Yesterday I found out about a beautiful change taking place at the hospital here in Umeå, Sweden. Turns out that our hospital is one of the first in all of Sweden in introducing babywearing and co-sleeping to all new parents after birth.
Before they have had these sort of sterile plastic beds on wheels in all post delivery rooms for parents to use for their newborns, but now they are changing all of those to baby wraps and baby nests to encourage closeness and safe co-sleeping.
Personally I think that it is a positive change as I would have never dreamed of putting my tiny fresh little person in that plastic thing away from me. But I know we are all different and I think our own choice of how we want to birth and parent our own babies are the most important and all parents can decide for themselves how they want to do it. Therefor I still think it is good that the hospital is keeping some of those plastic beds around if anyone specifically asks for them.
The big difference I think is that simply by presenting baby wearing and co-sleeping as the primary option the hospital is helping in creating a great acceptance and trust in those two practices. A lot of new parents doubt their own ability to know the best way to care for their children and trust that the way that it's done in the hospital has to be safest and most recommended way. So the former practice of putting newborns in those beds on wheels in addition to the general idea that "independent" babies = good babies, that co-sleeping might be dangerous and baby wrapping difficult really means you needed to be sure that that's what you wanted to do to even try it.
Now that babywearing and co-sleeping is becoming the general practice in the hospital I think a lot of people who felt insecure about it before will give it a try and hopefully it will help both babies and moms be both healthier and happier. Research is showing benefits of co-sleeping and babywearing to be everything from easier breastfeeding and more peaceful sleep to decreased risk of postpartum depression and SIDS, and a WHOLE lot more. I promise, google it if you don't believe me. Also, without that kind of clear research these kinds of "hippie/primitive" changes would never get in to a hospital. I just wonder where we even got the idea to stop doing this in the first place...
Here is the clip from the news announcing these changes and why, in Swedish.