Our actions to make this world more baby-friendly
Supporting Late Preterm Infants and Their Families
The Pigeon Smile Lactation Research Institute* engages in a range of activities, including distributing free copies of the “Happy Breastfeeding Support Book,” a comprehensive breastfeeding information source for mothers. Since 2018, the institute has also been offering Psychological support to mothers of late preterm infants in NICUs (Neonatal Intensive Care Units) and GCUs (Growing Care Units). * Pigeon Smile Lactation Research Institute: A project that aims to “Create a society that values more babies growing up healthy and more mothers and fathers finding happiness in childrearing” by working with specialists researching breastfeeding mothers and infants to identify issues during the breastfeeding period and propose solutions to them.
Background of Late Preterm Infants
Of the approximately 865,000 infants born in Japan each year, around 49,000 of them are born “preterm,” before the 37th week of pregnancy.*
Around 80% of those preterm infants, and half of all low birthweight infants, defined as those born weighing less than 2,500 grams, are “late preterm” infants born between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy.*
Compared to extremely and very low birthweight infants (weighing less than 1,000 or 1,500 grams at birth, respectively) and infants born with congenital conditions, late preterm infants usually have relatively mild health issues and are discharged from the NICU earlier. For this reason, care for these infants and changes in the emotional state of their mothers are almost never studied, and there is little existing research. * Source:Vital Statistics survey. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2019.
Psychological Support for Mothers of Late Preterm Infants
Since 2018, the Pigeon Smile Lactation Research Institute has been conducting research into the thoughts and feelings of mothers of late preterm infants in NICUs and GCUs. The results are presented to medical professionals at academic conferences and other venues.
Paper Presentation (Speech) at the 59th Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Maternal Health
- Presentations to date:
- General Speech at the 59th Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Maternal Health
- Luncheon Seminar at the 28th Annual Meeting of Japan Academy of Neonatal Nursing2019
- General Speech at the 60th Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Maternal Health
- Luncheon Seminar at the 60th Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Maternal Health
As the institute’s research progressed, one thing became clear: these mothers were in need of emotional support and information. To help provide that support and information, the institute worked with its specialists to create a support book for the families of late preterm infants in NICUs or GCUs and distribute it free of charge. The institute also created slideshows to share the radiance of infants in NICUs and their families. The support book and slideshows can be seen on the Pigeon Smile Lactation Research Institute website.
The Pigeon Smile Lactation Research Institute will continue to treat each and every baby as an individual as it pursues research and shares information with society to help mothers and fathers find more happiness in childrearing.