How to Breast Feed Your Baby: The Cradle Position

ID-100172758If you a first time mother, you may be worried about how to breast feed your baby. There are several ways to breast feed your baby and each way of breast feeding has advantages as well as some disadvantages. Breastfeeding is a natural process of feeding newborn infants, but it is important to learn the necessary skills to make breastfeeding comfortable (for the baby as well as for the mother) and effective.

Cradle position:

This is the most commonly used position for breastfeeding and a traditional form of breastfeeding. Nursing mothers for breastfeeding most often use cradle position.

The correct cradle position:

  • Sit upright in a chair (preferably orthopedically correct chair where sitting upright is possible) and make yourself comfortable. Place a pillow behind your back (to support your spinal column) and a soft pillow on your lap to support your baby. You can use a footrest to make yourself more comfortable.
  • Hold your baby on the lap in such a way that the baby faces the breast and your one hand (at elbow joint) cradles the baby’s head and grasp baby’s thighs so that you support entire body of the baby.
  • The baby should be positioned in such a way that he/she need not to turn head right or left to reach the nipple.
  • With another hand (free hand), you can place the nipple of the breast at the mouth of the baby for easy and comfortable suckling. Support the breast with the free hand from underneath and make sure your thumb and forefingers on either sides of the nipple so that it becomes easy to direct the nipple inside the baby’s mouth. Press the breast slightly to push the nipple inside the mouth keeping in mind that you keep the fingers far enough back from the nipple, so as not to interfere with suckling of the nipple by the baby.
  • Touch the baby’s lips with your nipple, so that baby opens his/her mouth. Sometimes you may need to open the mouth with help of your fingers and then place the nipple inside the mouth. Once baby opens the mouth, quickly put the nipple inside the baby’s mouth, by pulling the baby towards you.
  • Suckling at breast will be appropriate if the entire areola is inside baby’s mouth. Baby’s tongue should extend over the lower gums. The nipple should be beneath the back of the palate.
  • The nose of the baby should be free and not pressing on the breast for easy breathing. For this pull the baby’s legs, if required, toward you.
  • Once the baby starts suckling at the breast, relax your whole body, but keep holding the baby close to your body. If you feel discomfort or the baby has suckled enough in one breast, give the baby the other breast, using the same procedures on the other side.

Cradle position of breastfeeding is a traditional breastfeeding technique and is most commonly used by nursing mothers. Use cradle position regularly for breastfeeding your baby.

Image courtesy of Jomphong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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