To Moms Who Want to Give Up Breastfeeding
Voluntary or not, here are some reasons why moms give up on breastfeeding and my heart-to-heart take about it as a breastfeeding mom myself.
Research has long proven the importance of breastmilk to infants. Infact, WHO and UNICEF recommend that babies should be breastfed within the first hour of birth and exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life.
But breastfeeding is a decision to make. It needs a full devotion of your time, health and body to ensure your baby is getting the right nutrients he needs for development.
For some moms, breastfeeding may not be on their side. According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 60% of mothers stop breastfeeding early as they planned.
REASONS WHY MOMS GIVE UP BREASTFEEDING
A mother is expected to breastfeed her newborn infant. People will judge how good mom can be by breastfeeding. Your mom-in-law will demand you to breastfeed because all of her sons and daughters did and she wants you to do the same. Your friends are all members of the breastfeeding community. All the nutritional facts of breastfeeding are right in front of your face.
These pressures from society make you feel overwhelmed and you just feel you are not doing enough. You may feel a lack of education and encouragement.
Back to Work
Pumping in the office may feel inconvenient. Aside from this, you have a list of breastfeeding pump and accessories you need to buy, pack them as you go off to work, and clean them to get ready for the next day.
You may also feel there are no efficient support and policies in the workplace.
Fatigue / Stress
Breastfeeding will tire you out. Your body becomes a food factory and there is no stopping. You cannot get your sleep back to normal because there is a baby who always feeds or latches even when asleep.
Concern About Milk Supply
Your baby latches 24/7 and he cries when away from you. Even if he’s on your breast, he whines with discontentment. Then you start to worry about your milk supply and feel that you can not produce enough of what your baby needs, you will definitely look for another option.
Either you have inverted nipples or your baby is tongue-tied, both can result in breastfeeding frustrations. Some other causes of latching problems are large breasts, premature babies and fussy babies.
After giving birth, your breasts become engorged and painful even to slightest touch. This will continue until you establish your milk supply. But establishing milk production does not guarantee a painless breastfeeding, there are other conditions like clogged ducts, sore nipples, and engorged breasts.
There are inevitable circumstances that you need to stop breastfeeding because of underlying health conditions. You may need to take medicines or go to a medical treatment that will affect your breastmilk supply.
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To Moms Who Want to Give Up Breastfeeding
IF YOU WANT TO SWITCH TO FORMULA
It may sound cliche but I would say it again, fed is best. If breastfeeding is stressing you out and becoming a burden, switching to formula is okay. Your baby feels what you feel. Your mental state is equally important as feeding your baby.
Do what is best for you and your family. After giving birth, you are exposed to different emotions, and do not let the fear of not feeding your baby overwhelm you. You are a good mother no matter what. After you tried and you find breastfeeding is not for you, it doesn’t make you any less of a mother.
All that matters is that your baby is happy and fed. Take that guilt off your shoulders. You already have so many worries. Let your body tell you what to do. It is you and your family’s business.
Oftentimes, moms put themselves on the back row, sacrificing their mental health. A happy mom makes a happy baby, and a happy family. Take care of the baby and yourself as well.
IF YOU WANT TO GIVE UP BUT STILL WANT TO BREASTFEED
Trust your body. You may think your body is not producing enough but it produces just the right amount your baby needs. Your body is wonderfully created to nourish your baby.
Think of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding. It does not only provide the best nutrients, antibodies, and immunity your baby needs from birth to adulthood, it also makes a strong emotional bond between you and your little one.
If you are in doubt, find a lactation consultant that will help and educate you about breastfeeding. Do not keep it all to yourself. Ask for help. If you feel that your husband doesn’t understand the emotional in and out’s of breastfeeding, find a local or online support group or friends that will encourage you. Read books, watch videos or ask a mom. There are tons of information that can guide you through your journey.
Yes it is hard, I know it. I breastfed all my 3 babies. I also experienced having sore nipples, engorged breasts, and sleepless nights, but I chose not to give up. Seeing my kids healthy and thriving is the best reward I have as a mother. You may be at the tip of your patience but if you still have something left on you, hang in there. Soon, you will thank yourself for trying so hard.
FORMULA OR BREASTFEED
Whatever is on your hand, breast or bottle, it is okay. The baby will thrive and so will you. Everyone is different.
You already made it through 9 months of child bearing, you gave birth after contracting for hours, you are a strong mama! Together, you and your baby will conquer the world.