Tuesday, May 19, 2009

H1N1 INFLUENZA & breastfeeding (Japan)

Due to the recent cases of H1N1 (swine) influenza in Japan, LLL Japan has issued a press release in Japanese :
and also the Japanese Association of Lactation Consultants:
These may be useful to share with your doctor in case you have flu symptoms and are breastfeeding.

For information on the H1N1 influenza in English see:
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/breastfeeding.htm (breastfeeding)
http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/pregnant.htm (pregnant mothers)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Breastfeeding / H1N1 (Swine) Flu Recommendations for Physicians

Breastfeeding / Swine Flu Recommendations for Physicians from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
New Rochelle, NY, May 12, 2009—Breastfeeding can limit the severity of respiratory infections in infants and is particularly important for minimizing the risk and effects of infection during an influenza outbreak, such as the current H1N1 influenza virus (also known as the “swine flu”) outbreak, according to recommendations released by the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM). The Academy’s complete recommendations are available online at www.bfmed.org
The new guidelines presented by ABM urge physicians to support continued breastfeeding even if the mother is suspected of having the H1N1 influenza virus, since the infant would likely have been exposed to the virus before the mother’s symptoms appeared. Continued breastfeeding may help limit the severity of respiratory symptoms in infants that become infected.
Other key recommendations encourage continued breastfeeding even if the mother is taking either of the two antiviral medications prescribed to treat or prevent influenza infection (oseltamivir or zanamivir). Breastfeeding should also continue if an infant becomes ill with suspected H1N1 flu. Furthermore, if breast milk is only part of an infant’s diet, it would be wise to increase the amount of breast milk the infant receives during an influenza outbreak, perhaps supplementing breastfeeding with expressed or pumped milk.
Good hygiene, including regular hand washing around the baby, can help minimize exposure to respiratory droplets that may carry the flu virus. Limiting close contact by non-caretakers, use of a mask if a caretaker has flu-like or other respiratory symptoms, and avoiding crowds are other recommended actions to reduce risk of infant exposure. According to ABM President, Caroline J. Chantry, MD, "It is timely for physicians to be reminded that breast milk contains a myriad of antiviral and immune boosting components beyond specific antibodies that will help protect the infant even when a mother does not have preexisting immunity to a particular illness."

Monday, May 11, 2009

La Leche League in Tokyo

We have a wonderful resource in Tokyo in La Leche League,a volunteer organization which offers up-to-date resources and information on breastfeeding, with trained Leaders (experienced breastfeeding mothers themselves) who hold monthly discussion meetings and offer free individual breastfeeding assistance via email and telephone. We have meetings in English, Japanese and French available for women in Tokyo in several different locations each month.

La Leche League has been very active in Tokyo for almost 30 years, and each group has a library for members of fantastic and up-to-date books on birth, breastfeeding, parenting in general, fertility, losing weight after baby, starting solid foods, mothering twins, premature babies, sleep solutions, fussy babies and much more! We have access to breastfeeding information in many languages, and one Tokyo group even has materials in Hebrew!
To find your nearest group, please see http://www.llli.org/Japan.html

Many wonder why anyone would have a meeting about breastfeeding. They may ask, "Who goes to these meetings and what do they talk about?"
At Group meetings La Leche League Leaders and other mothers share experiences, give suggestions and offer support and encouragement. LLL meetings are ideal for learning from and making friends with other mothers. These meetings provide time for mother-to-mother sharing in a friendly and accepting atmosphere. The informal meetings are attended by expectant, new and experienced mothers and their babies. Most Groups rotate through a series of breastfeeding topics, however every meeting is different and the questions of the attendees are always given top priority.

Why LLL meetings? In generations past, many mothers had plenty of support for breastfeeding their babies because their mothers, grandmothers and sisters had breastfed. Now many of us live far away from our families and most likely, they didn't breastfed. Breastfeeding is natural, but it is a learned art. Attending an LLL meeting and seeing other mothers breastfeed their babies helps new and expectant mothers learn how to nurture their babies too.

Who attends LLL meetings? Women interested in breastfeeding are welcome to attend LLL meetings. Women are encouraged to begin attending meetings as soon as they know they are pregnant or before, if they are interested! Attending early in a pregnancy gives mothers plenty of time to learn as much as possible about the womanly art of breastfeeding. Most Groups have an extensive lending library of books especially for breastfeeding families on the topics of breastfeeding, nutrition, parenting and childbirth. The LLL comprehensive guidebook, THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING is offered for sale by most Groups. More here: http://www.llli.org/FAQ/LLL.html
Or contact one of the Leaders in Tokyo listed here http://www.llli.org/Japan.html