Belly Wrapping During Pregnancy With A Ring Sling Carrier
Updated: Dec 14, 2019
Did you think those beautiful ring sling baby carriers were only for carrying babies? Not so! They’re also super helpful as support for a pregnant mama’s growing belly, and can be used long before baby arrives.
I absolutely love my Oscha Sling. It was an expensive item to purchase, but I feel like it’s worth the price tag. Maybe that’s because I don’t have a nursery and I am not really spending money on new baby stuff this time around (check out my Minimalist Newborn Baby Essentials post).
If the price is a deterrent for you, don’t fret. There are loads of cheaper options when it comes to ring slings and baby carriers in general. And any kind of wrap or sling can be used for pregnant belly support.
If you haven’t yet gotten on board with the baby wearing trend, it might be a good idea to look into the different carriers available and what would suit you best. Baby wearing is a controversial topic and I don’t exactly understand why. The idea that you will “spoil” an infant by keeping them in close contact with you for their first several months of life is a pretty absurd assumption. Honestly, I don’t know what else people imagine to be problematic about baby wearing. The fact is, babies need to be babied. They crave touch, closeness, and connection - especially to mother, whom they just spent the last 10 months living inside. To deny this need seems almost barbaric to me. But I am not one for mainstream thinking.
The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff is a heavy read but clearly describes how important it is for babies to be held “in-arms” for 6 to 8 months after birth for proper social development. Liedloff gives readers a deep psychological analysis of westernized social behaviors surrounding childbirth and a harshly compares it to her first hand experience witnessing the wonders of baby-wearing among native tribes-people in the Amazon. She maintains that it is an instinctual need to be carried as babies, one that if unfulfilled will negatively affect us the rest of our lives. Read more about the concept here, or take my word for it and start looking for the carrier that’s right for you.
There are countless baby wearing products on the market, ranging from cheap-cheap to insanely expensive. Wraps and slings can be intimidating compared to the ease of “buckle-and-go” type carriers, but the learning curve isn’t actually that steep. I prefer the ring sling because it’s quicker to set up and, in my opinion, less constricting and hot. But the even better news is that wraps and slings can be beneficial during pregnancy too.
Wearing the sling as a belly wrap during late pregnancy has several benefits:
- Supports the weight of a heavy belly
- Stabilizes spine, hips, and pelvis
- Eases back pain
- Improves posture and mobility
- Provides warmth and feeling of security
- Breaks in the carrier before using it with baby
So let’s assume you’ve got yourself a ring sling and you’re ready to break it in.
Here’s what you do:
1. With the rings located comfortably on your right hip Wrap the fabric behind you and around your waist - it will of course work with the rings on your left hip and wrapping the opposite direction, but this is what felt comfortable to me.
2. Spread the fabric evenly behind your back, around your left hip, and across your belly. Pull the end through both rings at your right hip. Hold the fabric taught and even, straightening it out as necessary.
3. Pull the end of the fabric to the left, over the first ring and under the second. Again, pull taught and even, straightening out the fabric if necessary.
4. Pull any slack through the rings as needed until the wrap feels secure.
What to do with the tail-end?
The final step of tucking the end of the fabric somewhere depends on the length of your sling, the size of your belly, and your personal preference. Some possibilities are:
1. Open up the “tail” and wrap the fabric over your belly again, around your left hip and behind your back. Tuck the very end under both of the rings on your right hip. If the fabric isn’t long enough to reach all the way around to the rings, just tuck it into itself wherever it ends.
2. Simply take the “tail” and tuck it over and behind both rings, so the fabric sits like a cushion between your hips and the rings, and the “tail” is dangling at your side. This might be the best choice if your sling is very short, or if your hip is bothered by the placement of the metal rings. Plus, I’d say it’s the most fashion forward.
3. Twist the entire “tail” in one direction until taught, then wrap it under your belly, around your left hip, and behind your back. Tuck the very end underneath both rings. This should act like a cushion between your hip and the rings, and provide extra support for your belly and back. This method is my favorite, but it might be difficult to achieve if your sling is not long enough to reach behind the rings again.
Watch my video tutorial here.
I hope this brings relief to all you pregnant mama's out there. Good luck!