SHE’S used to wearing her babies around town, walking back and forth as they hang from her front and back while she chats to her friends or meets them for coffee.
But now Victoria Schofield has set herself a slightly different challenge.
The mum-of-four from Linlithgow has signed up for this year’s Race for Life 5K event in Glasgow – which she plans to walk with her twin boys attached to her in a sling.
Victoria, a midwife, is participating in the event in aid of a friend – also a mother of twins – who has recently suffered from bladder cancer.
She hopes her actions will help promote the benefits of “baby-wearing” as well as raise funds.
Victoria said: “There are so many benefits of baby-wearing that many parents don’t know about.
“I could talk about many of them, but the child’s physical development is just one.
“When you have twins, trying to push a double buggy around is challenging, especially when you need to try and get it up and downstairs – that’s why I always wear the boys.
“Baby-wearing has allowed myself and my husband to visit places that we couldn’t if we had to push the buggy around – like Edinburgh Castle for example.”
Victoria runs her own business, KG Hypnobirthing West Lothian, which teaches mums how to have a “positive, calm and empowering birthing experience”.
She said she didn’t start “wearing” her children until after her second child was born, but wishes she had known about the benefits sooner. This May, Victoria will participate in the Race for Life at Glasgow Green with her sons, Jacob and Thomas, attached to her.
She will be walking the lengthy distance for friend Natalie Hunter, who recently suffered from cancer but also enjoys slinging her twins.
She said that by the time the event comes around, Jacob and Thomas will be two years-old, but she isn’t worried about them being too heavy because she is used to carrying them every day.
Victoria said: “I haven’t done much training yet because of the cold and icy weather.
“When the nicer weather comes in I’m going to get out walking.
“I walk back and forth to the primary school every day to get my other children and wear the boys regularly when we are out and about, so it isn’t really anything new for me.
“Events like this are vital in funding Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work into preventing, diagnosing and treating cancer. I’m looking forward to participating with the boys.”
A variety of research has been carried out over the years into the benefits of slinging a child.
According to the Natural Child Project, babies who are worn in slings cry less than those that aren’t.
Studies have also shown that baby-wearing promotes a child’s physical development as it is in tune with the rhythm of his or her’s mother’s breathing, the sound of her heartbeat and the movements she makes.
Victoria also added that slings are a safer way to carry children around as they are secure against their parent’s body.