Women all over the world wear their babies in wraps or slings, making it easier for them to carry their babies long distances and freeing their arms/hands to hold something else.
Haiti is one of the only countries in the world where baby-wearing is not practiced.
The women in our maternal health program stay in the program for one year postpartum. They are supposed to bring their babies with them to all of their visits (so we can weigh, measure, and keep track of their health/nutrition status.)
Can you imagine walking 2-4 hours carrying a newborn? An infant? A toddler???
Neither can they, which is why most of them don’t bring their babies. This prolonged separation of mom and baby isn’t good for several reasons. We can’t keep track of the baby and intervene if there is a problem. However, the biggest problem is that she is unable to nurse during this time apart.
When I asked the women in our program why Haitians don’t practice baby-wearing like their African ancestors, they said “because we don’t have baby sacks!” They are very excited to try it out, so I am bringing baby-wearing to Haiti!
This isn’t just giving a few women an item of convenience so they can be compliant with our instructions. I really want to change the culture to re-introduce the custom of baby-wearing. These women walk long distances on a daily basis- fetching water or going to market. If they do get a ride, it’s on the back of a donkey or a moto. It terrifies me every time I see a motorcycle zoom by with a woman holding an infant. At least if she has a wrap, the baby is attached to her body and isn’t going to go flying off (. . . unless she does.)
This is where you come in. . . Instead of presenting them with a specific wrap that may not work for them for one reason or another, I want to present them with every different type of wrap and have them tell me what would work for their needs and lifestyle.
I have done a lot of research on inexpensive, low-skill, DIY wraps and I am in need of. . .
- Fabric— standard width, minimum of 2 yards in length, material doesn’t matter (I will need a variety)
- T-shirts— any size, any color, any condition, can even be kids
- Long scarves/shawls/sarongs— the kind that are very wide
- Sling Rings— preferably 3″ to 3.5″
If you are able to donate any of these items, please mail them to:
P.O. Box 128137
Nashville, TN 37212
If you do not already have these items on hand and you would like to donate to go towards their purchase or if you have any other questions, please e-mail me at Tayler@LiveBeyond.org or send me a message on Facebook!
Again, thanks so much for your generosity, your support, and your prayers!