The art of teaching people to carry their babies was traditionally passed from mother to daughter and so on. It didn't need teaching but as the pram became more popular people began to lose the skills of carrying their children. Babywearing or carrying consultants are trying to bring these skills back to parents. Many people begin learning how to use a sling via YouTube or online communities. This is how I began but I could not learn everything from YouTube or forums. I my own carrying skills were increased after doing my Trageschule UK foundation course in March 2012, and I improve as a sling user with every course I do. But even I still use YouTube. The key with online resources is to know who they are by. Are they trained or are they an enthusiastic amateur?
As a carrying consultant I have been trained how to give one to one or group, tailored, fully insured, private support to parents on how to carry their baby comfortably and safely. This support can begin before they have even had their baby and can continue for as long as the parent wishes to carry their baby or child. In these private consultations I use my knowledge of baby’s anatomy and sling structure/style to help parents find a solution to their own individual carrying needs. We discuss any special requirements and past carrying experience and any previous barriers to carrying. The key to a consultation is giving a personalised experience.
Some consultants when they first begin chose not to charge. I choose to charge. I believed by asking for a fee it provides a level of professionalism. I am after all providing a service. I have invested nearly £1000 in training courses. I have annual insurance and professional membership fees. I have a dedicated consultation room with over £7000 worth of stock (wholesale price not retail) available to hire. Running a sling library and consultancy does not just happen. I have childcare costs as I prefer to do consultations without the distraction of my own children. I have not had any grants or loans I have been lucky to receive some slings donated to me by manufacturers and retailers, or sold at discounted prices but the rest I have funded myself and through hire fees.
Private appointments last between 60 and 90 minutes in which I use the information provided by parents to help them find their sling solution. Firstly I demo a technique or carrier, then we mirror each other (using demo dolls) and then I watch while the parents try for themselves. This allows me to identify areas of potential difficulty and provide solutions. We can repeat this process as often as required until parents and their babies are happy. This one to one support is not possible in a free sling library or sling meet session. I can trouble shoot, I spot small errors, I can answer you questions. This doesn't happen via Facebook, forums and YouTube. The support I give doesn't just end when you leave either. I am happy to answer phone calls, emails and facebook messages when you are home. I even offer FaceTime consultations.
I hope in the coming years Carrying or Babywearing Consultants will be as well known as Lactation consultants for example. That when people want help they will know that there is dedicated support out there. In the meantime I am happy knowing that the parents I have helped are happy carrying their babies big and small. That they know where I am if they need me.
The following quotes are taken from my coursework feedback form for School of Babywearing Consultancy coursework. Others are taken from the Recommendations box on our Facebook page. I hope it gives you a flavour of the benefit of having a private or group consultant can offer to you.
"I would recommend her to people and have done so. She makes the world of slings so much easier to understand and not scary! quite a few of my friends have gone to see her when the library is on and borrowed slings too. She is knowledgeable and i felt confident trying new slings after seeing her."
"Rachel is a real natural at this - she has a flair for slings but for working with people at their most vulnerable after having children and making them feel empowered."
"We wish we had gone sooner! I am currently pregnant and we will be booking another consultation for advice regarding newborns".
"I can highly recommend Rachel Coy and the North East Sling Library. After a one to one consultation I was able to choose which type of carrier was best for me, and after trying some out was able to buy my own (well, maybe more than one!). The buggy has not been out of the garage since, I am a total convert thanks to Rachel's knowledge of and enthusiasm for babywearing. Even my husband is convinced!"
"Having the opportunity to hire a sling for a month has made such a difference to my family and life. Thank you so much. I even got to hold my husband's hand for the first time in nearly four years. Thank you so much I highly recommend."
Want to speak to me to talk through options? Then ring 0191 3789768 or email me
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