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Infant Biomechanics and Babywearing

Elizabeth Antunovic Co-founder of Boba, Inc. and Dr. Erin Mannen from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Assistant Professor and Director of Translational Orthopaedic Research.

Dr. Erin Mannen is as enthusiastic about all the science behind babywearing as we are at Boba. We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Mannen has got us started on the first Infant Biomechanics and Babywearing study at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She describes the new research project here;
 
“The infant biomechanics research project seeks to evaluate:

1. Back and neck muscle activity of infants aged 2-6 months old in various positions including prone (“tummy time”), supine (on their backs), in a soft structured inward facing baby carrier (Boba 4g), a car seat and in a caregiver’s arms.

2. Lower extremity muscle activity and hip motion of infants ages 2-6 months in various positions including the Pavlik harness, the Rhino Cruiser, the Boba 4g, a carseat, and in a caregiver’s arms.

It is hypothesized that:

1. Wearing an infant inward facing in a soft structured baby carrier will result in similar muscle activity as prone positioning or “Tummy time”, the current gold standard of strengthening head, neck, and upper body muscles in an era where babies are encouraged to sleep on their backs (supine) and are spending more time in infant seats or swings. Appropriate babywearing has the potential to offer parents a “break” from often cumbersome “tummy time” sessions (as many babies fuss and cry), allowing them to experience the many benefits of babywearing while simultaneously engaging similar muscles activated in prone positioning.

2. Wearing an infant inward facing in a soft structured baby carrier results in similar muscle activity and hip positioning as the orthopaedic devices currently used to treat babies with hip dysplasia. Appropriate babywearing may support proper hip development in all babies, and it has the potential to offer parents of hip dysplasia patients a “break” from the orthopaedic devices, allowing them to experience the many benefits of babywearing while not endangering their baby’s hips.”
 
Generally, the study assesses how babies are moving in common positions- and what muscles they are actually using. Support and funding for the study is also provided by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
 
Recently, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) has become interested in our research and jumped on to further support and fund our study! HUGE!
 
Dr. Mannen has already had abstracts of the study accepted to:
 
- American Society of Biomechanics
- North American Spine Society
- Orthopaedic Research Society
- Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society
- Society for Research on Child Development
- International Pediatric Association Congress
 
All have been well received...
 
We will be submitting for publication Spring of 2019. Can’t wait to birth this baby. Stay tuned!!