Hints For Continuing To Breastfeed

Learn About Wonders Of Breastmilk

Nursing your baby on breastmilk is not just good for the baby, it's also great for the mother. How is breastmilk produced? What components in breastmilk are good for the baby, and why?...

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Hints For Continuing To Breastfeed

For better breastfeeding, here are some helpful hints....

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What Should I Do? (Mother Edition)

“I don’t think I have enough breastmilk…” “I’d like to go back to work.” We’ll answer these and others questions about the mother’s body and lifestyle....

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What Should I Do? (Baby Edition)

“My baby doesn’t seem to be gaining enough weight…” “My baby bites my nipples…” We’ll answer these and other questions about the baby’s body and condition....

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To First-Time Father

When your first child is born, your wife will be filled with anxiety about herself and about your baby....

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To Medical Personnel

This information is about the various conditions that prevent babies from nursing directly from the breast. We introduce various products for low-birth-weight babies, babies with cleft palates, and baby...

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How To Hold Your Baby

Hold your baby appropriately so that you can breastfeed comfortably

Mothers generally breastfeed their babies 8-12 times a day, for 10-30 minutes each time. This means that it is important for the mothers to be able to feel relaxed in a stress-free environment so that they can continue to breastfeed.

Holding your baby appropriately (positioning) and helping your baby suck on the nipple (latch on) are very important for smooth breastfeeding. Appropriate positioning and latching on will help prevent various problems and reduce risks, will help the baby drink breastmilk effectively and will reduce stress on the mother's breasts. Here we will introduce specific tips for breastfeeding.

Hold your baby appropriately so that you can breastfeed comfortably

Mothers generally breastfeed their babies 8-12 times a day, for 10-30 minutes each time. This means that it is important for the mothers to be able to feel relaxed in a stress-free environment so that they can continue to breastfeed.

Holding your baby appropriately (positioning) and helping your baby suck on the nipple (latch on) are very important for smooth breastfeeding. Appropriate positioning and latching on will help prevent various problems and reduce risks, will help the baby drink breastmilk effectively and will reduce stress on the mother's breasts. Here we will introduce specific tips for breastfeeding.

How to hold your baby (positioning)

Positioning involves holding the baby appropriately while breastfeeding, and also maintaining the appropriate posture while breastfeeding. There are 3 main ways to position your baby, and for all of them, the following items are important.

The mother feels relaxed and comfortable while reclining against cushions or a wall.The baby is awake and calm, and is not crying.

The mother and baby are in close contact with each other, and the baby's head is aligned with the baby's body; the ears, shoulders and lower back form a straight line, facing the breast.

When supporting the breast in one hand, the fingers should be far enough away from the areola. Support the entire breast with your hand; don't just squeeze the nipple with two fingers to push it out. (You won't always need to support your breast with your hand).

Find the posture that is most comfortable for you based on the above criteria.

Basic positioning

1. Side hold/cradle hold

Hold the baby at breast level; your stomach and that of your baby should be close together, with the baby facing you. Support your baby's head on the arm that is on the same side as the breast you are nursing with. This is one of the most common breastfeeding positions.

2. Cross cradle hold/transitional hold

In this position, you support the baby's head (base of the neck) using the arm on the opposite side of the breast you are nursing with. Support that breast with the opposite hand with which you are holding your baby.

Babies sometimes don't like it if you press too strongly on their heads, and this position is good for such babies. It is a better position for babies who have difficulty latching on and for babies with low birth weight, and you can control the movement of your baby's head better. You can shift to the more common cradle hold after the baby has latched on tightly and started to drink.

3. Clutch hold/football hold

Support the breast with the hand on the opposite side of the breast your baby is nursing from, and support the baby's head and body with the other hand. Your baby's legs will pass under the arm supporting the baby, and point toward the rear. Hold your baby close to your side.

This positioning is good for babies who have difficulty latching on, for babies with delicate health, and if you have to breastfeed from different directions because of nipple or breast problems. It is also good for mothers with Caesarean scars, since the baby won't be pressing directly against the abdominal area.

4. Straddle hold

Sit the baby on your knee and support the baby's head and shoulders. This position is better for babies who have difficulty latching on firmly, and for smaller babies.

Some mothers also take the following action when breastfeeding.

Because the mother's clothes can cover the baby's face and prevent the baby from latching on, the mothers use rubber bands or hair clips to fasten their clothing back.

We hope that both mother and baby will find positions for breastfeeding that are comfortable for them.

How To Help Your Baby Latch On

Help your baby latch on appropriately and breastfeed comfortably.

Mothers generally breastfeed their babies 8-12 times a day, for 10-30 minutes each time. This means that it is important for the mother to be able to feel relaxed in a stress-free environment so that she can continue to breastfeed.

Holding your baby appropriately (positioning) and helping your baby suck on the nipple (latch on) are very important for smooth breastfeeding. Appropriate positioning and latching on will help prevent various problems and reduce risks, will help the baby drink breastmilk effectively and will reduce stress on the mother's breasts. Here we will introduce specific tips for breastfeeding.

How to help your baby latch on to your nipple

"Latch-on" means the way the baby attaches to the nipple and breast for the purpose of breastfeeding. Proper positioning is key for effective latch on so that the baby can get enough breastmilk.

First take a look at how the baby latches on to mother's breast and how the baby is breastfed.

When being breastfed, a baby moves mouth and tongue in a different way from that of an adult when drinking something through a straw. It is called "peristaltic movement", and derives from innate sucking reflex movements.

A newborn baby also has a round dent in the center of the upper jaw, called the "sucking fossa." This dent appears during the specific period of time when the baby is breastfeeding; the nipple is held between the dent and the thick fat layer inside the cheek. The sucking fossa disappears by itself when the baby is done with breastfeeding. In other words, the mouth and tongue of a human baby is innately and elaborately developed for the purpose of breastfeeding.

The peristaltic movement causes negative pressure, which pulls the breastmilk out through the nipple.

The tongue moves in a wave-like motion (peristaltic movement) that passes from the tip of the tongue to the root of the tongue in about 0.7 seconds.

The Sucking Reflex of The Newborn Infant

Pigeon was the first in the world to explain the mechanics of this special muscle contraction in infants, using an intra-oral camera.This video "The Sucking Reflex of The Newborn Infant" was created in 1988 by professor Kazuko Eishima using this intra-oral camera, revealed movement of sucking reflex by video taping inside the mouth while the babies are actually sucking.

Help your baby latch on properly to take full advantage of this peristaltic movement that the baby is born with.

Position the baby so that the baby's nose faces the nipple. The baby's lower jaw should be touching the bottom of the areola.

Touch the baby's lips with a nipple or areola to stimulate the searching reflex. Wait until the baby opens the mouth, and move the baby closer to the nipple.

The part of the areola next to the baby's lower jaw enters the baby's mouth first. Check to see if the baby has firmly latched on to the nipple.

Your baby will usually leave the nipple when he or she has had enough milk, but sometimes not. If that happens, slide your finger into the side of the baby's mouth to break the seal and stop the baby from sucking.

Diet During The Breastfeeding Period

Be careful about your diet for the sake of your baby.

Well-balanced diet

Post-partum mothers need more energy and nutrition than during pregnancy in order to produce breastmilk. During this period, the mother may suffer from poor sleep because she is taking care of her baby and may keep irregular hours.

Under these conditions, mothers tend to neglect their diets. Be sure to maintain a balanced diet for your sake and that of your baby. Give yourself 6 months to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy and return to a standard weight. Don't try to restrict your diet excessively so that you can lose weight faster, as this may affect not just your health, but also the health of the baby drinking your breastmilk.

Chance to increase the mother's bone mass

A mother's bone mass decreases substantially during pregnancy and breast-feeding. But women have a chance to increase bone mass during the 6 months to one year after their periods restart following pregnancy. During this time, it's almost as if there is a skilled carpenter inside their bodies building stronger bones.

If you supply the building blocks of bones - calcium and vitamin D - then stronger bones will be produced. Take this opportunity to build stronger bones. Dairy products, small fish, beans, seaweed and wheat are all rich in calcium. Dairy products, eggs and mushrooms (cloud ear and dried shiitake) are rich in vitamin D.

The effects of drinking and smoking

Frequent drinking during pregnancy increases the possibility of fetal alcohol syndrome, which can mean congenital abnormalities, mental handicaps, and development disorders. You will probably also be offered celebratory drinks after your baby is born. Maybe you're tempted because you've abstained for so long. But please wait a little longer, for the sake of your baby. As much as 2% of any alcohol you drink will find its way into your breastmilk. Drinking and smoking can also decrease the amount of milk secretion and inhibit the growth of your baby. Your baby's ability to rid the body of alcohol is poorly formed, and a very little can have an incomparably greater effect than on adults.

Mothers who smoke produce less breastmilk than who don't smoke. It has also been reported that nicotine has direct effect on babies, including causing vomiting, diarrhea, an increased pulse rate and restlessness. The whole family should take the opportunity afforded by pregnancy to give up smoking.

The effects of caffeine

It is said that when mothers drink beverages, such as green tea and coffee, that contain caffeine, the caffeine is excreted in the breastmilk

1. Limit as much as possible your intake of products that contain caffeine, since breastmilk that contains caffeine can cause sleeping disorders in your baby.

2. Source:Berlin, C., et al.: Disposition of dietary caffeine in milk, saliva, and plasma of lactating women, Pediatrics, p. 73, p. 59-63, 1984

3. Source:Supplements & Health Support Food Data Base Ver. 1, National Institute of Health Sciences, p. 144, 2007