The Cross-Cra­dle Hold

Mother & Baby - - BREASTFEEDING -


Dr Joshi says, “The mother should re­mem­ber that at the side she is of­fer­ing to breast­feed, that hand should hold the breast and the op­po­site hand should be used to hold the baby. The baby rests in the web be­tween the thumb and in­dex fin­ger, and four fin­gers will rest on the side of the lower cheek.” Tickle the lips of the baby and wait un­til the baby opens the mouth wide. As part of the root­ing re­flex, the baby’s mouth will open wide. This may take a few min­utes to hap­pen. Bring your baby to the breast and not the other way around, so as to avoid any back or neck pain.


The cross-cra­dle hold al­lows you to have more con­trol over how ef­fi­ciently the baby latches on. Many moth­ers find it com­fort­able to hold their baby and they latch on more deeply. Dr Joshi rec­om­mends, “It can be eas­ier for the mother to latch the baby in this po­si­tion be­cause it gives her more con­trol in guid­ing her baby to the breast.”


Sit­ting in this po­si­tion for a long time, with her arm out like a wing, there’s a good chance that a mother’s shoul­der and arm will start to ache. Even a sub­tle shift can al­low the breast to change po­si­tion, caus­ing the nip­ple to start to slide to the front of baby’s mouth. This will lead to a dis­trac­tion and he will even­tu­ally come off the breast. Moth­ers also have the ten­dency to push the baby’s head into the breast dur­ing the switch, rather than just his body. If you do this, your baby will not be able to breathe with his head pushed into the breast. The switch needs to be quick and smooth.


Dr Joshi says, “It is good for pre­ma­ture ba­bies and smaller ba­bies, and for ba­bies with low mus­cle tone.” It is ideal for early breast­feed­ing and, also works best for ba­bies who face latch­ing is­sues.

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