Azzurra, Mel and “Wrap a Hug”
We are Mel and Azzurra and we run Wrap a Hug, a sling library and consultancy service. Azzura created Wrap a Hug and is now based in Italy. Mel runs the East London branch with Sally and Lucy as peer supporters, and our service is now trilingual, meaning we can support you in English, French and Italian.
At Wrap a Hug we are extremely passionate about babywearing and we build relationships with parents and help them become confident sling users. We accompany you through your babywearing journey and are always on hand from the first meeting.
At the library, parents can see and try different types of slings and learn how to use them. We also help you fit your own slings and here to give you tips and advice. We also organise a variety of workshops, and offer one-on-one private consultations and run a free monthly parents and perinatal professionals meet-up called the Tower Hamlets Family meet-up where you can find free support for all things ‘bump, birth and beyond’ as well as meeting a bunch of lovely parents.
We do our best to meet your needs, we are non-judgemental and here to support you, and so don’t be shy to get in touch!
I’m Azzura and I’m a babywearing consultant. I created Wrap a Hug and I’m based in Italy. I would like to tell you the story behind Wrap a Hug.
I had a very difficult birth: we had planned a natural birth at home but I ended up having a caesarean section. Afterwards I felt really lonely and tired, even though my baby was fine and I was supposed to be happy.
A friend told me about slings and their “magical” powers and I started wearing my daughter when she was about one month old.
Having her wrapped close to me was very healing! It was so good that I started researching more about babywearing and its health effects.
After some months of happily carrying her around in the woods where we used to live, my daughter started to be too heavy for the stretchy wrap we were using.
This is when we discovered – and fell in love with – woven wraps!!
In time, I have tried different kinds of carriers but none of them gave me the same feeling of closeness and connection to my baby nor were as comfortable as woven wraps. One more good thing I discovered about them is that they can be used from the very early days after birth. This means that you can use just one single wrap for your whole carrying experience, unless you like to get more, of course!
Other mums in my town started asking me about my wrap. They were coming at our place looking for advice and support. That is when the idea of creating a sling library popped in my mind.
However, wraps can be pretty expensive and I already had a job as a singing teacher so the thought of investing money on a new enterprise was scary for me. But my husband believed in my vision: he encouraged me and helped me buy all the wraps to start the business. Then, my sling library came to life! I ran it weekly and soon mums would come to experience carrying.
In the meantime I was also running some music classes where I would teach parents how to develop musical consciousness in their little babies. The lessons were very intense and moving and in that period I realized how happy and satisfied I was when working with children and parents.
About a year later my husband proposed to move to London where he could develop his musical career. I had always liked the idea of living abroad so I agreed.
Of course “Wrap a Hug “came with us!
I’m now based again in Italy.
Hi, I’m Mel, full-time mum to my gorgeous boys, a qualified babywearing consultant and on a mission to support parents in my area from pregnancy through to early years. I co-run Tower Hamlets Family meet-up, a free monthly meet-up for parents with local perinatal and early years professionals and experts that aims to support expectant and new parents.
I started babywearing with my first boy was born 6 years ago. I tried various slings along my babywearing journey but could never find something comfortable that would fit us both properly. Then I discovered woven wraps and fell in love! Babywearing to us is not just about convenience, it’s our way of life.
Shortly after starting babywearing, I started co-running a sling group called Sling Social East London and organised monthly meetings where parents came for help, try new slings and meet other babywearing parents in their area. After months of organising these meetings I felt that I needed to turn my passion into a professional vocation so I could help babywearers to the best of my ability and give them the support they need. The sling meet is now the Tower Hamlets Family meet-up.
I decided to join Azzura on her Wrap a Hug journey when she told me she was going back to Italy. It was so sad to see such an amazing sling library and babywearing consultancy go away. I feel as passionate as her when it comes to helping parents carry their little ones and give support to new mums so I decided to resettle Wrap a Hug in East London and embark on my own consultancy journey in the same spirit. Wrap a hug grew and we now have about 200 slings, different sites and volunteers!
Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a qualified early years educator with 12 years classroom experience, mum to two joyful boys and a volunteer peer supporter to Wrap a Hug sling library. I am also a trained breastfeeding peer helper and I have my own business making crocheted, knitted and knotted mother and baby accessories suitable for baby wearing, called Golly Gumdrops. I first met Mel at the East London Sling Socials in 2015, I had started wearing my first baby and was looking for like minded parents to share my baby wearing journey with. I soon got hooked on baby wearing and amassed a large collection of different carriers and wraps. After having my second child in January 2019, Mel asked me if I would like to join the wrap a hug family as a volunteer peer supporter, securing me training and supporting me to learn more about the different options available in her library. I really enjoy helping new and established parents with trying and choosing the right carrier for their needs, while also offering general family support, signposting local services and agencies that can support them further.
Hi, I’m Sally and I am a writer, magazine editor and babywearing enthusiast. I grew up in Australia and moved to London permanently in my twenties. I was drawn into the dark arts of babywearing via the gateway drug of soft structured buckle carriers. After spending time with Mel at Wrap a hug as a volunteer, and watching far too many YouTube videos while feeding my daughter to sleep, I learned how to wrap with wovens as a way to stay sane during the coronavirus lockdown. I am passionate about the neurophysiological, practical and attachment-enhancing benefits of the wide variety of babywearing techniques that parents practice around the world. I am now a qualified peer supporter and volunteer with Mel.