You know how frustrating it is when your baby is hungry, you offer the breast, and he can’t latch on because he keeps putting his hands in the way? Well maybe it isn’t just that babies don’t know what to do with their hands — it could be that we’re holding them the wrong way. This study published last year found that when women leaned back while holding their babies facing them with their bodies in contact (they call this Biological Nurturing), babies used this hands-by-the-face movement to successfully latch.
In full-BN positioning, women instinctively elicited their infant’s primitive neonatal reflexes in a sequence that promoted effective feeding, behaviors not seen with partial or non-BN positioning. Said an untutored woman in full BN position after spontaneously assisting her baby’s efforts, “Breastfeeding is so easy. I wish more of my friends were doing it” (p. 7).
So maybe instead of focusing on the cradle-hold or the crosscradle-hold or the football-hold, mothers should sit back, relax, and follow baby’s lead.