What is it that you actually do at the Sling Surgery?
“I’m in the business of building bonds, helping families to care for their children in ways that bring stability, peace and hope. Close contact by carrying helps these bonds to build. I don’t care how you carry your child; be it in a towel, or a tie-on carrier or something with buckles or simply in your arms. I care that you DO carry your child, that the bonds of mutual love and confident security are built and maintained for a positive future. I don’t care too much for complex rules, but I do care that you carry your child safely and comfortably, in a way that works for your whole family. I care that you have another tool in your armoury to help you cope with the challenges of parenting without losing yourself in what can be an arduous journey.”
How do you actually do that?
“I deal with flesh and blood; the shape of infants’ bodies, bone and breath. I help people with the reality of actual carrying with various types of sling. I help parents find out about the importance of protecting airways, and how to preserve the spine and hip positions for comfort and optimum development. I deal with babies who cry and resist holding, the snot, the sick, the arching, the wriggling. I demonstrate and lend carriers that can take all these, and more. Real life; rather than lifestyle, practicalities rather than pure ideals. My joy comes from the deep sigh of an exhausted mother whose baby snuggles into her chest at last in blessed sleep. I watch as the tension shrinks from her shoulders, and feel my own eyes prick at the telltale brightness in hers. My heart swells at the pride a father feels as his child gazes at him and beams. My delight comes from watching the sudden realisation that freedom has been found; developing opportunities for carers and children to be together without compromising on life. Building bonds matters; the creation and maintaining of secure attachments which begin in the early months of life the “fourth trimester.” “
Finding out more for yourself
If you’d like to find out more about slings and carriers yourself, here is where to begin! We run regular drop in sessions including our popular “4th Trimester” for bumps and babies with support from parenting guides and infant feeding experts, and our city centre Slings in the City sling library drop in.
Building Bonds Scheme
We run a scheme called Building Bonds here in Sheffield. We aim to help families struggling with perinatal mental health disorders by providing them with another tool (a sling) to assist with improving secure attachment, increase freedom to get around and be able to get out of the house. Read more about this here.