Well, I’ve made it! I’m basically at the end of second trimester. If you’ve been following along, please feel free to check out my previous blog on babywearing during first trimester. And I’ll hopefully have a third trimester link for you in a few weeks (eep!).
At the time of writing this, I’m about 26 weeks and have been babywearing this whole entire pregnancy. It hasn’t been easy, but it has made my life easier on many occasions and kept facilitating that lovely bond between my first baby and me, even while growing my second.
One thing I can say is that babywearing during second trimester was quite different to the first! Part of this is that my toddler is now almost 17 months old. He’s changing so much all the time… he walks and runs and loves to explore everything. But he still loves cuddles with mummy (or daddy!) whenever he can get them. If anything, he is becoming more affectionate than ever before. He totally loves babywearing still.
But in great part, the changes to my body over the last few months have definitely affected what I’ve been wearing and how. Your body and your experience might be different, but if your pregnancy and first toddler are similar to mine, here’s what you might notice during second trimester and babywearing:
It’s true – second trimester comes with some much-needed extra energy. We’ve done way more babywearing than first trimester, as a result. So if you’re in the trenches of first trimester and feel like your babywearing days might be over, hold out! Your energy will return and your little one will be doubly excited to go up again.
With more energy comes more opportunities to get out of the house and catch up on everything you missed in first trimester. I found that we did a lot more babywearing as a result. Nearly any time we go out, I bring along a carrier and use it to go between the car and final destination, or when we’re shopping.
Back Carries are King
I’ve been turning a lot more to back carries, especially in our SSC. I found that the waistband was actually more comfortable in second trimester than first trimester, even though I now have a bit of a belly. I suspect that the belly is now offering a good “stopping point” for the waistband, and holding the weight a bit so that it’s not digging into my bladder.
Ring Slings Rock Too
I found myself reinvesting in a ring sling. I wanted something for those quick-ups that wasn’t necessarily buckles. Sometimes we just pop into a shop for 5 minutes, and getting the buckles done up and adjusted almost seems like a waste of time! The ring sling was super comfortable as I could position my toddler off-centre. Other mamas have commented that this option also can hide their belly a bit if they’re not wanting to draw attention to it.
A little disclaimer, though. If you (like me) have any weakness in your back, don’t do ring slings for more than a few minutes at a time. Because they pull you off-centre, this combined with the extra relaxin hormones during pregnancy can make you more prone to straining your back.
Front Carries Are Getting Easier?!
This totally surprised me! Front carries were heaps more comfortable than the previous trimester. Once again, I think it was because my belly is a bit more obvious and can work as almost a “shelf” for my toddler to sit on, taking pressure off my bladder. The only thing is that I find belly bub can have a bit of a kick-fest if they feel the waistband there!
Ahh, yup. You caught me. Tipping melted icecream into my toddler's mouth. On my back. What's your special skill? ;-)
Watch Your Balance/Core
As I mentioned just before, relaxin hormones can really have an effect on your body during pregnancy. Your balance is also thrown off due to the extra weight on your tummy. I found that I needed to be more conscious of zipping my core muscles in when carrying, and also keeping myself really centred. Strictly bending at the knees only!
Even if you’re feeling better, don’t push yourself. A big day or heaps of babywearing can really set you back. Take it as slow and easy as you can. Each time you’re babywearing, you’re officially tandem-wearing so be careful with yourself!
Breathe – Goodbye Lung Space!
Another interesting “symptom” of pregnancy that is starting to affect my babywearing is the lack of lung space. As everything moves upwards to make way for belly bub, my lungs are starting to get squished. This means that I need to be more conscious of proper, deep breathing, especially when I’m carrying a heavy load like my toddler. It also means that I might need to reposition the carrier waistband or loosen it a little more if I’m having trouble opening my lungs up enough. On the occasions when I find myself really struggling to breathe, I opt for alternatives to babywearing – dizzy mama plus baby does not make for a safe carry!
No Waist Band is Handy!
I am starting to really love carriers that don’t have a waistband! In woven wraps this could mean a ruck tied under the bum or with a chest belt. But I’m really loving the option of an onbuhimo.
Wearing our Kokadi Onbuhimo at Eat Street Markets. Yummmm!
It is super quick (which suits my busy toddler) and offers a high back carry that doesn’t cover your belly at all. As an added bonus, my baby-daddy is really enjoying this option too, even though he isn’t pregnant 😉
That’s it from me! I’ll be back in a couple of months to talk about the highs and lows of third trimester babywearing. Also, keep an eye out for our tutorial and low-down on onbuhimos coming soon.
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P.P.S. If you’re pregnant with your first baby (or second, third, fourth… and so on superwoman!), we have some super awesome baby carriers that are perfect for newborns available in our shop, all with AfterPay! <3
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I thought it was time to talk about shopping while babywearing. After all, it’s a bit of a different experience than shopping with a pram ;-).