Why New Mothers Stop Breast-Feeding

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While nearly all mothers start breast-feeding their newborns, about half stop after a few weeks. The latest study explains why.

A team of researchers conducted over 2,700 interviews with 532 first-time mothers multiple times after they gave birth, starting 24 hours after delivery and ending at 60 days postpartum, about their breast-feeding choices. They report in the journal Pediatrics that women who worried from the start about their ability to nurse their infants were more likely to switch to formula sooner than those who didn’t have these concerns.

(MORE: Is the Medical Community Failing Breast-Feeding Moms?)

By the third day after delivering, over half of these women were worried about their babies’ ability to latch on, while 44% were concerned about breast-feeding pain, and 40% about their capacity to produce enough milk to nourish their infants.

These results support earlier studies that found that new moms often don’t have proper support and education about breast-feeding, which can lead to anxiety and a greater likelihood of stopping nursing. In January, TIME reported that hospitals may not offer women the resources they need to encourage women and address their anxiety:

Lactation is probably the only bodily function for which modern medicine has almost no training, protocol or knowledge. When women have trouble breast-feeding, they’re either prodded to try harder by well-meaning lactation consultants or told to give up by doctors. They’re almost never told, “Perhaps there’s an underlying medical problem — let’s do some tests.”

When women have trouble breast-feeding, they are often confronted with two divergent directives: well-meaning lactation consultants urge them to try harder, while some doctors might advise them to simply give up and go the bottle-and-formula route. “We just give women a pat on the head and tell them their kids will be fine” if they don’t breast-feed, says Dr. Alison Stuebe, an OB who treats breast-feeding problems in North Carolina. “Can you imagine if we did that to men with erectile dysfunction?”

(MORE: 20 Ways to Make Breast-Feeding Easier)

The very public controversy over breast-feeding in public may also exacerbate matters, adding pressure on new mothers who struggle to get comfortable with nursing. The authors of the current study say that more efforts should be concentrated on the final days of pregnancy to answer women’s questions and reduce any anxiety they may have about the process. Building that confidence could help more women stick with breast-feeding, which has been linked to a lower risk of obesity, higher IQ and greater social status among children, and lower risk of cancer for moms.

46 comments
morebethanne
morebethanne

I tried breastfeeding both my children. The hormones surges from it made me miserable. I was always tired. It caused hypothyroidism. Neither of my children could latch b/c of tongue ties. Which caused them each to lose so much weight and get such bad jaundice; they almost had to be re-admitted into the hospital. Then our doctor out-right refused to refer us to a specialist to fix my second daughter's tongue tie. Even though we still couldn't get her to latch after working a lot with a lactation consultant. That left me only able to pump 24/7. If you think exclusively breastfeeding hurts try exclusively pumping! The culmination of all of this after 5 months straight left me half insane, 20+lbs heavier than when i gave birth,  exhausted, and not even able to properly care for my children. Finally I had enough. Putting my self, my body, my husband, and my children was NOT worth it! Especially just so I wouldn't have to worry about people judging me for not breastfeeding. I guess what I'm trying to say is I tried very hard and was very educated on the subject, and got tons of help. However sometimes breastfeeding just isn't easy and not conducive of the best possible environment for a baby and mother. 

thankfulmom
thankfulmom

Everyone's situation is different, and NO mother should be judged. I was firmly convinced I was going to breastfeed my first (and consequently only) son and read everything I could get my hands on while I was pregnant. I had a midwife and arduously planned a home birth. I had a normal, healthy pregnancy and was 38 at the time. Shortly before my due date my water broke and I went into labor. I rode it out peacefully at home and then my labor stopped. Turns out I had somehow "re-sealed" and my labor was off and on and quite mild for about 3 days. On the 3rd evening, however, all Hell broke loose. I was having severe contractions with less than a minute in between. Midwife hustled right over, checked me, and discovered I was only at about a '2'. Impossible, I thought. I have a VERY high pain tolerance. I decided to labor on, sure I would progress quickly and have the homebirth of my dreams. 


I labored for hours in a state of pain so intense that I feel as if I "left my body" at times. But I never progressed beyond a '2' and we knew something wasn't right so I transported to the hospital. When they hooked me to the machines to measure my contractions they discovered I was at a level BEYOND what someone in the final stages of labor would experience. And I had been there for hours. Blood tests were done and turns out I had the beginnings of a uterine infection. The swelling was not letting me advance beyond a '2'. Essentially my body was fighting itself.


The decision was made to do a C-section, as I had begun running a fever and I was exhausted from the pain I'd been in for the past 16 hours. Still, part of me was screaming inside as they took my son from my body in the last way I wanted. I say that NOT to offend those who opt for C-section, but to make you understand that what was happening to me was the opposite of what I'd dreamed and planned for. 


Thank God my son was healthy. But I had a bad reaction to the epidural and had neck and head pain so severe I was begging the nurses for help. The result was that as soon as they took my son from me, the anesthesiologist injected me with a mega dose of pain killer and I passed out. And stayed passed out for the rest of the night. There was no holding my son that evening (he was born at 6:30 pm), no bonding, no breastfeeding. I was knocked out cold. I also had complications from the C-section due to my extreme labor and infection. I was on 4 antibiotics, one so strong it burned the veins in the arms it went into. 


When I was finally "with it" enough to hold my son the next morning he wouldn't latch on but I tried for a long time, with the help of my midwife. He never latched on at the hospital, despite my efforts and the efforts of the lactation specialists and my midwife. Add to that the fact that my morphine pump wasn't working for some time so I had no pain meds the first night. Even when the nurses came in to push on my newly cut body. No pain meds. I thought my pain was normal from a complicated C-section and was just trying to bear it. I was exhausted from the whole experience and could barely stay awake the entire time I was hospitalized. 


Worst of all was the unending grief I felt that my peaceful home birth, the loving bonding time with my son, had not happened. Yes, I was grateful my son was healthy, don't think I wasn't. But oddly, part of me felt raped. Yes, that's a strong word, I know, but that was how I felt. Something was taken from me that I could never get back and the feelings flooding my hormone-laden body were anything but euphoric. And for that I felt ashamed and guilty.


I was a mess when I went home. I cried unendingly and felt like a complete failure. My milk wouldn't come for days, and even then my son still wouldn't latch on. I couldn't sleep because of all the meds and hormones raging in me so my exhaustion was worse than ever. My body had been through hell and had had enough.


And so I finally, sadly, began feeding my son with a bottle. Do NOT think it was easy. Do NOT think it tore at my already delicate emotions. What was supposed to be a wonderful first few months with my son was one of the worst, lowest points in my life. I developed postpartum depression that stayed with me for a year. My son thrived while I was withering away. I stayed in a grieving state of my birth experience for about 3 months. No, I did not choose to be depressed. I tried my darndest to just "shake it off" and be thankful and grateful but I couldn't shake the grief. It didn't help when people silently judged me for bottle feeding my son. I almost felt I had to tell my story to make them understand. I was ashamed at my failure, which didn't help my depression.


It took me about a year to begin to feel like myself again. And I do not judge any mother's decision about bottle versus breast after what I went through. Unless you've walked in their shoes, you do NOT know their story.



HectorCruz
HectorCruz

Have you guys all seen Project: BreastFeeding?


www.facebook.com/ProjectBreastFeeding

www.twitter.com/ProjectBreast

www.projectbreastfeeding.com

Isabellamommy123
Isabellamommy123

Ok. I know that I am about to anger some people here but that is what gets the world thinking anyway. This country (USA) is the most backwards country and yes I am born American. It does hurt like hell to breastfeed. It does make you feel tied down and stuck to your baby at times and it does make you extremely tired at times.........SO WHAT! Motherhood is not suppose to be a day at the SPA, it is not suppose to be EASY, and it is not suppose to be a NAP! This is a responsibility and with it comes the BEST GIFT.....ENDLESS LOVE! I bleed at times, I have had Mastitis twice (its worse than labor), and I never get a REAL break but my baby has the ABSOLUTE BEST nutrition and bond from me that a baby could get. I too feel super blessed when I look into her eyes as she fills her tummy with the fruit of my breast....I AM SO DAMN LUCKY. And ....if I would have listened to 3/4 of the doctors and/or family/friends that told me it would be impossible......then, I would be missing out and so would my daughter. Wake up WOMEN.....IT STARTS HERE....DEVOTION, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, SACRIFICE, SELFLESSNESS, GENEROSITY.....ON AND ON I COULD GO! We are the teachers of these important lessons but unless we have experienced it for ourselves how can we teach it. QUIT GETTING YOUR NAILS DONE, HAIR DYED AND BUYING CLOTHES/PURSES/SHOES/JEWELRY THAT YOU DONT NEED....QUIT TALKING ON THE PHONE ABOUT OTHER WOMEN AND JUDGING WOMEN THAT DON'T BEAUTIFY THEMSELVES.....QUIT LOOKING AT MOTHERHOOD AS A MEANS TO AN END OR A HOBBY THAT YOU CAN PICK UP WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT! THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD TRANSMITS THE MOST PURE ENERGY AND IN ORDER FOR GOODNESS TO CONTINUE WE, AS WOMEN, MUST START WITH THE SELFLESSNESS......GET WITH IT! Oh, and by the way.....I am not a rich woman, in fact, I sacrificed my job and I was the bread winner. I decided that being broke was just fine if it meant that I was giving my daughter everything she needed. We struggle but it made us closer, my husband and I. Also, you would be surprised to see how it uplifts a man to his goal of "manhood" when he takes care of the mother of his children and allows for her to deliver the blessing of breastfeeding and motherhood. However, you have to sometimes accept that you will not have all the "unneeded conveniences" that you have grown accustomed to! It will fill you with a life that you never imagined!

Alicianoel
Alicianoel

I am a first time mom, I'm 22. My baby is almost 3 months and I'm still exclusively breastfeeding and plan on continuing to do so. I haven't had any issues so far. Of course I had fears that everyone else has such as the low milk supply, is my baby getting enough, etc. despite my fears I read and researched a ton. It was nonstop. I wanted to educate myself thoroughly about breastfeeding because it was very important to me. I'm glad that I did because honestly I think it's contributed immensely to my success with it so far. You have to educate yourself about it, and don't listen to people's crappy advice. I can't speak for everyone but it has not been difficult for me. There are just things people need to realize about breastfeeding. There's so much misinformation out there that makes people give up right away and it's unfortunate but it doesn't have to be that way. As for the breastfeeding in public being frowned upon, realllly? Wth is wrong with people today? Yes, let's just opt to feed our children something synthetic produced in lab because that is more socially acceptable and appropriate. I'm not saying formula is bad by any means and sometimes it is necessary. But breastfeeding should always be the first choice and route when feeding your baby. Period.

FormulaFeeder
FormulaFeeder

This study was useful, and well done. But I'm disappointed in the conclusions of the research team, and of the experts who've weighed in since. The fact remains that these women were not examined physically, nor were their infants. We can't possibly know if there were legitimate reasons for the concerns these women were bringing up - it's plausible that a fair amount of them WERE suffering from primary lactation failure, or had other issues going on that made breastfeeding difficult. The answer is not simply "more support" or "more education" - the responsibility also falls on the shoulders of the breastfeeding experts and advocates who have been failing these women, to do better. We need better, holistic lactation care - care that allows for nuance and the possibility that not all women want to breastfeed exclusively after realizing what it does to them physically or emotionally. And we also need better research into why so many women are claiming that they aren't making enough milk, or feeling unbearable pain - rather than assuming they are doing something wrong or simply "uneducated/unsupported", maybe we should look into root causes and at least entertain the possibility that there is something physiological and REAL at play. 

http://www.fearlessformulafeeder.com/2013/09/can-breastfeeding-concerns-be-overcome-with-support-depends-on-what-support-means/

ElizabethD
ElizabethD

I had one baby who latched on from the moment he was born; the other never did get the hang of it. Not sure what I did differently but without a doubt the breastfed baby has had fewer colds and allergies. I would have persevered with my smaller, less keen baby but she never latched on, cried for days and I was afraid she would starve...or I would go crazy. So my conclusion is that people who find breastfeeding easy just have easier babies. Judging mothers on whether they breastfeed or not is totally inappropriate - you have no idea what choices they've had to make.

CerebralSmartie
CerebralSmartie

Those who succeed at long term breastfeeding apparently do not have sleep deprivation due to having to feed constantly. The word constantly is not used here in a figurative way but is meant literally.


grandmajo
grandmajo

Breast fed all my children and enjoyed doing it. Had very little support but a husband that thought it was right. I let the baby pretty much lead the way. and nursed them until they decided to stop. all of them were around 2 years old. now 35 years later all my children have a special closeness to me and I would recommend nursing to every new mother.

Hillary
Hillary

I found lots of difficulty breast feeding my son. I have no doubt that he would be formula fed by now if I had found one that  he could tolerate. I could never find any help. I was told to go to WIC for help and consultant just said " Oh. That sucks. Keep trying." when I voiced my concerns. My son is 3 months old and I never did find any help. I used a nipple shield up until this week. I just had to figure it out on my own. It really really sucked and I felt very alone and lost and unsure. I feel like this is thee problem for most new mothers. 

I've also faced lots of ridicule for nursing in public. My own mother tried to force a cover on me in her home! People say breast is best, and it is, but not when people treat you like a freak of nature for FEEDING A BABY! How insane is that?

abtwixt
abtwixt

I stopped breastfeeding after a few weeks because I had to go back to work.  Yeah, reality sucks!  If all the breast-is-best armies concentrated their attention on getting American mothers more than 6-12 *unpaid* weeks off of work, then we'd be able to make some progress!

kellychen
kellychen

I breastfed my son till he was one year old. I appreciate breastfeeding, cause it connects mother and kids, while it does good to mother's health.

EGO5
EGO5

I am married to a Norwegian woman, and we live in Norway. We have three kids, all of them breastfed. In Nordic countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway the "bottle" is not the first option. My wife bled, had pain, her breasts went up in size and still, she never gave up. The amount of data, antibodies and nutrients that breast milk produces cannot be replaced by any formula milk ever invented. She was never discouraged by the pain nor the aesthetic consequences, she did it for her children. And that is something it has not been mention in this article. It is motherhood. Humankind have made it to the year 2013 A.C. not because of formula milk and "bottles", but because of mothers feeding their children over 50 000 years. 

SarahSweeney1
SarahSweeney1

I really appreciate several of the detailed comments above! I don't think it's a big surprise that first-time mothers have breastfeeding concerns so soon within giving birth. It is a fragile time of hormones, exhaustion, high physical sensation, and lots and lots of emotion! What is suprising is that they don't receive more positive support! I think a breastfeeding class during pregnancy is one of the best gifts expectant parents can give themselves. Concerns and worries are normal I think, and taking the class will offer consolation when those fears begin to creep in. I also think a more supportive hospital staff would help. I can only speak of my experience, but the on-staff pediatricians were really pressuring me to supplement with formula because my milk was delayed in coming in. Because I had a supportive family, husband, and community, I was able to stand my ground and not supplement.  Within an hour of being in the comfort of my own home, my milk came in just fine, and 18 months later, we're still going strong! I think new moms who find supportive communities like La Leche League or Mamaseeds.com will find they have a much better success rate because their concerns will be met with positive encouragement and solutions.

TimeCommentZA
TimeCommentZA

This article is rather vague.

Here are some reasons:

1. Pain and bleeding. This is particularly problematic in countries with high incidences of blood based diseases.

2. Inadequate flow and constant crying leading to abuse.

3. Sleep deprivation due to having to feed constantly.

4. Inability to share the task with a partner even with a pump due to inadequate flow.

5. Stigmatisation for choosing either route (natural vs bottle). If you go 'natural' you are not tolerated in public, and if you go bottle you're shamed for being 'unnatural' or 'a bad mother' adding to the stress and reducing flow.

6. Milk banks being reserved for HIV mothers rather than mothers who cannot deliver.

7. Being forced to take sulpiride to induce flow and knowing that it goes into your baby.

My view is you do what works for you and anyone who blames you needs to mind their own business. As long as the child flourishes. As for the study about IQ and breastfeeding, that's a CORRELATION not a causation. If it were true, we'd find that most Nobel prize winners came from the 3rd world where breastfeeding is the norm. What we're seeing in that study is that upper middle class women who are browbeaten into breastfeeding due to 'unnatural' shaming over the bottle are also very literate and hence encourage literacy and education and hence intelligence in their kids. It's a social class issue not a causal link from breast milk to intelligence.

MonicaVictorColling
MonicaVictorColling

And why aren't women seeking the information either? Why are we so quick to blame the system, and not all parties involved?

KatherineHenderson
KatherineHenderson

Bottom line, the largest contributor to all of these issues is lack of understanding for NORMAL newborn behavior. Sadly, our culture of baby training has many moms believing in myths about how and when babies should eat and sleep. These ideas are reinforced by colloquial ideologies that have become institutional traps. Newborn babies need to be held and nursed ALL the time. Not just 15 minutes on each side every 2-4 hours. If your baby is getting at least that much you are probably doing ok but most babies want to nurse more often than that, MUCH more often, usually.
Newborn babies' stomachs are tiny. They can only hold about as much liquid as a thimble in the first days. This is normal. Babies are designed to eat very small amounts very frequently, given that the first milk comes out in about a teaspoonful per feed. Sometimes moms her staff mention that the baby is only getting about a teaspoon each feed and begin to worry that they are not making enough milk which begins the "perceived low supply" issue.
Things like early separation of mother and baby, hatting and bathing of babies can cause trouble for latch and supply. There is NO medical reason to bathe a baby immediately following birth. It lowers body temperature, makes mother and baby anxious and causes problems. Newborn babies need to be on their mother or father's skin at all times to regulate body temperature, blood sugar, heart rate and breathing.
And many mothers don't know what a newborn baby's hunger cues look like. If the baby is crying you've waited too long to put the baby to breast. Trying to nurse a hysterically crying newborn is like trying to put two dogs in a bath tub. Unfortunately many babies are given a paci or other synthetic soothing device which causes many mothers to miss the early hunger cues as well as fostering the development of a disorganized suck.
Fortunately many of these issues can be circumvented on an institutional level:
No non-medically indicated inductions, C-sections should be planned for after labor has begun on it's own if at all possible.
Give moms a chance at a natural childbirth
Immediate and continued skin to skin
No hatting, no chatting, no patting while the mother is preparing to birth the placenta
No baths! No binkys!
Room in. No nurseries! The only reason a baby should be separated from mother is for emergencies.
And continued access to an IBCLC NOT simply "well meaning lactation consultants" who are usually just RN's with a few hours of lactation specific training who have just a little bit of time while on rounds to give a bit of advice or encouragement.
Educate early and often! The average amount time each care provider has to spend with each mother is abysmally small and waiting until the third trimester to discuss breastfeeding is too little, too late for most.

Mothers need to know what to expect is normal in the first months. They need to be aware of the average timetable for growth spurts and teething so they can anticipate their baby's needs. Most moms give up around 2 months, which is when babies are hitting their first big growth spurt and wanting to nurse much more frequently. Many mothers interpret this as low supply. They need access to RELIABLE information on which medications are safe to take while breastfeeding (hint: needing to pump and dump is the exception and not the rule!). They need to know that exclusively breastfed babies are measured on a completely separate growth chart than formula fed or combo babies. And that healthy growth is subjective. If the baby wets/poops frequently, is generally content and meeting developmental milestones that baby is fine despite what percentage he or she may be on the growth chart.
Even if the baby has a milk protein allergy (commonly mislabeled as lactose-intolerance) it is not a reason to begin supplementing. A baby is almost always usually better off with mother's milk than with supplements even in the case of food allergies.
Sorry that this is long but it seems to me that articles like this like to pass the buck. It's the hospital or the staff or the parents or society that is to blame for low breastfeeding (and the subsequent health issues that come with it) when, in reality we are ALL responsible for this problem. We all need to be making an effort to be more informed and supportive to mothers during this time. It is a PUBLIC health issue not just women's health or pediatric health issue, this affects every one of us.

mikeylikeychiptole
mikeylikeychiptole

I stopped trying to breastfeed after a few weeks because I am a man

Orah
Orah

Give me a break. Have you ever breastfed before? Most women stop breatfeeding after three weeks because breastfeeding is excruciatingly painful for them. And no, latch-on techniques do not help everyone. 

IBCLCinCA
IBCLCinCA

A few observations: a lactation consultant may be a "well-meaning breastfeedig advocate," but an IBCLC is a trained clinician with thousands of hours of clinical experience and hundreds of hours of didactic education in human lactation. Access to IBCLCs improves breastfeeding rates; that has been proven time and again. Insurance companies need to get on board with reimbursing the services of ALL IBCLCs, not only those who also hold additional medical credentials. There are many levels of training for lactation support; more detailed information is easily

Available to anyone via the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition website, which hs an excellent document containing that information.

Secondly, breastfeeding is not just a matter of desire or intention. It also requires motivation and information. Modern mothers are bombarded with marketing messages from infant formula compnies from the moment they announce they are pregnant. The barrage does not stop unless they take action to stop it. Their motivation can be easily derailed by the misleading marketing messages attacking them from all directions. Also, modern society moves and changes quickly. Health authorities make broad, sweeping recommendations which don't "feel" relevant to modern moms - exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months seems like an eternity when you are the sleep-deprived mother of a 2-day old who is not breastfeeding the way you expected. Motivation and Appropriate Information are the keys to helping modern moms. www.thefirst100hours.com recommends ways to keep moms breastfeeding for at least the first 4 days of their baby's life, helping them move past common early challenges into the smoother phase of breastfeeding.

bojimbo26
bojimbo26

To all new mothers : stop reading the books , use common sense .

Kiya
Kiya

@morebethanne You did try very hard and was educated. I think your doctor could have done more to help but in the end your babies are fine and healthy. I did not reach my goals with my 2nd due to a lack of support after we encountered problems also. Sometimes its smooth sailing, #1 and #3 were. #2 and #4 were issue after issue but thankfully with #4 despite the issues I took control and advocated for myself despite no support from the hospital. The medical industry fails many mothers and its not fair to those moms like yourself who go through so much and are not able to reach goals. I felt so defeated because I truly wanted to breastfeed my son.

WendyWagner
WendyWagner

@morebethanne  Every case is different, and you had some formidable obstacles to deal with. You should be applauded for your efforts. You were clearly dedicated to the effort.
One thing I would suggest is that you change doctors. I am quite unimpressed with a doctor who would not even give you a referral for such a simple procedure.

carlyrm84
carlyrm84

Isabellamommy123, You are BANG ON! The poor effort of other mothers angers me... They ALWAYS have an excuse. First mother I've heard, to have the same opinion as me. Good on you! Breastfed my first daughter 2.5 years until she'd had enough.... And second daughter now 8 months old until she is ready to quit herself. You push through the bloody nipples, throbbing engorged breasts, disgustingly painful mastitis and do what is right!

nwmidwife51
nwmidwife51

@Isabellamommy123  I have to disagree.  Breastfeeding SHOULD NOT hurt like hell.  That is a sign of something needing attending to by someone who can help - either a midwife, lactation consultant, knowledgeable nurse or perhaps. a cranial sacral therapist who can help a baby to open its mouth wider.  Women should not have to sacrifice her well being to feed a baby.  I am a Certified Professional Midwife and have helped hundreds of women to breastfeeding pain free and without it feeling like a huge sacrifice.  Yes, babies demand much of our time when we breastfeed.  That's a decision that each woman gets to make - if she has the time and the desire.  I urge women to seek help if they are struggling with pain or any concerns that the baby is not getting enough.  


By the way, 97% of women who have a planned home birth with a midwife are still breastfeeding after 6 weeks.

HelenS
HelenS

@Isabellamommy123  You want women to stop judging others, yet your post is full of sanctimonious nonsense. Nobody ever got a medal for being a martyr, especially the ones that deprive their kids of a college fund so they can breastfeed. How dare you judge other women based on your own experience. Oh wait, I forgot, you're the ultimate wife and mother and everyone else is inferior to you. Jeez.

HelenS
HelenS

@Alicianoel Hm, I think you DID say formula is bad, because you said it's "synthetic produced in lab". Also, what you think women "should" do is irrelevant. You're young; I recommend reading some books on feminism and giving other women a break.

Isabellamommy123
Isabellamommy123

@Alicianoel

This is my story too. First time mom, filled with ridiculous advice and endless negativity about breastfeeding. I was worried about the baby not getting enough milk at first but I kept researching but only read positive articles. Good for you! Lets keep empowering women to enjoy this amazing gift and responsibility!

ShonaGraham
ShonaGraham

@FormulaFeeder I agree, neither my gran or my mother were able to produce breast milk.  During my pregnancy I raised this issue and was ignored - what i wanted was information, was there methods or natural remedies that improved milk production.  I breast fed my son for three weeks every day he was weighed because my son continued to lose weight from birth I was told to feed him more often which I did, he was losing weight and I was in agony because of breast feeding so often.  When i switched to formula milk it was because I'd rather have a bottle fed baby than a dead baby.  When i told health visitor she was relieved because she was very worried but was not allowed to suggest switching to formula.  No new born baby should be sacrificed for an ideal.

CerebralSmartie
CerebralSmartie

@FormulaFeeder  Excellent points. 

How often is lactation is considered a psychological issue, rather than a physiological issue? Where is the medical analysis? Where are the tests- blood tests-or any tests for that matter- to discover root causes? Is there ever any analysis of the blood? Ever? Are there issues with thyroid levels? TPO antibody test levels? Tests to measure adrenal function?  Did the mother have any level of hyperemesis gravidarum during pregnancy?  Does she or the baby have any medical issues that are measurable-  auto-immune disease or otherwise?  Is there ANY analytical effort to objectively discover the root cause of lactation difficulties? Lots of questions. 

atavales
atavales

It is defnitely insane and the funny thing is that nobody cringes at a Playboy magazine or Victoria Secret's ads. Congrats on your efforts to breastfeed your son!

atavales
atavales

Congrats to your wife and you!! Well said :)

Hillary
Hillary

@MonicaVictorColling I asked for help from Doctors, nurses, WIC, family....I NEVER GOT IT! I was told to just let myself dry up and give him a bottle. Or use a pump...I can't afford more then a manual pump. I just had to learn on my own. 

carlyrm84
carlyrm84

@KatherineHenderson. YES!!! WELL SAID. I kept both my babies on my breasts, straight out of the womb. My milk even came in a day early. Why aren't women pushed to do this?

HelenS
HelenS

@KatherineHenderson Oh great, the normal/ natural argument rears its head. A great way to make women who had c-sections feel even more of a failure than they already do. People like you cause depression in new moms.

Fleamarketchic
Fleamarketchic

@KatherineHenderson 

Yes your right .However now it seems after I became an IBCLC most practices want you to have your RN. I will not cave into that. I focused my life on Breastfeeding Education and support then after 18 years of hands on experience with one on one interactions with mom, babies and their families decided to sit for the IBCLC exam. Passed...However I have sent my resume in to all the jobs listed out there. They now push for RN...Why....Maybe because they want someone to do twice the work for less pay. Now I am waitressing .....Have to work to eat ya know. I still have a desire to help moms and babies but it seems that the powers that be just want you to never get anywhere. My desire is to never let any mom that crosses my path be uneducated about the risks to formula feeding and give them a choice if they did not know prior that they had one. Yes I agree that some women may have to go to supplementing however she still deserves to know what side effects come along with that choice. I support mothers in their experience no matter what that looks like. The end result should be what the mothers desire is not for me to have my own personal agenda. I find that is what some support staff do. Teach one, Reach one....Breastfeeding Pass It On!!!!

MandyPatterson
MandyPatterson

@Orah Yeah I have breastfed before.  In fact I'm breastfeeding right now as I type this.  I have suffered bloody nipples and horrible latches.  But I never gave up on either of my kids.  

atavales
atavales

If the latch-on technique was provided incorrectly then the experience will be and will continue to be painful. Medical professionals lack the knowledge and in their desire to control outcomes don't support moms who do want to breastfeed; their solution is to support formula companies by giving babies formula as soon as they are bonr. Breastfeeding is, in some countries, the natural- normal thing to do; however, in this country breastfeeding has become a science, the common sense has been removed from it allowing "breastfeeding books" to mandate what is right or wrong. Orah, I am sorry you didn't have a good experience breastfeeding but I am happy that at least you tried and did it for some weeks. Some breastmilk is better than none!!

Hillary
Hillary

@bojimbo26 There are some things that can cause the baby to refuse the breast. I had no knowledge of the difference between foremilk and hindmilk, the fact that what a nursing mother eats can cause allergies in the baby, Overactive letdown can cause the baby to refuse to nurse or go on a "nursing strike". No one offered this knowledge to me. Not one doctor or nurse told me about any of this. If I hadn't sought the answer out on my own I would be bottle feeding right now. 

Kiya
Kiya

@HelenS @Alicianoel It IS synthetically produced in a lab but that doesn't mean its bad. The life saving medications that people take are synthetically produced in a lab and just like formula they have their place in society and can save lives.

CerebralSmartie
CerebralSmartie

@MandyPatterson @OrahIt would be kinder to use language that does not insinuate blame when breastfeeding is not a success. Thyroid hormones play an integral role in mammary function.1 During lactation, they aid in the regulation of both prolactin and oxytocin. Nevertheless, studies on the impact of thyroid dysfunction on human lactation have been scant. It is generally understood that hypothyroidism can interfere with milk production, but the potential impact of hyperthyroidism or postpartum thyroiditis has remained obscure. http://www.lalecheleague.org/ba/feb06.html

Orah
Orah

@atavales Ataveles, I received extensive instruction regarding the proper latch-on technique. Didn't help. I tried breastfeeding twice and both times were a miserable experience. I'm not worried, though. There's a lot more to parenting than breastfeeding. I think that many mothers breastfeed because of social pressure and the erroneous belief that breastfeeding will somehow yield a "super baby". I can tell you right now that that's a crock. I live in a community where practically everyone breastfeeds, and if anything, the opposite seems to be true. One of my friends breastfed her daughter until her daughter was four.  Her daughter, who is now fourteen, is socially maladjusted, depressed, and seems to catch even minor bug going around. 

atavales
atavales

Orah, parenting has nothing to do with breastfeeding. Because someone breastfeeds does not mean she has the tools needed to parent a child; fathers on the other can't physically breastfeed but if present in the child's life they play an important role in parenting. I do agree with you that at times breastfeeding is given too much of an emphasis and some women feel that they must in order to be a GOOD MOTHER. However, breastfeeding is linked to many benefits not just to the child but also to the mother and therefore has become a public health concern. I am also sure you did try hard to breastfeed because you knew something positive was linked to breastfeeding. I am glad that you feel and know that your children are doing well, and as a parent that should give you a lot of satisfaction.