When I gave birth to my daughter over 3 years ago, I ordered a sling as soon as we got home. I felt like I needed to keep her close to me, and a sling helped me with that. I had a primal instinct to keep her close to my body, and would not let anybody touch her but the midwife and my husband.
The sling provided her a safe space that I mentally needed to feel less out of control as a new mother. Later we moved on to a stretchy wrap that helped us with bonding, and provided another safe space for me and my daughter. I suffered from severe postpartum depression and wearing my daughter was one of the things that helped me get through these trying times. Baby wearing is a centuries old practice of wearing or carrying your baby in a sling or another carrier.
A few benefits of baby wearing:
- Bonding with your child;
- Convenient since you have free hands to do other things;
- A safe place for your child and the parent; and
- Communication between parent and child.
I was surprised to find mothers all over the world having the same feelings about child and baby rearing. It is always an inspiration when I find mothers who invest their time into helping other mothers through difficult times, especially before and after giving birth.
One of these women in Beijing is Alessia Chizzoniti, a mother of three children who were all born in Beijing. Chizzoniti is a birth doula, postpartum doula, and baby wearing coach. She also creates slings that are not just fabric but are also pieces of happiness, helping parents and children stay connected. Her company, Baobaole, does not only stand for “carrying a baby” but is a never-ending journey from pregnancy throughout life as a parent. Browsing through her website makes me believe that a special birth and postpartum period is possible.
For more information about Chizzoniti and her work please visit her new website at www.baobaolebeyond.com
Pauline van Hasselt has been working for beijingkids since October 2016. Born in Wassenaar, The Netherlands, she moved with her husband and her 3 year-old daughter to Beijing in June of last year. Prior she lived in the Netherlands, Belgium, Paraguay, Texas, and London, studying and working as a chef. Pauline enjoys biking around Beijing, finding markets and new restaurants, reading crime and fantasy books in bed, and most importantly, turning her house into a home for her family.
Photos by Alessia Chizzoniti & Pauline van Hasselt