You know what hurts my heart? So many mamas aren’t given the support they need for breastfeeding.
In China, when I gave birth to my eldest, I was surprised by the lack of knowledge at the hospital. But by the time I had my youngest, it seemed the nurses had learned more about breastfeeding, and it made me happy.
It always made me wonder what I would have done if I had a preemie or a baby with a condition. Then again, I was lucky. I had my breastfeeding coach, who helped me through it all.
That’s why I’m always here to try to help other mamas. It’s hard enough as it is. It is even harder when you have a baby born prematurely or with something like Down’s syndrome.
For mamas that want to breastfeed their babies born under these circumstances, the dancer hand position is a great choice. It helps you physically support your baby’s sucking so they can get the best start in life through breast milk.
How to do the dancer hold for breastfeeding
If your baby was born early and you want to nurse her or she has Down’s syndrome or another condition with low muscle tone, the dancer hold is ideal.
- First, hold your breast with the C-hold. In case you don’t know what that is, your thumb should be on top while the other 4 fingers are underneath.
- Then you’ll slide that supporting hand on your breast forward, so you’re only using 3 fingers rather than 4.
- The index finger and thumb will now be free in front of your nipple. Now you’ll bend that index finger just slightly so it will hold your baby’s cheek on one side. Your thumb will hold the other cheek.
- Your index finger and thumb will now make a U with your baby’s chin resting comfortably on the bottom of that you.
This position keeps the weight from your breast off your baby’s chin. This is wonderful for the baby that needs extra support because it allows her to hold her head steady and nurse comfortably.
Incidentally, if you have a baby that just won’t stay latched, whether they were born prematurely or not, whether they have a condition or not, this dancer hold for breastfeeding can be helpful to you too.
That’s because this hold affords you a great view so you can see how your baby is latched. If you have been struggling to get a good latch, you may want to try this dancer hold out to get locked in and make nursing easier for you both!
Leslie Berry lives with her husband and two young daughters in Los Altos, California, where she loves helping other moms get comfortable with motherhood and embracing the insanity with facts peppered with laughs.
She loves eating too much sushi, exercising, and jamming out on her Fender. Read more about Leslie here.