If you are one of many women who find that you are struggling with breastfeeding, you aren’t alone. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a survey of pregnant women on the amount of breastfeeding they intended to do after having their babies.
The findings were published in the article Baby-Friendly Hospital Practices and Meeting Exclusive Breastfeeding Intention. Of the 85% percent surveyed, less than a third, were able to reach their goal. For some women who wanted to begin breastfeeding, smoking and/or obesity often prevented this. But for others the study lists a few reasons as to why some mothers and babies just couldn’t seem to “latch on”:
A difficult start: After giving birth mothers who are generally exhausted cannot find the strength to keep breast feeding after many late nights. Since the first few weeks are so crucial for a baby to become acclamated with her mother’s breast, some babies often get adapted to other methods, such as the bottle, quicker. And while pospartum moms may try breastfeeding again, often the baby is already weened off, making it more difficult.
Baby isn’t getting fed enough: Unlike when a baby is drinking from a bottle, it’s impossible to tell how much food a baby is getting when he or she is breastfed. Breast fed babies “tend to stay at the breast longer, simply because it’s relaxing to them, and the human milk is more digestible, so they generally eat more and more often and might appear hungrier.” Once this happens, a mother can become nervous and begin to supplement her child with a bottle to monitor how much food the baby is getting, thus slowing up breast milk production.
Nursing in Public: Many women aren’t comfortable exposing themselves in public, and it’s hard to sit in a private place for half an hour or more while the baby feeds.
Wanting to Go Back to Work: Once a mother has decided to go back to work, often they begin to stop nursing, breaking the routine that babies are accustomed. Very soon after bottles and formula replace breast milk.