Can You Hold a Baby On Your Period

Can You Hold a Baby On Your Period: Dispelling the Myths


Are you a new mom who’s heard about the old wives’ tale that you can’t hold a baby, especially a newborn baby, upright during your period? If you’re worried about this, you’re not alone. Many women around the world have heard this myth, and it’s time we brought it up to date.

The Myth: Holding a Newborn Baby Upright During Your Period

The myth at hand is an old wives’ tale, a piece of folklore passed down through generations, suggesting that holding a newborn baby upright during a woman’s menstrual period could potentially cause harm to the baby or bring about bad luck.

This belief has been widespread and has managed to instill an unfounded fear in many new mothers and family members, causing them to second-guess their actions during what should be a beautiful and intimate bonding period with the baby.

One version of the tale suggests that a woman’s period can cause the baby’s head, particularly the soft spots, to become soft or misshapen. Another version proposes that holding the baby upright during a woman’s period could disturb the baby’s equilibrium or even influence the baby’s future fertility, especially if the baby is a girl.

The tale sometimes goes even further, hinting that a woman on her period can bring bad luck to the baby or that the baby will fall sick. In some cultures, the myth might even extend to the woman not being allowed to be in the same room as the baby during her period.

It’s important to note that these beliefs vary from culture to culture, and while they may have been accepted without question in the past, in our current, scientifically advanced society, such myths can and should be challenged.

The idea that a natural physiological process such as menstruation, which is a crucial part of female reproductive health, could harm or bring bad luck to a baby is without basis in scientific fact.

In essence, this myth could be seen as a manifestation of the various stigmas and misconceptions surrounding menstruation that exist in many societies around the world, even today. Menstruation is a completely natural and normal part of a woman’s life, and it in no way hampers her ability to care for her newborn baby.

Why do People Believe this Old Wives Tale?

The belief in this wives’ tale seems to stem from a time when menstruation was misunderstood and shrouded in superstition. Some people thought that women on their period could cause harm or bring bad luck to the newborn. But remember, this is just a superstition.

The Reality Behind This Wives Tales

The fact is, there is no scientific evidence to support this myth. Women can safely hold their babies at any time, regardless of their menstrual cycle. The important thing is to always handle your baby with care, ensuring they are held securely and their head and neck are properly supported.

Scientific Perspective: Newborn Babies and Women’s Period

Now that we’ve dispelled the myth, let’s look at this from a scientific perspective.

Baby’s Head and Soft Spots: Can they be affected?

Newborn babies do have soft spots on their heads, known as fontanelles, which allow for the baby’s brain to grow. These soft spots might seem vulnerable, but they are designed to withstand normal handling, including being held upright. Your period has no influence on this.

Is Holding the Baby Upright During Period Safe?


Is Holding the Baby Upright During Period Safe?

The simple answer is yes, it is entirely safe to hold a baby upright during a woman’s menstrual period. The notion that a woman cannot hold or should not hold her baby during her period is a myth, as we have discussed.

A woman’s period is a normal biological process and does not in any way affect her ability to care for her baby, including holding the baby upright.

Holding a baby upright has several benefits and is a common position for burping the baby after feedings, comforting a fussy baby, or just for a change of scenery for the little one.

This position allows the baby to have a different view of the world and encourages the baby’s interaction with their surroundings. It’s also a great position to soothe a baby suffering from colic.

When holding a baby upright, regardless of whether the woman is on her period or not, there are a few key points to remember to ensure the baby’s safety and comfort.

One always provides support to the baby’s head and neck. Two, make sure the baby’s back is straight and their chest is against yours. Lastly, always keep a secure hold to prevent any accidental slips or falls.

However, the most crucial aspect is to ensure proper hygiene. During a woman’s period, maintaining good personal hygiene is essential, as it is at any other time. This includes washing hands thoroughly before handling the baby, which is important not just for the mother but for anyone who comes into contact with the baby.

In conclusion, a woman’s menstrual cycle does not impact her ability to hold her baby upright. This is a time for bonding, caring, and showing love to the baby, and no myth should stand in the way of that. Always remember, what matters most is the safety, love, and care that you provide to your child.

Experiences of All the Women and New Parents

Across the world, many women and new parents have shared their experiences, debunking this old wives’ tale.

Personal Stories and Just a Superstition

Many women will tell you that they’ve held their babies upright during their period without any problems. These personal experiences emphasize that this is just a superstition. Furthermore, new parents have a fair share of responsibilities, including feeding, diaper changes, and, of course, holding and comforting their baby. None of these tasks are influenced by a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Fair Share of Worrying and Diaper Changes

As a new mom, it’s natural to worry about your baby. The first few weeks with a newborn are a whirlwind of diaper changes, feedings, and little sleep. During this time, your focus should be on caring for your baby and yourself, not on unfounded myths.

Understanding the Newborn Baby: A New Life Begins

Let’s switch our focus to understanding the newborn baby better.

The Umbilical Cord and the Newborn Baby

In the early days, one of the new parents’ primary concerns is the care of the baby’s umbilical cord. It might seem delicate, but like the soft spots on a baby’s head, the umbilical cord is tougher than it looks. Proper care includes keeping it clean and dry, which encourages it to fall off naturally within a few weeks.

Important Tips for Holding a Newborn Baby Upright

When holding your baby upright, make sure to support their head and neck. A popular and secure method is the ‘football hold’, where your baby’s back rests against your forearm.

Always ensure that you’re in a comfortable and safe position before picking up your baby. Remember, it’s not about whether you’re on your period or not; it’s about handling your baby safely and confidently.

Conclusion: Bringing the Old Wives Tale Up to Date

In conclusion, it’s safe to say that this old wives’ tale is just that – a tale. There’s no reason why a woman can’t hold a baby upright during her period. The most important thing is to always handle your baby with love and care, ensuring their safety and comfort at all times.

The Football Hold: A Safe Place for Your Newborn Baby

In fact, the football hold, which we mentioned earlier, is a great position for any parent to use. It allows you to hold your baby securely, provides a comfortable position for feeding, and most importantly, it’s safe and reassuring for your baby.

FAQs: Addressing Common Concerns


  • Q1: Can holding a baby during your period harm the baby?
  • A: No, this is a myth. Your menstrual cycle has no impact on your ability to safely hold and care for your baby.
  • Q2: Is it bad luck to hold a baby upright during your period?
  • A: No, this is just an old wife tale with no basis in fact.
  • Q3: How should I hold my newborn baby?
  • A: It’s important to support your baby’s head and neck when holding them. The ‘football hold’ is a popular and secure method.
  • Q4: Can I take care of my baby normally during my period?
  • A: Absolutely, your ability to care for your baby is not affected by your menstrual cycle.
  • Q5: Are there any restrictions for a woman on her period around a newborn baby?
  • A: No, there are no scientifically supported restrictions. The most important thing is to maintain good hygiene, as you would at any other time.
  • Q6: Should we not touch babies during periods?
  • A: No, this is a myth. There is no scientific reason or medical basis that suggests a woman should not touch or hold a baby during her menstrual period. As long as proper hygiene practices are followed, it’s perfectly safe to interact with your baby during this time.
  • Q7: How should you not hold a baby?
  • A: There are a few ways you should avoid holding a baby. For instance, you should never hold a baby by their arms or lift them by the arms as this can cause injury. Also, avoid holding the baby without supporting their head and neck, as these areas are fragile in the early months of life.
  • Q8: What is the hardest period with a baby
  • ?A: While every baby is different, many parents find the newborn phase (first three months) to be the most challenging. This period involves frequent feedings, sleepless nights, and adjusting to new responsibilities. However, it’s also a time of immense joy and bonding.
  • Q9: Can you hold a baby on their stomach?
  • A: Yes, you can hold a baby on their stomach, but this should be done with caution. This position, known as ‘tummy time’, is actually beneficial for a baby’s development and helps to strengthen their neck and shoulder muscles.
  • However, it’s important to always supervise a baby during tummy time and never to let a baby sleep on its stomach as it can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).




This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.