“Breastfeeding is touted as a “natural experience,” but there is quite often a learning curve for mom and baby,” says Registered Nurse and Certified Lactation Counselor, Molly O’Neill. “And once you both have things figured out, it is still a lot of work. Breastfeeding doesn’t always work for everyone, and below are the top four reasons that women typically stop breastfeeding early on:
- Having a rough start. It’s safe to say that women are truly exhausted in the days following a delivery, and that makes it easy to become overwhelmed if something isn’t going right. For example, if a baby has a poor latch that can lead to cracked nipples and poor weight gain for the baby – both of which are very discouraging. I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking help early from a lactation counselor if you’re experiencing difficulty, as it can be key to the success of your long-term breastfeeding goals.
It’s also important to have a strong support system in the early days when you’re so tired. Feeding a baby around the clock is a lot of work, and it’s useful if there’s a family member or friend that can help pick up the slack, such as making quick meals or doing the laundry for you.
- Concerns baby isn’t getting enough milk. This is a big breastfeeding pitfall, especially for first time breastfeeding moms. There are different ways to tell if your baby is getting enough milk and increase your breast milk supply if needed.
- Uncomfortable nursing in public. Unfortunately, breastfeeding isn’t “normal” in our culture, which can make some women feel embarrassed to do so in public. But there are nursing covers and some places even offer lactation suites. It’s something that you become more comfortable doing over time, so I always tell women to give it a try a few times.
- Returning to work. Not all work places are receptive of giving moms the time to pump breast milk or providing a place to do so. On the other side, not all women are fond of taking the time to pump during the work day. But as Dr. Pfaffenbach shares in her article, 10 Tips For Pumping and Returning to Work, it was something meaningful she was able to do for her baby each day.
Now that you’re aware of the common breastfeeding pitfalls, I hope you feel more prepared for what you might face,” commented Molly. “As I mentioned, it’s so important to seek help early on if you’re experiencing any sort of difficulty. The breastfeeding journey isn’t one you have to go through alone, and for some women it just doesn’t work out – and that’s perfectly fine, too.”
If you have questions regarding breastfeeding for Molly, please call 920-749-4000.