fbpx How to carry/hold/nurse a baby? | Gokhale Method Institute
Sign up for our Positive Stance™ Newsletter

How to carry/hold/nurse a baby?

ndisalvatore's picture
Last seen:
11 years 10 months ago
06/28/2012 - 10:56am
How to carry/hold/nurse a baby?

My wife just delivered last month, and we're having a hard time applying the technique. My question is not (yet) so much about the baby's posture as our own. The 8 Steps books have pictures about what NOT to do (e.g. page 14, Figure 15), but it doesn't offer much about what TO DO--specifically with regard to a newborn who cannot (yet) hold his body and neck upright (as in the picture on page 14, Figure F-14). We're having a heck of a time with our bent over backs and twisted necks. It seems that we cannot help but revert to earlier, unhealthy postures while trying to hold/carry the baby in a standing/walking posture and, particularly, while feeding and soothing the baby in a seated posture.

Does anybody have any tips? Or know about any images/articles online that really treat this issue? I've looked around and can't find much for specifically newborn issues. I'd love to be flooded with ideas. We're desperately uncomfortable!

Many thanks!

Nick (and Katie and Baby Milo!) from Boston

charlenehannibal's picture
Last seen:
3 years 3 months ago
12/15/2010 - 7:51am

Hi Nick and Katie and Milo, 

Congrats on the new baby!  Esther and I were just talking about this, as I am 5 months pregnant myself.  Generally, when nursing it is a good idea to use a pillow to prop the baby closer to the breast, so one doesn't have to slump forward.  In addition, the shoulders want to stay rolled back so you have enough blood flow to the arms to hold the baby (the pillow needs to be high enough so you can reach.  I would try and focus on resting the baby on the forearm (or higher) as much as possible rather than gripping the hand since the muscles are bigger.  The idea of holding your baby with the larger muscles is a great principle.  Cradline in the crook of the arm or holding your baby higher is better.  We teach carrying babies on the back as seen commonly in Africa.  This is recommended only after the umbilical cord has fallen off.  If you can find someone in your hometown from Africa to teach you this method, that might be the best route.

As far as carriers are concerned, the Ergo is much preferable to the Bjorn for your back and the babies health.  When the baby is no longer an infant, his/her bottom will be supported  rather than putting all the pressure on the hips.

I hope this is helpful to you!


Charlene Hannibal

Gokhale Method Teacher

Log in or register to post comments