Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We're in the Bangkok Post!!!

I may or may not have mentioned this before but at one of the previous Bangkok Babywearing Club meetings a reporter and photographer from the Bangkok Post came to do a story on us. It finally made it in to the paper and Lanna and I made it into 2 of the 5 pictures!!! Of course they're really terrible pictures of me and one of the quotes says "the correct way to wear your baby" when in actuallity Lanna's kind of just hanging there and she should have more butt support but ohh well.

Here's the link and I've copied the article below: http://www.bangkokpost.com/life/family/10207/sling-babies.

SLING BABIES
Wearing your baby helps you bond better with your child
By: KITTIMA SETHI
Published: 22/01/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Mylife
It has become a common sight to see parents with babies strapped to their chests.

Founder of BBC, Amy Vijayanagar and her daughter Maya.
These slings to carry infants come in a myriad of fabrics in various designs and styles and are in vogue. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Brooke Shields, Kate Hudson and Cindy Crawford have been spotted carrying their babies in such slings.
They are a not a new invention as women around the world have been carrying their babies for centuries - in sashes, baskets and even nets. However, the resurgence in carrying babies in these slings appears to be a new development in modern society.
Is it replacing the plethora of high-tech strollers and baby carriers available?
"Baby slings have been around since there were babies! It is an ancient tradition and there is something very beautiful about it. As soon as babies are born, parents in traditional societies put their babies in these slings and go about their business," pointed out Amy Vijayanagar, founder of Bangkok Babywearing Club (BBC).
Vijayanagar explains that just as modern parents are rediscovering breastfeeding and natural birth, buying organic cotton clothes and making homemade food for their babies, they are also discovering the art of "wearing their babies". Parents are discovering that baby carriers offer comfort, functionality, versatility and even beauty. The baby slings available today are just a modern evolution of the traditional and older versions.
Baby slings can be worn men too, as it is a great bonding tool and such positive interaction fosters a mutual attachment between the parent and infant. In some countries, mothers have also been allowed to "wear their babies" to work.
Most importantly, wearing your baby leaves your hands-free for shopping or perfoming your day-to-day activities without any hinderance. If you have more than one child, it also frees your hands to supervise the other child. Baby slings are convenient in stroller-unfriendly places such as the MRT and BTS, markets and several narrow and crowded streets in Bangkok.

Members of BBC teach each other the correct method to wear a baby sling.
As Vijayanagar puts it succinctly, "As a new mum, you may not be able to wear your favourite piece of jewellery or a nice dress, but you can wear the most beautiful thing you have - your baby!"
Vijayanagar set up the BBC out of sheer frustration - she could not find any support group when she ran into problems with her baby carrier.
"I was experiencing neck pain and the orthopedist suggested that I stopped using a baby carrier that I carried my daughter, Mia, in. I panicked because Mia loved being carried and I had no idea how to parent her without it. I took out my pouch sling but did not feel comfortable using it as I couldn't get it to work. I went online to research and scoured web sites and joined all sorts of online forums.
"That is when I discovered these slings. I learned that there were these different types of babywearing styles and slings. I also discovered there was a huge community of mothers and fathers who were into this practice," recalled Vijayanagar.

WIth a baby sling, hands are free to tend to other children.
She learned that babywearing is a skill to be learned and practiced - that probably explains why she was struggling with the pouch sling. After writing about her situation on online forums, she got several emails and was introduced to Mei Tei, a Chinese style baby carrier. She ordered one online and fell in love with it.
Soon, Vijayanagar found herself attending the second International Baby-wearing Conference in June last year in Chicago, Illiniois. This is an international conference dedicated entirely to baby slings. Inspired with the experience she gained and armed with a wealth of information, Vijayanagar decided to set up the BBC in July last year. Entering its sixth month, the club has 60 members and is growing.
Still in the womb
Dr William Sears, author of The Baby Book, sees baby slings as an extension of the womb.
He explains that a baby's gestation period is 18 months - nine months inside the womb and nine months outside. After nine months in the womb, the birth disrupts a baby's system. Slings extends the baby's womb experience and provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganised tendencies of the baby. By wearing a baby, the mother-infant attachment is enhanced. The mother's rhythmic walk, heartbeat and breathing remind the baby of the womb.

Vijayanagar shows a wraparound sling.
Baby wearing from a
medical perspective
Dr Anjana Sachabudhawong of Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital's Paediatric Pulmonology and Critical Care Centre says she has witnessed a growing number of mothers who wear their babies.
"Babywearing seems convenient to mothers and the babies appear to be safe and sound while being 'worn' by their mothers," says the paediatrician.
She explains that the new mothers' hormone (progesterone) is increased through physical contact with the infant, leading to a more intimate maternal bond, easier breastfeeding and better care.
She added that infants who are carried are calmer because all their primal and survival needs are met. The care-giver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched and tasted. Moreover, they provide the feeding and motion necessary for continuing neural development, gastrointestinal and respiratory health of the infant.
By carrying the infant in a sling, the weight of the child is spread more evenly across the upper body. There is also a decreased risk of positional plagiocephaly ("flat head syndrome") caused by extended time spent in a car seat or by sleeping on the back. Concern over plagiocephaly has also led the American Academy of Paediatrics to recommend that infants "should spend minimal time in car seats (when not a passenger in a vehicle) or other seating that maintains supine positioning".

The correct way to wear a sling.
None of the babywearing positions require infants to lie supine while being carried. Infants can even be worn while they sleep, also decreasing sleeping time spent in a supine position.
However, Dr Anjana advises that a proper position in the sling/carrier is important for the infant's hip, pelvis and spine growth. There is concern that carriers which put all of a baby's weight on a narrow band of fabric at the crotch may cause problems with spinal growth, and it is recommended to use carriers which disperse most of the infant's weight between the hips and thighs.
There is much debate on this in the babywearing community since there has not been sufficient research to show that this could be an issue for babies who do not already have a hip or spine condition, which would require special consideration.
Dr Anjana further cautions that mothers who wear their baby must be attentive to the baby's interaction with the environment. Parents must be vigilant about the space around them and avoid bumping the baby into counters and doorways.
Babies carried on the back may be able to reach things that the wearer cannot see. Most importantly, carriers must be fit snugly and properly to avoid an active baby wiggling out.
She also observed that most of the baby wearers are non-Thais and attributes this to Thai parents having several other household members to help them with their babies.
"They usually have grandparents to help carry the baby and therefore, the baby gets all the stimulation they need. Having someone to help taking care of their babies, Thai mothers are usually not compelled to take their babies outdoors with them all the time," she adds.
For support and more information, contact amy.vijayanagar@gmail.com. Additional information was taken from http://www.thebabywearer.com/; http://www.babywearinginternational.com/; 'The Baby Book' by William Sears, MD; and 'Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of this Ancient Tradition' by Maria Blois, MD.

1 comment:

marissa said...

that's the correct way hahah, she looks like she could fall out at any second