Dancer Hand Breastfeeding Technique

dancer hand breastfeeding technique

Breastfeeding is a beautiful and intimate journey between a mother and her baby, and finding the right breastfeeding position can enhance this experience. One such position or technique that offers a unique blend of comfort and connection is the Dancer Hand breastfeeding position. 

How To Do The Dancer Hand Breastfeeding Technique

The dancer hand breastfeeding technique supports the babys head and the mothers breast by cupping your hand underneath. This technique is specific to the way you support your babys head and can be used in combination with other breastfeeding positions that focus more on the positioning of your babys body. 


  1. Support Your Breast: The first step is to ensure proper breast support. Find a comfortable spot to sit or recline and use a nursing pillow or regular pillows to elevate your baby to the breast level. Gently cradle your breast with one hand, forming a C-shape around it with your thumb on top and fingers underneath. This supportive grasp not only assists in proper alignment but also helps create a stable foundation for the Dancer Hand position.
  2. Guide Babys Chin: Focus on guiding your baby's chin towards your breast. The hand opposite to the breast you're nursing from plays a crucial role in this step. With your thumb supporting the upper back and neck of your baby, use your remaining fingers to gently guide the chin towards the breast. This ensures that your baby's mouth is in line with your nipple, facilitating a smooth latch.
  3. Position for Latch: Once you and your baby are situated, it's time to encourage a proper latch. Align your baby's nose with your nipple, making sure that the entire areola is in their mouth. The Dancer Hand position allows you to easily control the depth and angle of the latch by using your supporting hand to guide your breast. A deep latch is essential for effective milk transfer and prevents nipple discomfort.
  4. Maintain Hold for Nursing: Keep your supporting hand gently cradling the breast, making any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and secure latch. This position offers flexibility, allowing you to respond to your baby's cues and ensure a continuous and enjoyable breastfeeding experience.

Pros and Cons of Dancer Hand Hold

Breastfeeding is a deeply personal experience, and finding the right position is essential for both the mother and the baby. The Dancer Hand breastfeeding position is one such technique that offers unique advantages, as well as some challenges.


  • Helpful for Babies with Special Feeding Needs: The Dancer Hand position shines when it comes to catering to babies with special feeding needs. Whether your little one has a shallow latch, difficulties in maintaining suction, or other unique challenges, the controlled guidance provided by the Dancer Hand position can offer tailored support to meet their specific requirements.
  • Provides Support and Control: Mothers can use their hand to cradle and guide the breast, ensuring a stable and secure foundation. This control not only facilitates a comfortable latch but also allows for easy adjustments to meet the dynamic needs of both mother and baby during the nursing session.
  • Facilitates a Better Latch: A proper latch is fundamental to successful breastfeeding, and the Dancer Hand position excels in facilitating just that. The ability to guide the baby's chin and align their mouth with the nipple promotes a deeper latch, reducing the likelihood of nipple discomfort and enhancing the efficiency of milk transfer.


  • Tiring for Moms Hand and Wrist: While the Dancer Hand position offers excellent support for the breast and baby, it can be tiring for the hand and wrist of the mother, particularly during more extended nursing sessions. Mothers should be mindful of their comfort and consider switching positions if discomfort arises.
  • Requires Practice: Like any breastfeeding position, mastering the Dancer Hand technique requires practice. It may take time for both you and your baby to become accustomed to this position. Be patient, experiment with adjustments, and seek guidance if needed to make the experience more seamless over time.
  • Not Hands-Free: Unlike some other breastfeeding positions, the Dancer Hand technique is not hands-free. This means mothers may have limited mobility during the nursing session. While the benefits may outweigh this limitation for many, it's essential to consider your preferences and lifestyle when deciding on the right breastfeeding position for you and your baby.

When to Use

The Dancer Hand breastfeeding technique emerges as a valuable choice in various situations where special feeding needs arise. If your baby encounters challenges in staying latched during breastfeeding, this technique could be a game-changer. The controlled guidance provided by the Dancer Hand technique allows for a precise and stable latch, accommodating the needs of infants who may struggle with latch issues.

This position becomes particularly beneficial for babies with low muscle tone, a common occurrence in premature infants. The Dancer Hand method provides crucial support, aiding in maintaining a secure latch and ensuring a comfortable feeding experience for both the baby and the mother. Premature infants, born before their muscles fully develop, often benefit from the additional assistance and control this position offers.

Moreover, if your little one has a condition such as Down's syndrome or faces an illness or disability that affects their feeding abilities, the Dancer Hand position can be a great option. Its adaptability allows mothers to cater to the unique requirements of their babies, ensuring a nurturing and supportive environment during feeding times.

The Dancer Hand breastfeeding technique is not limited to addressing challenges alone; it also becomes a preferred choice for mothers seeking additional support during feeding sessions. Whether your baby requires extra attention due to a special condition or simply needs a bit more guidance during latch, this position's versatility can make a significant difference in fostering a positive breastfeeding experience. 

As always, consulting with a lactation consultant or healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance to ensure that the Dancer Hand technique aligns with your baby's specific needs and your own comfort as a breastfeeding mother.

Alternative Positions

If the Dancer Hand breastfeeding position doesn't quite fit the bill for you, consider exploring other tried-and-true alternatives that offer excellent support and control. These positions can also be used in combination with the Dancer Hand technique because these options will position your babys body, and the Dancer Hand Hold can be used to support your breast and babys head. 

  1. Football/Rugby Ball Hold: The football or rugby ball hold is a fantastic option, especially for mothers who have had a cesarean section or those nursing twins. In this position, the baby is held under the arm on the same side as the breast being used, with their legs and body positioned alongside the mother's torso. This position provides a clear view of the latch, making it easier for mothers to guide their baby effectively.
  2. Cross Cradle Hold: The cross cradle hold is a classic breastfeeding position that combines support and control. In this posture, the baby's head is cradled in the crook of the opposite arm from the breast being used. The supporting hand gently holds the baby's neck and upper back, allowing the mother to guide the baby to the breast. This position is ideal for newborns or babies who need extra support during the latch.
  3. Cradle Hold: The cradle hold is perhaps the most traditional breastfeeding position, and for good reason. With the baby lying on their side, nestled in the mother's arm on the same side as the nursing breast, this position allows for a natural and comfortable latch. While it may not provide as much control as the Dancer Hand position, it offers a relaxed and nurturing experience, making it a favorite for many mothers.

My Experience with Dancer Hand Breastfeeding Technique

I love to try different breastfeeding positions, so of course I had to try the Dancer Hand position! I'd heard great things about it, especially in terms of support and control, so I was eager to give it a shot. However, it turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag for us.

My baby, who's a bit older now and loves her newfound freedom to move, didn't take to the Dancer Hand position as I had hoped. It felt a bit restrictive for her, especially since I was holding her face to guide her latch. It dawned on me that perhaps she was seeking more independence during our feeding sessions.

Reflecting on it, I think this position might have been better suited for the newborn stage when she had less control over her head and neck movements. Babies tend to change so quickly, and what works at one stage might not be as appealing in another.

Despite our experience, I believe the Dancer Hand position could be incredibly helpful for moms with newborns. The added support and control it provides can be a game-changer, especially when dealing with latch issues or specific feeding needs. I'm definitely keeping it in my toolkit for the next baby; who knows, they might find it more comfortable during those early stages.

Final Thoughts

The Dancer Hand technique stands out for it’s support, control, and adaptability. To master this hold, begin by supporting your breast with a gentle C-shaped handhold and guiding your baby's chin towards a comfortable latch. 

This technique proves particularly advantageous when your baby faces challenges in maintaining a latch or has low muscle tone due to premature birth, a condition like Down's syndrome, or an illness. The Dancer Hand technique becomes a beacon of support, offering a personalized and nurturing feeding experience. 

Ultimately, the decision to embrace the Dancer Hand technique should be guided by the unique needs of both you and your baby. As you navigate the intricacies of breastfeeding, remember that the beauty of this journey lies in finding the harmony that works best for you and your little one.

Back to blog

Author, Founder @ Latch Luxe

Stefanie Statler

Stefanie Statler is an author and the founder of Latch Luxe, with a loving husband and daughter. She is a dedicated advocate for breastfeeding mothers and understands the challenges and joys of motherhood firsthand. Email me at

View Author

New Products