Product and Technique cautions


Product and Technique Cautions

       Breastfeeding is a gift to baby, mother, family, and planet. When mothers have correct information, problems can be avoided and babies can thrive. If someone tells you that you need to buy something in order to breastfeed, a red warning flag should go up in your mind.
    Mothers have breastfed their babies since the beginning of mankind. They didn’t use or need any products. They learned the skills they needed from other mothers. They learned mother to mother.
    Unfortunately, today people are misdirecting mothers by telling them that they need to buy special pillows or nipple shields or pumps or creams or herbal remedies. Please know that none of these are needed to succeed at breastfeeding. Actually, they can all create problems so we do not recommend them. 
    What mothers are not being taught is how to do the correct cradle or lap nursing holds. Mothers are not being told that these holds will solve the problems that the cross cradle, football and log holds cause.
    So we present this website to solve these problems, and to get mothers and babies back to natural breastfeeding.

HSH = Hand Supporting the Head and Neck Holds
            HSH holds include the cross cradle, football, and log holds. See the Breastfeeding Positions
            page for a picture of what these holds look like. 

1. Special breastfeeding pillows are not necessary. 
    Baby’s and mother’s body sizes are going to change. Baby will get bigger and mom will go back towards her pre-pregnancy size. Why would any one, stiffly shaped special breastfeeding pillow work for any length of time under those conditions? Any pillow(s) from around the house will work.
    The idea is not to position yourself to accommodate the size of the pillow. That often causes mothers to bend forward over the pillow or to sit up straight so ‘as not to pull the mother’s breast tissue away from the baby’. 
    The idea is to lean back comfortably, keeping baby tummy to tummy, and to use any pillows necessary to support baby or mother’s arms. 
    No need to spend money on a special pillow, just use whatever pillow(s) are in the house. Mothers find that in the cradle hold they soon outgrow the need for pillows and find great freedom in being able to nurse whenever and wherever the baby wants to, without having to drag a certain pillow with them. 
    See Mothers Stories pages for ideas on how breastfeeding pillows can cause problems.

2. We suggest NOT doing breast compression.
The technique of squeezing the breast during nursing to aid milk transfer often creates latch on problems. When the breast is squeezed during nursing, it can move the nipple around in the baby’s mouth and often causes the baby to come off, and need to relatch. 

3.We suggest NOT using the cigarette / scissors hold. 
The scissors or cigarette hold often creates latch on problems. The cigarette hold can interfere with latch on because the mother’s fingers are close to baby’s mouth and can get in the way of latch on. In addition, it can be uncomfortable to hold your fingers in this position for as long as the baby needs to nurse.
    See Positions that Hinder Movie for video of the scissors/cigarette hold.

4. Please know that it is NOT necessary to point your nipple up to the roof of baby’s mouth. 
With the cradle hold and the bulls eye latch on technique, the nipple is easily centered in baby’s mouth. His tongue forms a cup under the nipple, draws it into his mouth, and presses it to the roof of his mouth, all by himself. Please read more about latching at the Cradle Hold Text page.

5. We caution against bottles and pacifiers in the first 6 weeks.
   Artificial nipples can interfere with the baby learning to nurse correctly. They can also affect the            mother’s milk supply. Baby needs time to learn how to breastfeed. We recommend waiting 6 weeks  before offering a pacifier or bottle. 
    By 6 weeks baby will have learned to nurse (if using correct positioning) and will have brought in a full milk supply. Some babies develop a preference for bottles when given them before they are 6 weeks. Some babies will bite the bottle nipple and pacifier and will then do this to mom, causing soreness. 
    If you fear that baby won’t take a bottle and you will be going to work outside of your home, please know that an eyedropper can be used. Yes, some babies refuse to take a bottle at first but you can get some plastic eyedroppers or syringes, clean them very well, and have the caregiver use them to feed baby.
    Gently place the eyedropper / syringe in the corner of baby’s mouth. This is a transitional method to use until baby will accept a bottle.  See How to Wean from Products for more information.
    Eyedroppers / syringes are a way to know that baby will get food even if he/she won’t take a bottle.

   6. When mothers alternate between an HSH - (Hand supporting the Head or Neck) hold                               and the cradle hold, the problems often continue. 
Using HSH holds interferes with the way a baby learns to nurse. Mothers report that they only heal when they stop doing the HSH holds. (HSH includes the cross cradle, football, and log holds) 
    Having the baby’s head lifted to the breast by mother’s hand in the HSH holds is a different action for the baby than when he helps himself to latch on from mother’s arm in the cradle hold. In the cradle hold, baby is an active partner, helping to determine when he is ready to latch. Mother’s arm supports his head comfortably and baby still is able to move his head/mouth to get to the nipple. Baby can make any minor adjustments necessary.
    In the HSH holds the mother is holding baby’s head or neck, so baby doesn’t  have the flexibility to help move his head/mouth to the breast, mother has total control. The mother tries to guess when to latch the baby, when is his mouth open wide enough and for long enough, often with poor results. So while some say that the HSH positions have better head control, we have seen that the baby latches on better when he is allowed to be an active partner in the cradle hold. 
    In addition, the mother is more comfortable holding baby in the cradle hold because her elbow area is stronger and can hold him for longer periods of time. In the HSH positions, mothers often complain of sore hands, wrists, and backs because they are supporting their baby on their weaker wrist and forearm. 
    See Positions that Hinder Movie page for videos of these positions.

7. We caution against using steroid containing nipple cream because of the potential negative side effects of steroids on babies. 
    There is a nipple cream being recommended that contains Betamethasone. Also known as Betameth, it is a potent long-acting steroid. Thomas Hale in his ‘Medications and Mothers Milk’ book states the dangers that Betamethasone, a corticosteroid, can do to an infant. 
    ‘..steroids may inhibit epiphyseal bone growth, weaken bones, and may induce gastric ulcerations in children.’
    This author asks; What might be the long term repercussions to a child who nurses for hours each day on nipples that have this steroid containing cream on them? Where is the long-term research to prove that this cream is safe for nursing infants?  
    For your information, this cream started being promoted after the cross cradle hold was introduced. We noticed many moms being prescribed this cream who were having problems caused by the cross cradle hold. Instead of teaching them how to solve their problems with the cradle hold, they were sold a steroid-containing cream.

8. We caution AGAINST using nipple shields.

                   CAUTION - Nipple Shields are NOT recommended

    Here is another product that has been heavily promoted since the introduction of the 
cross cradle hold. Mothers were warned for decades about the problems that nipple shields can cause. But when the cross cradle hold started being taught and the problems arose from it, mothers were then sold nipple shields rather than being taught the correct cradle hold position. 
    Nipple shields are silicone or rubber pieces that fit over the nipple. Baby 
latches onto the nipple shield instead of mother’s nipple. 
    -Mother’s nipple is pulled into the shield as baby sucks. This can irritate mother’s nipple. 
    -Nipple shields need to be kept clean. 
    -Nipple shields can interfere with mother’s milk production as mother may not be receiving         
        sufficient stimulation; the shield can act as a barrier to baby’s sucking sensations. 
    -Nipple shields can be difficult to wean from. Don’t try cutting pieces off of the silicone shields
        because sharp edges may be left. Just keep trying to slip it off once baby gets latched on,
        keep offering to nurse at different times of the day, in the tub, etc. It is so much easier 
        to nurse without nipple shields!
This author asks; Where is the long-term research proving that the chemicals (including silicone) and other materials used in nipple shields are safe for infants?

9. We caution AGAINST using Gel Packs. We caution AGAINST using the Cling Wrap
     technique. We caution AGAINST using ice packs for more than 10 minutes.

                CAUTION - Gel Packs are NOT recommended

    Gel pack products are being promoted for sore nipples and engorgement. Manufacturers recommend wearing them 6-24 hours a day inside the bra.
    Please do NOT use them. They inhibit airflow to the nipple. When a mother gets sore nipples the best way to heal is to correct the breastfeeding position and to allow air to get to the nipples. These gel pack products are made of plastic with a gel inside of them. They block airflow to the nipples. They hold moisture against the nipples. They make the nipples more sore. The moms I’ve seen with the sorest nipples were the ones using the cross cradle hold and gel packs.
    We also caution against the technique of using plastic cling wrap over the nipples. Mothers are told this will aid sore nipples, but it does the same thing as the gel packs. The cling wrap blocks the air from getting to the nipples. It traps moisture between the cling wrap and the breast. It creates soreness.
    Mothers are also being told to use the gel packs as ice packs for sore nipples or engorged breasts. While short periods of cold, wet wash clothes are useful in healing sore nipples and for engorgement relief, keeping ice packs / gel packs on the nipple area for more than 10 minutes may create the problems that are caused by blocking the air flow to the nipples, and in preventing the nipple area from drying between feedings. 
    This author asks; how clean is the breast-nipple area when the cling wrap or gel pack is holding saliva from baby and any breast milk that leaks out or that is left from baby’s mouth, in an environment that does not let the nipple dry out between nursings? 
     Is this an environment that will encourage nipple soreness and thrush? Yes. 
    Is this an environment that will allow the self cleaning and self healing properties of the breast to function? No.
    Natural breastfeeding allows the breast-nipple areas to dry between nursings. The special areola oil glands keep the nipples and areolae supple and healthy. Having the nipples constantly sit in moisture is not natural. 
    Think about what happens when your hands have been in water for a long time. The effect is drying. Nipples are built perfectly, let’s not inhibit their ability to function.
       Women’s bodies are wonderfully created to nourish their babies. Since the beginning of mankind, women have effectively nursed their babies without any products. When someone tells you that you need a product to breastfeed, a red flag should go up. If they can’t help you solve your sore nipples without a product, search for more information. Such as is in this website! 

10. We caution against sitting up straight while nursing.
    Many lactation books and personnel are teaching moms to sit up straight to nurse. They say to use pillows (many pillows) to make yourself comfortable while sitting up straight.
    Sitting up straight is another technique that was introduced after the cross cradle hold started being promoted. It is very uncomfortable to nurse while sitting up straight because the weight of the baby is resting totally on mom’s arm. Mom’s arm and back can get tired easily in this position.
    It is much more comfortable to lean back against the couch or chair. 
    When nursing in a chair or couch, we recommend leaning your back and shoulders against the chair and moving your bottom forward 4 inches or so. The idea is to have a slight angle back so that gravity can help baby stay on the breast. 
    If you need a pillow behind your back, please make sure that it is not making you sit up straight. Make sure that you can lean your upper back and shoulders against the couch.
    In this position the mothers stomach and chest are supporting baby as well as her arm. Baby is
 ‘wrapped around mom’s stomach’. Baby gets a good mouthful of breast and gravity helps baby to stay 
latched on properly. Not only is this a very comfortable position for mom, it also gives baby a strong sense 
of security. 

    11. To swaddle or not to swaddle, we are often asked this question.
        When a mother tries to latch on a baby who is swaddled with his arms in front of his body, baby’s body is tilted 
    away from mother’s body by his arms. This can interfere with latching on, with baby’s nose often being blocked 
    by the breast and his arms keeping him from getting tummy-to-tummy with mom. 
        Of course swaddling is fine at times between feedings. But baby’s arms should be loose while breastfeeding 
     so that he can ‘give mom a hug’ with his arms and thus achieve a closer latch.
        See the Cradle Hold Text page to learn how to keep baby’s arms from interfering with latch on.

12. We caution against using Breast Pads if you have sore nipples. 
    Breast pads block the air flow to sore nipples, keep the skin moist, and often chafe it, making nipple soreness worse.    
    To aid healing, we suggest not wearing breast pads at home or at all if possible, letting air get to the sore skin as much as possible, letting some breast milk dry on the sore areas as it contains healing properties, and changing the breast pads as soon as possible when they get wet. Going without a bra and wearing a loose, cotton shirt such as a t-shirt allows for maximum air flow. 
    Leaking can be stopped by pressing your forearm against the leaking side for a few moments. 
    At night many mothers find that sleeping on a couple bath towels helps keep sheets drier, then the towels can be removed in the morning. 
    Leaking is a sign that you have lots of milk, that’s a blessing!!!!!!

Breastfeeding Positions
Cradle Hold Text
Problems from the Cross Cradle, Football, and Log Holds
Website Index

.....the optimist seeks and discovers traces of the effective love of a paternal God even in the smallest things of earthly life. He knows that God adjusts the cross to the measure of each one’s strength; and that He always gives His grace to whoever asks for it. More than this, He anticipates all our aspirations and all complaints. For He has placed in nature cures for all our ills, and joys to counter-balance pains, or at least to help bear them. But He leaves us the task of discovering them. And that is what we rarely do! ‘You complain of seeing thorns on rosebushes’, the optimist says to the pessimist. ‘As for me, I thank God that thorns have roses’. The optimist is a strong believer in the beneficent action of time. ‘If only we are patient, God works for us’, wrote Newman.
From The Spirituality of St. Francis De Sales.