Choosing to breastfeed the baby is one of the most important decisions a mother can make. Usually that decision was made even before the baby was conceived. There may be times when lack of support, knowledge and different priorities have led to bottle feeding. My goal is not to tell a new mother all the scary stuff in formula, but to discuss the reasons why a mother may be choosing not to breastfeed. Possibly, with discussing these reasons she may realize the benefits of breastfeeding and seek out the necessary support and education for the sake of her health and most importantly the infant's.
REASONS WHY WOMEN DON'T BREASTFEED:
1) Family Tradition:
Personally, my mother never breastfed, nor her own mother. Breastfeeding was something that was not talked about in my family as a natural and normal way to feed the baby. It is hard to breastfeed when the concept is foreign.
2) Not Knowing the Effects of Artificial Baby Milk:
My son was switched to several formulas due to the projectile vomiting. We finally found a soy based formula that would end the projectile vomiting yet changing his clothes many times throughout the day due to continual vomiting became the norm. I had not put the notion together that if I was breastfeeding the vomiting would stop. When an infant throws up continually on artificial baby milk, it is a reaction to the harsh chemicals that are used to keep it fresh as well as the unnatural and unbalanced ingredients.
3) A Mother's Priorities:
A mother may be so overwhelmed that even two hours into the future seems unrealistic. A mother may quit breastfeeding because the infant won't wake up, or her nipples are about to fall off from poor latching, and or her milk hasn't come in. The mom may not be able to handle one more demand and, therefore, will bottle feed.
COMMON BREASTFEEDING EXCUSES:
? "It's going to hurt". Unlike labor, pain in breastfeeding is not normal. Seek out professional lactation help for latch and positioning evaluation.
? "I have no milk." You were able to provide nourishment throughout the pregnancy for your baby, but as soon as the baby is born your body decided that the baby is on its own? Only 1% of mothers do not have enough milk for their babies. Correct stimulation makes the milk.
? "The milk doesn't come out." Women will pinch the nipple when looking for milk. The milk is made in the breast not the nipple.
? "I am on pain medications." Most of what is in formula are chemicals. I would be more concerned my infant consumed chemicals than minute amounts of pain medication in breastmilk.
? "The baby doesn't want it." Who would choose to drink a chalk-tasting drink for the rest of the year vs. one that taste like candy? Some babies need to learn this new skill.
There may be some circumstances when breastfeeding is not going to work. There are going to be some women who have tried everything to breast feed without the cooperation of the baby. Or there are times when a woman can not devote her time emotionally and physically to breastfeed. Professional breastfeeding help is out there if a mother changes her mind. All babies eventually breastfeed. I would advise anyone not wanting to breastfeed to at least try. You might enjoy it. Since I have bottle fed a child and breastfed other children, I have seen the differences.
LISTEN UP: 10 EXCELLENT REASONS TO BREASTFEED
? More sleep for mother since you can breastfeed and sleep at the same time
? Calming for mother
? A more intelligent child; 8-10 points higher I.Q.
? Significantly less doctor visits
? Increased bonding
? Satisfaction of giving your baby the best start in life
? Includes Anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
? Protects from future health problems
? Parents will save thousands of dollars by not purchasing formula
? Less chance of breast and ovarian cancer in the mother
Seek help through Le Leche League, WIC, your nurse, a doula or a Certified Lactation Consultant for more breastfeeding assistance.
Julie L. Johnson is a wife and mother of three who has experienced every pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and breastfeeding situation there is and has lived to tell about. She is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Doula and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant practicing in Southern California. Her website http://www.birth-angel.com provides services and products to help ease the transition into motherhood.