The Cra­dle Hold

Mother & Baby - - BREASTFEEDING -


This po­si­tion is a clas­sic breast­feed­ing po­si­tion and is pop­u­lar dur­ing the first few weeks of nurs­ing, par­tic­u­larly when you are just get­ting com­fort­able with your new job. Dr Joyce Jayasee­lan, lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant, For­tis Hos­pi­tal, Bengaluru, ex­plains, “You need to cra­dle your baby’s head with the crook of the arm. Hold the baby in your lap, ad­just the baby in a way that the face, stom­ach and knees are di­rectly fac­ing you.” Adding fur­ther, Dr Ki­ran Coelho, con­sul­tant gyne­col­ogy and ob­stet­rics, Hin­duja Hos­pi­tal, Mum­bai, says, “You need to sit up­right in a com­fort­able chair with arm­rests. Po­si­tion your baby’s head in the bend of your el­bow on the side you will be breast­feed­ing. Cup your breast with your other hand, plac­ing your thumb above the nip­ple and are­ola at the spot where your baby’s nose will touch your breast. Lightly com­press your breast so that the nip­ple points slightly to­wards your baby’s nose, and he is now ready to latch.” You may also take sup­port of a pil­low and place it on your lap.


Dr Mughda Joshi, a cer­ti­fied lac­ta­tion con­sul­tant and a pe­di­atric nu­tri­tion­ist, says, “It is a com­fort­able po­si­tion for moth­ers who may have a weak wrist joint. These moth­ers can use the cross-cra­dle hold to get the baby well-latched, then slide their other arm un­der the baby so they fin­ish the feed­ing in the more com­fort­able cra­dle po­si­tion.” It is an ideal po­si­tion be­cause it al­lows mums to hold the baby closely and sup­port them, par­tic­u­larly when they are new­borns as they are in­ca­pable of hold­ing them­selves up in any way. “The po­si­tion also im­proves the baby’s abil­ity to latch on be­cause they will be able to tilt their head back a lit­tle,” says Dr Jayasee­lan.


Dr Joshi ex­plains, “It can be a chal­lenge for new and in­ex­pe­ri­enced moth­ers to learn. It may not be the best choice if the mother and baby are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any prob­lems with latch-on, milk trans­fer or if the mother has sore nip­ples.” It is slightly dif­fi­cult to con­trol the baby’s head when nurs­ing in this po­si­tion. Dr Coelho ad­vises, “Women who have had a C-sec­tion may feel too much pres­sure on their ab­domen.” It is ad­vis­able to lean to­wards your baby to avoid any stress.


This po­si­tion is apt for full-term ba­bies who are de­liv­ered vagi­nally. Dr Jayasee­lan says, “It is a rec­om­mended hold when your baby has strong neck mus­cles. Older ba­bies can latch on eas­ily.”

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