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Facilitating Autonomous Infant Hand Use During Breastfeeding

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Infant ability to find and attach to the breast has only been recently appreciated. When mothers are in reclined, laid–back or biological nurturing positions, the mothers' bodies provide optimal support for their infants, which releases infant instinctive feeding behaviors. One type of instinctive behavior that infants reveal is their deliberate use of their hands to locate, move and shape the nipple area. In this article, we provide photographic evidence of several infant hand–use strategies, as well as information on how professionals and mothers can elicit, support and modify these behaviors when needed.
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