Why You May Choose Not To Breastfeed
For many women, breastfeeding their child isn’t just a duty, but a privilege. Bonding with your infant often begins with the first feeding and grows stronger each time they feed, but not every woman may be able or choose to feed their child in this way. Whether due to personal choice or a difficult work schedule, some women choose not to breastfeed, or at least supplement breastfeeding with formula.
At Kyle Emergency Center, we understand the difficulties of feeding your infant and support the decisions of mothers. Here are just a few of the reasons a mother may choose not to breastfeed exclusively or at all.
While most jobs afford maternal leave, it’s not always as long as a new mother would like – especially as they’re learning how to properly feed their infants. Some mothers may have to return to work a couple of weeks after birth, leaving them with little time to establish a consistent feeding schedule before they’re back in an office. In these cases, the parents may decide against exclusively breastfeeding and choose to either supplement breast milk with formula or feed their infant only formula. This also allows the new mother more flexibility in her schedule.
Difficulty Latching & Pain
It may not always be the choice of the mother to not breastfeed. Some infants may have difficulty latching while they feed, meaning they never receive enough nourishment. This will often frustrate your infant, causing them to suck harder or even bite down on the nipple. In this case, it’s necessary for mom to supplement with formula. If your infant is having difficulty latching, try some of these tips and tricks.
- Cup your nipple in your hand and brush it against your infant’s cheek, encouraging them to latch on
- Massage the breast gently while your infant sucks to increase your milk production
- Set the child skin-to-skin against your choice before initiating the latch
Your infant may be refusing to latch on because they’re in physical pain.
- Ear infection
- Cold – which will make it more difficult to breathe and nurse.
- They may be lying against a recent vaccination spot, causing soreness and pain.
Sometimes pain from the mother is the culprit of breastfeeding issues.
- Inverted or flat nipples – Occurs commonly when infant favors one nipple over the other.
- Thrush – Commonly know as a yeast infection, mothers become at risk for thrush when the infant isn’t latching properly, causing sore and cracked nipples.
- Plugged ducts – Occurs when the breast is not properly and completely emptied.
- Mastitis – Occurs when plugged ducts are not remedied and form into an infection, causing fever and fatigue. Seek treatment immediately. Mastitis will not go away on its own.
- Engorgement – Occurs when a mother doesn’t have enough time to properly empty her breasts, or simply produces an excess of milk.
- Chapped nipple – Occurs when your infant favors one nipple over the other and latches incorrectly, causing soreness and sometimes bleeding.
It’s important to remember that all of these can be remedied when addressed promptly and can often be treated at home, like plugged ducts and chapped nipples. Massage, warm compresses and keeping the nipple moisturized will relieve a lot of your pain.
Low Milk Production
Even if you’re willing, have a flexible schedule and your infant is eager to feed, low milk production may cause difficulties. After your infant is born, it usually takes a few days, sometimes longer, for your breasts to start producing milk. Low milk production may cause feelings of inadequacy, especially as a mother, but it’s important to remember that your child receives nourishment in dozens of ways besides breastfeeding. If you’re feeling discouraged, don’t give up on breastfeeding just yet. Visit this page for more information on how to increase your milk supply.
No matter the reason, every mother has a right to choose how to feed her infant and to feel supported by her loved ones. Some mothers may simply decide against exclusively breastfeeding and that’s okay. There is not one “right” way to parent, and that includes feeding.
If you’ve decided against breastfeeding, visit here for a resource on mothers who made similar choices.
Kyle Emergency Center supports the decisions of new mothers. If you’re experiencing breast pain or suspect you may have mastitis, come visit our freestanding facility for quick and compassionate emergency care delivered by our expert staff.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on our trusted brand to deliver the emergency care you deserve at any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.