when the time comes to stop carrying

About Rosie

“I am a mum of 2, a GP, and a passionate advocate of building secure attachment relationships between children and their carers, due to the long lasting effects this has on future health. I believe that carrying children plays a large part in building such bonds, be it in arms or in a sling. With Carrying Matters, I focus on providing accessible information and education about this for parents and the professionals who support them. Sling (carrier) use is not a new concept at all; but our Westernised society has lost the communal sharing of knowledge. We are no longer surrounded by a community of people who can help us get to grips with parenthood and share the load, so we need support in newer and more structured ways. This is what I do; empower people to keep their children close in a safe and positive way.”

Rosie has won several awards for her work in this field; the Babywearing International Vijay Owens Babywearing Advocacy Award for Lifetime Achievement in Promoting Babyweaaring in 2016 and the 2019 Association for Infant Mental Health AIMH (UK) award in recognition of those who have highlighted and promoted infant mental health in their discipline.


Rosie is a practising GP in the UK with a particular interest in holistic medicine as well as children and women’s health and perinatal and infant mental health. She began her career in hospital medicine but switched to general practice because of its flexibility with family life and the opportunities it presents to be more closely involved with communities, from cradle to grave. She has two children of her own, who have both been carried happily, and a husband who works alongside her at their local Sheffield premises.

Her book, “Why Babywearing Matters”, was published by Pinter and Martin in May 2016 and she has written for a wide range of publications.

She is the founding director of the Building Bonds Project in the UK, a CIC dedicated to providing slings free of charge to families in great need or at times of trouble.

She founded the Sling Pages, an independent website listing all the known sling professional resources in the UK and Eire.

It all began when she founded the Sheffield Sling Surgery and Library in 2013 and has supported many thousands of parents across the South Yorkshire region, helped by a volunteer team of fantastic, committed parents who have found carrying their own children to be life-changing. They all want to help their fellow parents to discover this for themselves!

Rosie developed the “Fourth Trimester” sling meet model with her colleague Lindsay Snow, focusing on the needs of parents with bumps to four months. Families often struggle to deal with the biological needs of their new baby within the confined structures and expectations of modern society, which can be damaging to the building of secure attachments. She has written articles about the vital importance of building a happy brain; infant mental health really matters.

The needs of baby and caregivers are both important, as is the mental health and happiness of the whole family. Human beings were not designed to live in small isolated units but in supportive social groupings. However this is not the reality for many and other means to help families to thrive need to be utilised.

Holding babies close (in arms or in a soft sling) can be a very useful tool for families struggling with mental health disorders, pre, peri or postnatally. The close contact and the soft touch has biochemical hormonal effects that can help to reduce anxiety, improve feelings of wellbeing and connection, as well as lifting the mood. Read more about this here.

You can find your local sling library or sling meet by searching the Sling Pages resource.


rosie knowles learning education carrying matters

Rosie trains carrying advocates and sling/carrier peer supporters through the Born to Carry initiative, running courses in Sheffield and nearby. She has trained health care professionals (health visitors, midwives, doulas, paediatricians), sling librarians, volunteers and interested parents.

She lectures at conferences and gatherings around the UK and Europe about a range of topics, all related to early years parenting and how slings and carriers can make a huge difference to babies, their carers and to society.

Get in touch with her here.