Question

Breastfeeding A Baby

Why do many women choose not to breastfeed?

A Answers (3)

  • AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answered
    Health benefits explain why doctors, nurses, and midwives push breastfeeding as the preferred feeding option, but I also recognize that there are many reasons why it might not be realistic.

    Some women have jobs that prevent them from nursing or pumping as frequently as they need to, some women are on medications or have conditions or infections that don't mix well with breastfeeding, some mothers of multiples feel that the process is too overwhelming, and some babies have medical conditions which require close monitoring of fluid intake. You should also not breastfeed if you have a serious infection (or if you smoke, or are doing illicit drugs). In these cases, go to formula.
  • ANiamh van Meines, Nursing, answered
    1. Some medical conditions and medications that women take interfere with safe breastfeeding.
    2. Some womens ability to devote the time needed to breastfeeding may be limited such as working mothers or traveling mothers.
    3. Others have an aversion to breastfeeding and are unable to overcome the difficulties.
    4. Milk production may also be a concern which may cause difficulties with breastfeeding.
    5. Some women experience severe pain in their breasts when breast feeding and time may be prohibitive to being able to successfully breast feed.
  • ATara Beth Johnson, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Support is still sadly lacking in the USA. Even though breastfeeding is natural there is a learning curve for baby and mom. It may take 6 - 8 weeks until both are "good at it." This often coincides with returning to work for many moms. Also a factor in the decision not to breastfeed or early termination of breastfeeding. 

    A few suggestions for promoting breastfeeding: support, support and support. Adopting the baby friendly hospital initiative. Having a cultural mind-shift of breastfeeding being "the norm."

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