With just a few minor adjustments, every common mother-child breastfeeding position can be used by the loving adult nursing couple, including the cross-cradle hold. Also known as the cross-over hold, the cross-cradle is similar to the common cradle hold–except you won’t be supporting your partner’s head in the crook of your arm.
The Woman’s Position:
In the cross-cradle hold, you will be sitting upright. In a bed, you will need to support your neck, shoulders, and lower back with pillows, and elevate your legs by placing one or more pillows beneath your knees. You will also want to place additional pillows across your lap to help elevate and support your partner.
If you’re nursing from your right breast, your left arm will cross over your body, and you will use your left hand to hand to bring your partner’s mouth to your breast. It may be easier to help him latch if you place your thumb and fingers behind his head, just below his ears. Your right hand will provide breast support. When nursing from your left breast, use your right hand in the same way: arm across your body, hand gripping the back of your partner’s hand, and allow your left hand to provide breast support.
The Partner’s Position:
In this nursing position, you will lie on your side and rotate your body so that your chest and stomach are facing your partner. If nursing from her left breast, position your lower body horizontally or diagonally to the right. Your upper body will be supported by pillows and your shoulders and hips will be perfectly aligned. When switching to the second breast, you will need to rotate your body in the opposite direction.
The cross-cradle hold works perfectly with the asymmetrical latch, and is often very helpful when couples are first learning to nurse, or the partner has had trouble latching in the past.