea, some food, doing some gardening, some shopping or a trip out somewhere, whatever it is, is made easier by just picking up and heading out the door, strolling straight onto public transport and getting on your way.

Breastfeeding? Having your child close increases milk production, making your journey to successful breastfeeding more likely.

Carrying your child in a sling helps to regulate their sleeping patterns. A well rested baby makes for well rested parents.

Of course these examples are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many other ways slings can help relieve each individuals PND symptoms.

real life examples

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Who?
C, North London

Mum to I aged 19 months.

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When did you start using slings & why?
I bought a second hand Ergo when pregnant after a friend recommended it. I did not get on with the insert as it was a very hot summer. I wish I had known about Stretchies or ring slings. A Hana wrap would of been great in the heat because if the bamboo content. However we folded a blanket up under Isla and made it work for us. And work for us it did. I started using the sling when Isla was about a month old – basically just as soon as I was starting to go out a bit. I can remember a few nightmare outings with the buggy trying to get to hospital appointments with Mastitis and also trying to go to breast feeding support groups. Isla just screamed her head off and I panicked about getting on and off trains, buses and especially escalators. I would also end up pushing the buggy whilst holding Isla so the buggy was pointless anyway.

How has using a sling generally benefitted you and your child/ren?
I had such a hard time adjusting to being a mummy. I just found everything so challenging. I was physically and mentally exhausted and kept getting Mastitis because of Isla’s tongue tie. The sling allowed me freedom. At times when Isla just wouldn’t stop crying and my boobs were far too sore to let her suckle, I could just put her in the sling and go for a walk. She would fall asleep and I would get my mind back for a while. One of the things that really excites me about slings is how fantastic they are for developing communication. Being face to face and above the general noise of London – just fantastic. Looking at this from a Speech and Language Therapist’s point if view, this is powerful stuff. No wonder my little miss is such a chatter box now as we have shared hundreds of special moments every single day. Many of these moments would have been missed if she had been in a buggy. Also on a practical level – Isla always wanted to be in my arms. I can remember being really frustrated that I couldn’t do anything. Not even simple things to look after myself in the early days. If I could go back in time, I would give myself a ring sling to use around the house. It would of been amazing. At least I get the benifits of my lovely ring sling now though. It is still a tool I couldn’t be without for tough spells when Isla is unwell or teething etc.

Can you tell us one specific occasion in which using a sling had a positive impact in your daily life?
Using a sling has had a positive effect on my life everyday. Most rescently, I have found going back to work challenging as I was so sad about being separated from Isla. I now wear my ring sling as a scarf to work which is somehow a comforting reminder that I will be picking my baby up soon. I still breast feed and it is a lovely moment at the end of each working day when I scoop my little lady up into the sling for a milky snuggle

What one piece of wisdom would you pass onto other parents with PND who may be considering using slings?
That if you are short of cash then you can make a no-sew ringsling with a pashmina to get you started. I actually just wish I had known about ring slings full stop. It is my favourite kind of sling by far. Fantastic for new borns right up to busy toddlers who want up and down when you are out and about. I really like mine as a scarf when it is not in use. But I would highly recommend a consultation to learn how to use them properly. It is easy to get it wrong and be put off. But when you find that sweet spot and baby has a good seat, they are just amazing! I could walk for miles with my girl in my ring sling.

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Who?
F, UK

Mum to M aged 2 years.

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When did you start using slings & why?
My Mum’s very wise friend handed me a sling while I was pregnant. She said, “You’ll need this.” Oh boy, was she right. We chucked the (second hand!) pram after a month with my little girl because she would not be put down

How has using a sling generally benefitted you and your child/ren?
My lifestyle is such that prams were never a real option. I spend a lot of time in antique shops, museums, walking through the countryside, travelling (and who wants a car full of pram when you could bring more wine home instead?) In addition, we had real trouble with breastfeeding – that’s a whole other story I can tell if you need it for context – but I strongly believe it cotributed massively to my PND. Having my little girl in the sling was just about the only bonding we got to do in the early weeks and months.

Can you tell us one specific occasion in which using a sling had a positive impact in your daily life?
I had one absolutely magical babywearing experience. I’d just bought a Didymos Reindeer wrap and decided to head out with my little girl to do some forraging. We were wandering through the woods and suddenly, right in front of us, a white hart stepped into our path. The deer and I stood staring at one another for about five minutes when Marm piped up from my back, “Doggy!” The hart scarpered, and we went back on our way, but I’d never have been able to get down those paths with even the best pram. It was something amazing my girl and I got to share. Another occassion – I know you asked for one, but this is far less wishy-washy 😉 – was when on the ferry to visit DH’s family in Denmark. We strapped Marm up in the Tula on Daddy’s back, watched the sun go down together, the girl fell asleep cuddled into Daddy and he and I enjoyed a really nice evening at the bar – the first since having our girl. Of course, he didn’t drink, but it was just lovely to be out chatting as grownups together.

What one piece of wisdom would you pass onto other parents with PND who may be considering using slings?
I felt completely detatched from my daughter. I struggled (and still do!) to play with her, I stopped breastfeeding her at 5 months so bonding with her was so, so difficult. Using the sling meant that I knew she was getting the contact and cuddles she needed, and I could keep doing things for myself to an extent. That sounds very selfish, but it was how we survived early on. Also, trust your instincts and ignore any nay-sayers. My mother-in-law was very anti-sling, demanding to know why we ‘couldn’t use a pram like normal people?’ but even she can see how sociable and bright my little girl is, not to mention emotionally mature – I’m positive it comes from her being at face height instead of knee height.