Spotlight on a Slingababy Consultant: Becky Young
Can you give us a quick introduction as to who you are?
I’m Becky and I run Northamptonshire Sling Library & Consultancy with a great team of consultants and peer supporters. We have been running since 2015 and in non Covid times hold sessions all over the county.
Can you tell us more about your journey from carrying to becoming a consultant to now?
I started carrying my eldest right after she was born as we had a very young puppy. She had hip dysplasia and I was very worried about getting it right. I went with a friend along to the nearest sling library and thought it was such a great service. Carrying became a huge part of our lives not just for practical reasons but also for the community that was built within our local area. We spent most days with friends we had met through sling meets. I did my peer support training in 2015 to help out at the library and loved it so much that I did my Consultancy training with Slingababy in 2016 at 34 weeks pregnant!
I continued carrying my eldest through my 2nd pregnancy where I could and then when my middle daughter was born with a complex genetic condition, it became a life line. Looking back now, I don’t know how I managed with it all but I do put a lot of our strong bond down to carrying. I hadn’t been able to hold her for some time when she was in NICU and when I finally could, it was very lovely not to have to put her down. It also allowed me to connect with my eldest who had been separated from us too. I am very glad I had completed my training before she was born. Something that has always stuck in my head is Lorette saying ‘what’s the alternative’ and this has pushed me to think of ways things can be done. We have carried through some very complex circumstances and the benefits to all of us have been huge.
Then I had our 3rd baby in 2018 and it became even more of a life saver. Having a newborn and all that entails on top of a child who had just started school and a toddler with complex medical needs was intense. Being able to use a sling saved the day on many ocassions! I had quite a rough physical recovery but was glad of my training and confidence in knowing how to carry safely in alternative ways.
2.5 years on and carrying still plays a huge part of our lives. We like to walk and little legs can’t always manage. Reconnecting after a busy day for everyone. Wanting to see what’s going on in the kitchen. The cuddles may be fewer but they are just as special.
What is your favourite part about being a consultant?
I absolutely love seeing the look on the face of a caregiver when their baby has settled in the sling, sharing that feeling is amazing.
I have a special love for working with families in special circumstances and helping them figure out how to safely carry their little ones.
Would you share a special memory that sticks out for you?
Definitely putting my middle daughter into the ring sling for the first time when we were in the transitional unit of NICU. Making up her feeds with her cuddled up next to me after not being able to hold her or having to wait for someone else to pass her to me.
What tip would you give yourself if you could get back to the time before you were a parent?
To accept help when it’s offered. If it’s not offered, ask for what you need.
Why did you choose to train with Slingababy?
Recommendations from another Consultant who had absolutely loved the course and raved about the angles it was taught from. She was absolutely right!
Do you want to say a few words about your Slingababy experience?
Something that sticks with me is how it’s not just about slings. The experience has permeated every area of my life and strongly sticks with me even though it was almost 5 years ago! I learnt so much more than I could have comprehended and I would love to repeat parts of it to soak up even more! The course challenged how I think, beliefs I had previously about carrying and mostly gave me a huge sense of freedom on what was ‘allowed’ which certainly came in handy with carrying my own children and in my work.
Anything else you would like to say about anything?
If you’re thinking of a Slingababy peer support or Consultancy course, do it!