Caregivers around the world have for many generations past, worn children while pregnant. In some communities, wearing is part of everyday life and people within the community share the responsibility of wearing – siblings wear siblings, other relatives or friends help out, etc. If you do not have others to share the load, you may find yourself needing wear out of necessity.

Though there aren’t specific rules, below are some tips and photos for helping you be (potentially) more comfortable!

Listen to your body!

Listen to your body. You know you best. If wearing is causing pain or contractions, take it easy and check in with your healthcare provider. If you’re on bed rest or have lifting restrictions, bring up whether wearing is going to be a safe option with your healthcare provider.

If you’re new to wearing, start out slow. You’ll likely need to build some endurance. There may be muscles you didn’t even know were there. There may be sweat. There may be tears. It’s okay. In-person help to get fitted for a carrier that’s most comfortable for you can be a great start! Babywearing Twin Cities holds several free meetings throughout the metro area each month.

Front/Hip Carries

Being pregnant does not mean forgoing front carries. You do you. Listen to your body. If wearing on the front is comfortable for you, go for it! Plus, what works during one trimester may not work for you in the next.

A white man with brown hair hugging a tan pregnant woman with glasses. On the woman's chest is a tan toddler in a lime green wrap. They are standing out in the woods.
Woven Wrap Front Wrap Cross Carry Tied Under Bum

If a soft-structured carrier is your go-to for front carrying, keep using it until it is no longer comfortable. Some caregivers do not like pressure on the abdominal area when pregnant. Try a ring sling worn on the hip. Try woven wrap carries without a waist belt like a traditional sling carry, robin’s hip carry tied under bum, and poppin’s hip carry tied under bum (for potentially easier potty breaks because pregnancy often means frequent potty breaks and it might not press on your bladder as much either).

Two image collage from front and side view of a pregnant white woman wearing a brunette preschool girl. The woman is wearing her daughter on her hip in a mint green ring sling. They are standing in a home's entryway.
Ring Sling on Hip

Back Carries

Back carries can be a great option when it isn’t comfortable to wear on the front or hip. Sometimes having a little human in your face, sticking their fingers up your nose just isn’t what you’re looking for. Options for back carries may include woven wrap carries with a waist-less finish or tying above the belly, bei dais, onbuhimos, or soft-structured carriers with the waistband placed where it’s most comfortable. Below are some photos for examples!

Three image collage of a pregnant white woman wearing a brunette preschool girl. The woman is wearing her daughter on her back in a blue, grey, and white Star Wars inspired woven wrap. The carrier is tied without a waist pass on the left image and is tied with a double knot above her belly on the right two images from the side and front angles.
Woven Wrap Back Carry (Left: Ruck Tied Tibetan, Right: Ruck Tied at Waist)
Two image collage of a pregnant tan skin Asian woman wearing a toddler on her back. Left image using a rainbow striped wrap in a carry that has a pass spread across the chest and two shoulder straps that tie off not visibly in back. Mama's hands are on toddler's bare feet. Right image is from the side and the carry has the two shoulder straps coming over the shoulder and down to the back to tie under toddler's bum.
Woven Wrap Back Carries Tied Under Bum (Left: Freshwater Double Hammock, Right: Ruck)
Two image collage of a tan pregnant woman wearing glasses smiling at the camera. On her back is a tan toddler wrapped in a lime green wrap.
Woven Wrap Back Carries Without a Waist Belt
Two image collage of a pregnant white woman in a colorful striped shirt with a fussing blond toddler on her back in a 2-toned blue onbuhimo. Images from front and side.
Onbuhimo
Two image collage of a pregnant white bespectacled woman with a brown, yellow and pink buckle carrier with an unimpressed blonde toddler on her back. The waistband of the carrier is above her belly.
Soft-Structured Buckle Carrier Back Carry with Waistband Above the Belly
Two image collage from front and side view of a pregnant white woman wearing a brunette preschool girl. The woman is wearing her daughter in a soft structured carrier with grey straps and black webbing. The waistband is worn under her belly bump on the left image and over her bump on the right image.
Soft-Structured Buckle Carrier Back Carry with Waistband Below and Above the Belly
[4 minute 10 second video in real-time of a caregiver demonstrating how to use a soft-structured carrier while pregnant.]

For more on wearing soft-structured carriers, check out our blog post at: https://babywearingtwincities.org/blog/soft-structured-carriers/
Two image collage of a brown haired bespectacled woman in a colorful striped shirt with meh dai tied Tibetan and waistband tied above pregnant bump.
Bei Dai Back Carry Tied Tibetan
[4 minute 53 second video in real-time of a caregiver demonstrating how to back carry with a bei dai while pregnant.]

Note: ” Formerly referred to a “mei tai” (which is still used by some commercial brands); this spelling and pronunciation, however, is not accurate to the carrier’s history and should be avoided. Meh dai (Cantonese) or bei dai (Mandarin) are rectangles of fabric with straps at the top and bottom. Meh dai means “back carrying strap” where “meh/bei” means “carry on your back,” and “dai” means strap. ” (https://babywearingtwincities.org/blog/bwitccotm-bei-dai-meh-dai/)

Belly Wrapping

“Belly wrapping” or “bump wrapping” has been used by many cultures to ease some of the discomforts of pregnancy. Woven wrap, stretchy wraps, or ring slings are baby carriers that may be used to provide some support to the belly, hips, and back during pregnancy. With a longer woven or stretchy wrap, try a front wrap cross carry (or variant of) or something closer to a front torso carry for nothing over the shoulders with a shorter wrap or ring sling.

Three image collage of woven wrap fabric wrapped around pregnant bellies. Top left image is a Black woman in glasses wearing a size 6 woven wrap around her 30ish week pregnant belly. Precocious toddler peeking into picture below. Bottom left image is a pregnant white woman in a blue cardigan and brown pants is at a grassy park, wrapping her belly in a blue, grey and purple gradient woven wrap. Right image is a purple and white chevron pattern woven wrap supporting a pregnant belly and achy back; finished with a purple ring in place of a potentially bothersome knot.
Wrap that Belly!

If you have any questions about babywearing, we encourage you to contact us and/or come learn in person at one of our meetings! Check out our Instagram @Babywearing.Twin.Cities and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BabywearingTwinCities/).

Images have image descriptions in the alternative text accessible to those who use screen readers.

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