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  • Jordan and Peyton's Hip Dysplasia Journey

    We discovered that Peyton was a breech baby at our 35 week appointment at the hospital.

    We went for ultrasounds to confirm and at 37 weeks we tried a ECV (External Cephalic Version) at this appointment she had already engaged and therefore unsuccessful.

    We booked in for a caesarean for 39 weeks

    At 37.5 weeks, she surprised us and came into the work via emergency c section as she was not waiting for anyone. Her little legs were facing straight up to her head. Her legs did go down after a couple days.

    At 6 weeks, she had a routine paediatrician appointment and ultrasound which picked up that she had total dislocation in her right hip, she also had it slightly in her left.

    We had a referral to Sunshine children’s hip clinic when she was 7 weeks. At that appointment, she had an ultrasound and her first brace (Pavlik Harness) was placed on, she needed this on 24/7 for 6 weeks.

    At our 6 weeks’ check-up, she was changed to a Dennis Brown Brace. She was allowed 1 hour her day to have her brace off. This is when she started Kanga Training with Kylie.

    We would warm up and then the last 45 mins of the class she would have it off and was in the Manduca Carrier, the Manduca still held her legs in the correct position for her hips so it was great that we could still carry out Kanga training.

    In this time Peyton leant to crawl in her brace. And did very well getting around on her own.

    On December, the 8th we had another check-up. Peyton only had to wear her brace for sleeping and naps.

    We had an appointment just before Christmas and hoped we would have it off but unfortunately we had to have it a bit longer

    On January 6th 2016 (7 months old) we had an appointment and her brace was finally off.

    Within a week she was crawling.

    At 14 months, old Peyton was walking.

    At the time, we thought her hips dysplasia was everything, we were so stressed like any parent would be. Now it is a distant memory.

    If I have any advice to any parents going through the same. Just take it one step at a time.

    Don’t get your hopes up when it is appointment time as we were let down a few times due to slower progress.

    Focus on your child as a whole; their hips are not everything.




  • Haley & Zoey's Hip Dysplasia Journey

    Our beautiful little girl Zoey was born on the 11th June 2016, she came into the world in a rare en-caul birth, it makes her special, but what really makes our little girl special is that she is kicking hip dysplasia’s butt!

    Zoey’s hip dysplasia journey actually starts about three generations before her, with family stories of an elderly great great aunt that had ‘bad hips’, two great aunts that received spica treatment in the 1950’s and 1970’s, both her Aunt and Uncle that were treated with double nappies in the 1970’s and a cousin that underwent surgery and spica cast in the 1990’s. So you see Zoey’s story isn’t all that unique in our family.

    Zoey hips were ‘clinically sound’ at birth, with no detectable click. But a mothers intuition is often right and an ultrasound at six weeks showed immature joints. By the time we made it to Royal Children’s Hospital at nine weeks of age she had only 19% coverage of the left hip joint (a 'normal' hip should be around 70%). We were told that her hip was unstable enough that it would have impacted her ability to walk properly. Despite expecting this diagnosis, it hit hard, my amazing husband held it together while Zoey and I just cried as they fitted her with her first Dennis Browne Bar Brace. We entered treatment like most families, with 24/7 bracing and we came home to Mildura faced with a whole heap of new hurdles, including how to comfortably carry our little babe around. The brace made her awkward and bulky and we mourned the ability to just cuddle our little girl like other new parents.

    Enter Baby wearing.

    A good friend and local baby wearing advocate Lauren Southwell, initially helped me out through our local baby wearing group, where I was able to try a couple of different carriers. We were already committed to an overseas trip just two weeks after Zoey’s brace was fitted, we needed a solution. I still remember the conversation in Lauren’s lounge room, “try these carriers, but I’d really recommend a Manduca, I’d lend you mine but I use mine every day”. Lauren suggested I get in contact with Kim Long, our local Kanga Trainer and Manduca/Fertile Mind stockist….. and that was just the best recommendation we could have recieved in our hip dsyplasia journey. One phone call with Kim and she offered to lend us a carrier and fit us properly to accommodate Zoey’s brace so we had a solution to get us through our trip while we waited for our own carrier to arrive.

    We ended up meeting up with Kim in Melbourne at the One Fine Baby Expo the day before our trip, we were the proud new owners of a Pure Cotton Manduca and we didn’t look back! Many ‘Hip Mums’ will tell you losing the ability to snuggle our babies is one of the biggest hurdles of hip dysplasia, but with Zoey in her carrier I really felt like we got that closeness back. I’m eternally grateful to both Lauren and Kim, without them, we would have had a very different hip dysplasia journey.

    And the fantastic news is that just last week we got the good news that Zoey’s hips are stable enough that we have finished our bracing journey…. But we’ll be using our Manduca for a long while yet!

    P.S. Just wanted to say a huge thank you to the beautiful Lauren Southwell from Purely Taken Photography for taking this stunning picture of Zoey and I.



  • Healthy Hips Week 23-29 April 2017

    Healthy Hips Week aims to bring together people from the hip dysplasia community, and beyond, to raise much needed funds to expand the support services and awareness campaigns of Healthy Hips Australia.

    Fertile Mind, Manduca distributor in Australia and New Zealand and the owner of Hug-a-Bub organic wrap carriers & slings, is proud to be supporting Healthy Hips Australia in their mission to increase the availability and accessibility of resources, education and support for people working with and impacted by hip dysplasia.

    During this week we will share stories from our followers about their Hip Dysplasia journeys, and will share and feature information about Hip Dysplasia.

    Manduca Baby Carriers and Hug-a-Bub wrap carriers & slings have been recognised by the International Hip Dysplasia Institue as Hip-Healthy products that supports the correct development of the hips.

    During Healthy Hips Week, Fertile Mind will donate 5% from all carriers sold on Fertile Mind and Hug-a-Bub' websites.



  • Why manduca baby carriers could be called “Birkenstocks for babies”

    The proud history of the German Birkenstock® brand is something to hold in high esteem.

    This hundreds-year-old shoe company has enjoyed a fine reputation because of its attention to quality and exceptional design.

    Birkenstock’s brand essence includes healthy living and sleeping, healthy workplaces, healthy feet and a healthy approach to life.

    Babies can’t wear Birkenstocks, but they can be offered a similarly healthy living and sleeping environment from a company that is famous for German excellence in design.

    Offering the security of a comfortable sleeping pod, manduca® baby carriers give babies a connection with their parent while the wearer continues to get things done. And, like the moulded sandal, manduca moulds around baby’s body to eliminate pressure and discomfort – even for long periods of time being carried.

    Healthy feet start from the hips, and manduca is the only baby carrier endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association as well as being named as Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI). The wide seat offered by manduca gives the optimal “spread squat” position, also known as “froggy” or “M” position.

    Hip Health is particularly important for the first 4-6 months of life, when hip cartilage begins to shape into the bones that the child will have for life.

    The IHDI and Healthy Hips Australia are working to eliminate late onset hip dysplasia by recommending parents choose healthy hip carriers such as manduca and Hug-a-Bub, and swaddling products or swaddle wraps like the large cotton L’il Fraser Collection baby wraps.

    Much is made of the quality materials that tread lightly on the earth and used in the Birkenstock manufacture.

    Manduca is also similar in that it sustainably sources only the best materials to achieve the highest level of comfort.

    While Birkenstock’s quality is seen most obviously in their choice of leathers, manduca’s is in the 100% GOTS certified organic cotton and GS Mark (test of quality and sustainability).

    Birkenstocks make a big play on their product’s breathability, longevity and durability. Similarly, manduca baby carriers are breathable and durable, in fact they come with a 3 year guarantee.

    Birkenstock’s cork is a natural, lightweight, resilient, and shock-absorbent material.

    Again, there’s a parallel. Manduca baby carriers weigh only 600grams, are natural and they last. There are spare parts available to keep manducas looking good for years. While they may or may not offer shock absorbing properties, they are the only baby carriers recommended for Kangatraining fitness instructors, offering the best carrying option for parents exercising with baby.

    Flexibility is a hallmark of the Birkenstock, and manduca has a flexible design that grows with baby. A built-in newborn insert is easily brought out and tucked away when needed. The extension zip across the back of the carrier gives parents the option to extend or contract the length of the back. All adjusting straps offer two way adjustment, so there’s a custom fit comfort no matter what the wearer’s size or shape.

    Finally, Birkenstocks shout intelligence and street cred. They say “I’ve done my research and while I want to look awesome, I don’t want to forego comfort - I want to feel so good that I can relax and enjoy my day.”

    Manduca wearers feel like this. There’s a lot of contentment that comes with knowing you chose well, and your healthy approach to life starts by carrying your precious baby in the carrier equivalent of the Birkenstock.

    Images: masha-sedgwick (Birkenstock) and Wickelkinder (manduca)



  • Manduca baby carrier is a Healthy Hip Product

    The International Hip Dysplasia Institiue (IHDI) recognises that Manduca has developed products that consider the importance of healthy hip development during infancy.

    This is especially important during the early stages of hip development in the first few months after birth.

    The International Hip Dysplasia Institiue acknowledes specific products as "hip-healthy" to help educate the public.

    Manduca baby carriers support your baby in the M-position: the orthopedically correct for healthy hip development. The spread-squat position is the position babies automatically assume when you pick them up: they automatically bend their legs up - like a small monkey - and prepare themselves instinctively to be carried.

    Manduca baby carriers are distributed in Australia by Fertile Mind

    Read more about Hip health in Baby carriers





  • The beautiful language of Babywearing: Reasons Australian parents use a baby carrier or sling.

    Using the results of a study conducted at the Queensland University of Technology in 2014, I set about extracting the reasons parents choose to use a baby carrier or sling.

    My company Fertile Mind’s own Babywearing in Australia surveys conducted in 2013, 2014, 2015 gave parents a choice of 7 reasons to indicate reasons they used a baby carrier or sling.

    These were Comfort, Convenience, Health Benefits for Baby, Parenting Philosophy, I got a carrier as a gift, My friends use a carrier, It was recommended by a health professional or store.

    When chosen from this list, the top rated reason for using a baby carrier was Convenience, followed by Comfort and Health Benefits for Baby.

    My interest was in what reasons Australian parents themselves would offer up, if they could choose their own words in which to describe why they use a baby carrier or sling.

    The Queensland University of Technology study of 410 parents and parents to be (all but two of them were female) asked participants to explain why they had used or planned to use a “baby sling carrier” (the term chosen by the University to describe all baby carriers and slings)?

    From the hundreds of comprehensive answers, I have extrapolated an incredible 134 reasons parents and parents-to-be choose to use baby carriers or slings in their lives.

    I have then rated them in order, and it adds up to a surprisingly beautiful essay on how amazing Babywearing is for improving the lives of parents. As one parent says “It’s lovely.”

    Unsurprisingly, “Convenience” is overwhelmingly the main reason parents say they carry their baby in a baby carrier or sling. This reason appeared 101 times throughout the responses and was often paired with mentions of having to juggle a baby and other children, completing chores and being out of the house. A baby carrier clearly lets parents “get on with their lives.”

    “Hands-free” took second place with 92 responses. Here we see a glimpse of the life of a busy new parent, needing or wanting to achieve tasks ,or keep hold of a toddler, while baby watches, breastfeeds or sleeps.

    “Closeness” was next with 70, then “Bonding” with 53. Some parents admitted that they initially bought the carrier for convenience, but then realised how effective it was for bonding with their baby.

    “Getting things done” received 51 mentions. There are plenty of specific examples given, with chores around the house the most common task needing attention.

    Next was “Settling” (48), “Helps with handling other children or siblings” (42), “Helps Baby Sleep” (41). It follows that a sleeping or settled baby would help in allowing a mother to attend to her other children.

    Prams came in for plenty of criticism, and “Easier than a pram” was the most cited reason mentioning a pram with 31 appearances. According to the parents surveyed in this instance, prams are bulky, heavy, unloved by their babies and limited in their ability to go everywhere.

    “Comfort for Baby” also appeared 31 times. Whether this meant physical or emotional comfort was not stated.

    Housework and household chores are always there, and as mentioned above “Getting Things Done” was high up the list. However “Doing Housework” got 30 mentions on its own.

    “Keeping baby close” (27) has a protective ring to it.

    “Breastfeeding” was a reason for 27 respondents, with the words discreet or “on the go” often associated with the word. There are plenty of parents who are Babywearing and breastfeeding in public without anyone realising. The Australian Breastfeeding Association is one of the earliest advocates of Babywearing in Australia, and for 50 years has sold its ABA Mei Tai. While the ABA no longer sells products itself, it does endorse a brand of baby carrier.

    “Calm” came in 24 times. A calm baby has to be a good thing.

    “Reflux was mentioned 21 times, and to a lesser extent “being upright.” The Reflux Infant Support Association in Australia is an advocate of the use of baby carriers and slings, and soft structured carrier manduca is endorsed by the association.

    “Shopping” was a reason for 20 respondents, suggesting they found baby carrying a convenient tool for going in and out of shops.

    “Ease or Easy” came up a lot, 19 mentions, and “Easier way to carry than in my arms” followed with 16 and perhaps they are linked.

    Babies are happier when carried. “Happier baby” was cited in 16 answers.

    “Attachment parenting style” with 15 responses indicates that, while Babywearing is a key component of attachment parenting, not all Babywearers view attachment parenting as a main reason for using a carrier.

    We know babies love being held, and 10 parents mentioned this reason specifically.

    Baby carriers and slings make for an “Easier life” for them, said 10 parents. Note, the survey was conducted predominantly with mothers. Isn’t it wonderful that you can buy or borrow something that gives mothers an easier life?!!

    All other reasons received fewer than 10 mentions, but they still make compelling reasons for choosing to use a baby carrier or sling.

    “Safety” and “security”, “Calms upset baby” , “Baby doesn’t like to be put down/clingy”, “Pram too bulky”, “Better than pram” , “Brain development”, “Helps when out and about”, “Skin to Skin”, “Cuddles”, “Easy for Short trips”, “Baby Loves it!” , “Good transport”, “Practical”, “Enjoyable”, “Baby is happier than in pram” and “Baby Hates pram”, “Bushwalking”, “Nurturing”, “Close Connection”, “Baby likes to be upright”, “Physiological and psychological development”, “Fourth Trimester”, “Comfortable”, “Flexible”, “Walking/Walking dog”, “Multitasking”, “Support for spine”, “snuggly in winter”, “snuggles”, “Emotional needs”, “Good for Milk Production”, “Aids healthy outdoor activities”, “fitness” and “keeps me active”, “soothing”, ‘Good for baby” , “Relief”, “Helps me be a better carer”, “snug”, “comfort for mother”, “less distress for child”, “special needs child” and “special needs siblings”, “love and reassurance”, “way of life”, “natural”, “baby likes the motion”, “flexible”, “quick and easy”, ‘language development”, “interaction”, “easier to respond to needs”, “feel more mobile”, “portable/compact”, “helps when attending events”, “Baby falls asleep against my body”, “good for naps”, “wards off post natal depression”, “baby stays quiet”, “baby is inquisitive”, “allows hubby close time”, “Protection”, “Touch”, “Movement”, “Prolonged physical contact”, “Love Babywearing”, “Baby not a good self-settler”, “More interaction with adults”, “Discouraging people thinking baby is a plaything to pass around”, “Maintains my sanity”, “Understand baby’s natural signals”, “Baby loves it”, “Baby is content”, “Baby is up to my level”, “Light”, “Helps with my bad back”, “Pretty”, “Goes where pram won’t go”, ‘Stress relief”, “I talk to her”, “Reduced crying”, “Tenderness”, “They’re awesome”, “Attention to baby”, “Good for tired babies”, “healthy”, “Baby Feels Safe”, “Comfort after baby’s security”, “Comfort for sick kids”, “Beneficial for mum and bub”, “Helps baby deal with emotions”, “Freedom”, “Desirable environment”, “Able to meet baby’s needs”, “Baby can ‘switch off’”, “Lifestyle”, “Ergonomic”, “It’s lovely”, “Useful”, “Relaxes baby”, “Time saving”, “Good for managing twins”, “Use on public transport”, “Gives baby confidence”, “Baby likes to hear heartbeat”, “Takes weight off”, “Contributed to my baby walking at 7 months”, “inexpensive”, “Feels nice”, “Makes parenting easier”, “Addicted to Babywearing.”

    A comparison study of reasons people use baby carriers and slings with reasons people use prams would make for interesting reading.

    Without a study to call upon, I thought I’d try to write a list of my own reasons I would use a pram.

    Here’s what I came up with:

    Convenient for carrying shopping. Use as a bassinet when visiting friends or at a café. Baby may sleep in it. Good for heavy babies. Easy to use when nervous with new baby. Makes a good changing station. Gets me out and about. Walking/walking with dog. Looks nice. Can be “pimped” to look even nicer. Holds my coffee.

    That is 11 reasons. And how poorly does it compare with the overwhelmingly positive language used to describe the use of a baby carrier or sling.

    Words like “calm, closeness, love, connection, comfort, happiness, cuddles, snug, security, safety, touch, protection, ease, enjoyable, tenderness, healthy, freedom, confidence, useful, relaxing”.

    It’s like comparing the language of love with the manual of a DVD player.

    When we compare the TOP reasons people use a baby carrier or sling, and see how the pram stacks up with those reasons=

    Convenience YES Prams can be convenient. Hands-free NO (not while you’re pushing it anyway), Closeness NO, Bonding NO, Getting things done YES (but only if the baby is asleep or settled), Settling YES (Babies can settle in prams, but settle better in carriers), Handing other children or siblings YES (but only if baby is asleep or settled), Baby sleeps YES (babies can sleep in prams but are they as effective as getting a baby to fall asleep?), Better than a carrier NO, Comfort for Baby NO (While babies can be comfortable in a pram, a pram is not, of itself, comforting), Doing Housework YES (but only if baby is asleep or settled), Keep baby close NO, Breastfeeding NO, Calm NO (calming a baby by using a pram can work, but not as well), Reflux NO.

    To conclude, the reasons people gave in the QUT survey were varied, but the results show that babywearing is so much more than just a mode of baby transportation.



  • Manduca Sling


    We are excited to add to our manduca range in Australia the NEW manduca sling!

    Manduca Sling is made of an especially cosy, soft and light knit fabric available in eight cool colours. And of course, the fabric is made of 100% organic cotton, consistently ecological certified according to the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard).

    Thanks to a special knitting process, the manduca Sling is highly elastic and yet stable, without the need for synthetic elastane fibres. This makes the jersey sling breathable and the ideal companion for you and your baby – every day and in every situation.

    What’s more, the manduca Sling can be worn in three different ways, whereby one can be tied before slipping in your child. This makes the entire process quick and easy, particularly for beginners. Regardless of which way you choose to carry your baby, the manduca Sling provides the highest carrying comfort for you and your child up to 9 kg.

    Manduca sling is available now via Fertile Mind, manduca distributor in Australia.




  • Love this lovely testimonial and photos we recived from Laura, who was also our June profile photo of our

    manduca Australia Facebook page

    "I was exposed to the world of baby wearing through an Australian Facebook site. I'd never heard of it and didn't have much of an understanding. I instantly fell in love with all the beautiful photos I saw of mums being able to carry their babies close to their hearts and i knew that i wanted to baby wear.

    I wanted to start with something simple to use and that my husband could enjoy to and this is how I stumbled across the world of Soft Structure Carriers.

    I decided to buy a Manduca carrier because it ticked all the boxes. It had the infant seat built in so it saved cost and made the product more practical, it was one of the SSC with the highest back panel (thanks to the clever back panel extension) and I loved the safety feature of the three point buckle on the waist so it wasn't easy to undo for small hands!!

    I am also a fan of nice clean, neat designs and not huge on patterns so for me the Olive Manduca matched my wardrobe and was 'manly' enough for my husband to enjoy too!

    It's so comfortable and my nearly 3 month old just adores being in it and falls asleep straight away. I wish I could have one in every colour to match every outfit, but sadly I was only allowed one!!!!

    Such a lovely product, great quality and worth every cent! I know this will get used so so much and will help keep my baby calm when she is ill or sad and will make her happy to be close when she needs a cuddle or wants to see the world from a different view.

    Thankyou for making baby wearing such an enjoyable and easy to accomplish task!!"


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  • Exciting New collection: Manduca PureCotton

    A new collection just hit Australia shores: PureCotton!

    This is the fourth collection from manduca, joining the standrad , blackline and LimitedEdition collections.

    The new range looks different but is identical in function and handling to the other manduca baby carriers. What makes the PureCotton stand out, is the fresh look with brilliant colours, the clear design and the pure organic cotton the new collection is made of.

    Across all collections, the manduca is a true “child of nature”, absolutely non-toxic, and has always been an ecological baby carrier: whether it is manduca standard, manduca BlackLine, or manduca LimitedEdition – the cotton used for manduca always comes from controlled organic cultivation. With our new PureCotton made of 100 % organic cotton, you get fresh colours made in Europe ( Czech Republic)

    In the PureCotton collection, the manduca bow has been reduced to a discreet, white line giving the baby carrier a purist look – perfectly accentuated by the bright, rich colours. The PureCotton matches both sporty and elegant outfits in any colour shades.

    In 2015 we will have three colours :




    The new collection will be available through Fertile Mind and authorised resellers.



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