8. PROTECTS THE BELLY
When we hold our infant stomach to stomach we are protecting all the receptor and vital organs. A cat tends to curl up when sleeping. If a predator were to come, the flexed position of the cat offers natural protection. Yes, it hides mama’s belly too!
9. HELPS HIP DEVELOPMENT & IS AN OPTION FOR TREATING DDH
Babies whose legs are swaddled or forcefully straightened (as in the Navajo papoose) have a higher incidence of hip dysplasia. Casts and harnesses are used to force the baby into a flexed widespread legged position to treat babies born with DDH (Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip).
10. NEWBORNS ARE VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO STRAIGHTEN OUT
So many think it is gentler to lay a baby on his back than to carry him. Babies’ spines are not straight; they are born with a convex c-shaped spine so their thighs naturally pull up toward their chests. Laying them flat stretches out their natural position and can be stressful on their little spines and hips.
When you pick up your baby his legs will rise to his chest. His body is naturally adapted to being carried. The fetal tuck is soothing; it is the natural position of infants and helps your baby to thrive and grow strong. Don’t try to straighten out your babies!
Reading to inspire:
• Montagu, A. (1986). Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin. Harper Paperbacks.
• Ludington-Hoe, S. Kangaroo Care: The Best You Can Do to Help Your Preterm Infant. Bantam Books, 1993, New York.