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The Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award

Jennifer Rosenberg Babywearing Advocate of the Year Award is named in honor of leading babywearing advocate Jennifer Rosenberg, or “Jenrose.” This award recognizes outstanding babywearing advocacy in the year immediately preceding International Babywearing Week.  For more information about sponsoring this award, please contact Susie Spence, susie@babywearinginternational.org.
 About Jennifer Rosenberg:  

JenroseJenrose was a worn baby back in 1972, when her parents improvised with a frame backpack and towels to wear her at two months old. In 1993, she told her midwife, “I think I need a snuggli or something,” and was introduced to stretchy wraps around the time her first daughter was born. Pouches were a revelation in convenience 10 months later. Shortly after that she began the process of becoming certified as a childbirth educator and doula, while raising her daughter as a single mother. It was learning about improvised cloth carriers and traditional babywearing in 1995 and 1996 that truly turned her into a babywearing evangelist. The idea that something as simple as a knotted sling would not be taught to every new mother was both infuriating and galvanizing.

In 1996, newly hired by Midwifery Today, Jenrose started working on her first review articles. The sheer variety and beauty of carriers available was inspiring, and she started using the mantra that “Baby carriers are mama clothing” to explain to people why they might want more than one, or why their carriers should be attractive as well as functional. The fact that the prettier carriers were all more functional than the standard mainstream carriers was another inspiration to advocacy.

In 2001, Jenrose designed her first ring sling, and months later took in a foster baby. This galvanized a new round of babywearing, and the new internet babywearing communities helped her network with manufacturers and parents around the world.

In 2003, a landmark year for babywearing, TheBabywearer.com was launched, and Vijay Owens helped spark the idea that babywearing needed an international organization to support groups and advocates in bringing this “lost art” back to the mainstream. Nine In, Nine Out, or “NINO,” was born.

By 2004, it was apparent that the babywearing community was gaining in strength and cohesiveness, and planning began for the first international babywearing conference. Jenrose drew on her experience with midwifery and doula conferences to take on the role of conference coordinator. In 2005, her second daughter was born, and in 2006, the Portland conference, though small, inspired the babywearing  community. Since then there have been a number of smaller conferences, and in 2008, a much larger international conference was held in Chicago.

Jenrose currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her family, and is still active with the local babywearing group and teaches classes at a local store.

2008 WINNER: Alice Hollowed of City Slingers in Chicago, IL, and the 2008 International Babywearing Conference.
2009 WINNER: Natalia Shpak of Mariupol, Ukraine.

2010 WINNER: Kristi Hayes-Devlin of Gypsy Mama, LLC.

2012 WINNER(S!): Ann Marie Rodgerson and Victoria Ward.

2013 WINNER: Rachel Dreyer, MBE for North Central Illinois.

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