"My battle to make baby carriers safe": Licia and the first survey on babywearing
Licia carried Luca in a sling until she was two and a half years old. At the beginning they looked at her crookedly, as if she were a hippy. And they often asked her: "But isn't it possible that he'll pick up the habit?". Now that seven years have passed, something has changed. And she, Licia Negri, who in the meantime has set up a company that produces baby carriers (MHUG), thought it was time to do two things. One, fight a battle over the safety of swaddling clothes and company. Two, start the first survey on babywearing in Italy.
Licia, where did you start from?
"From the need to have a standard that regulates baby carriers: when I found myself having to test my products, I realized that there is no specific regulation. There is only one European standard, but it regulates baby carriers, if by baby carriers we mean already shaped supports. For everything else, we are groping in the dark. I often see mothers who carry their babies in a baby carrier but without security. This is worrying".
Babywearing, however, in the meantime has spread...
"Yes, although not in a homogeneous way in Italy. There are areas where mothers who carry babies are still seen as aliens. Fortunately, in other parts, in Trentino for example, it has been understood that babywearing is good for you, that the contact has benefits. In Rome, even, there are two schools of carrying. It's a sign that this culture is taking root".
So you are collecting testimonials?
"Yes, in collaboration with Trevisini Editore I am carrying out a survey to obtain reliable data on babywearing in our country and to collect parents' experiences through an online questionnaire. In spring all this will become a book. Beautiful testimonials are already coming in, it's hard to hold back the tears. I'm also pleased with the numbers: so far over 750 people have responded. And the research continues".
Are mums aware of the problem of safety?
"Yes, it's not just a worry of mine as a technical expert sitting at the working table of the European Committee for Standardisation. Many mothers ask for information on how to use baby carriers in practice. Evidently they are not getting adequate advice. Other European countries are further ahead in this respect. I gave birth in Switzerland, where I received an information booklet with instructions for use when I left home. And there was also written how to use the band".
To participate in the research click on en.surveymonkey.com/s/babywearingitaly. There is time until 31st January.
Silvia Manzani is a professional journalist who has worked for several local newspapers. She is also a nursery school teacher, has two degrees and an agenda of contacts that would be the envy of a pr. She is in charge of the editorial content of romagnamamma.it. To contact Silvia, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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