Finding it hard to breastfeed or nurse your newborn? Well, bottle-feeding can work well for you. Why can’t a mother breastfeed after pregnancy? Is it really true that some women cannot breastfeed? OR why does something of such take place? This article will give you an insight into the alternatives to breastfeeding.
Interesting Facts About Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is an integral part of a newborns’ very survival. This process ensures that your baby gets all the required nutrients to stay healthy and prevent itself from infections and viruses. Here are some interesting facts about breastfeeding and its other facets.
- The more you empty your breasts, the more the quantity of milk increases.
- If your baby is gaining good weight by simply breastfeeding, then it means that your breasts are producing the perfect supply of milk that it is supposed to.
- Breastfed babies are healthier than bottle-fed ones.
- Breastfeeding helps you recover faster from pregnancy.
- The average woman produces 1.4 litres of breast milk every day.
- Breast pump increases the supply of breast milk up to 2 litres per day.
- 30 years and above women face a low supply of breast milk.
Is It True That Some Women Cannot Breastfeed?
It is rare to find women who cannot breastfeed after pregnancy, but it’s a definite possibility that you would encounter some with a low supply of breast milk. There are several medical reasons for women to have a low supply of breast milk and the one simple solution is to use breast pumping to bottle-feed your newborn.
Why Does A Newborn Need Breast Milk?
An adult’s immunity levels are higher than that of a newborn and it is the food we consume that prevents us from infections and viruses. The same a baby needs the required nutrients to sustain its immune system. Mother’s milk is the best remedy to ensure your newborn stays healthy. Breast milk contains higher amounts of antibodies that can prevent it from infection.
Breast-feeding directly from breasts reduces your newborns’ risks of:
- Ear infections
- Diarrhoea; and
- Respiratory problems
Why You Might Not Be Able to Breastfeed?
Medically speaking, there are several conditions as to why a rare number of mothers suffer from a low supply of breast milk. Breast milk is nutrition-rich that helps strengthen your newborns’ immunity and prevents bacteria and viruses. Here are some medical reasons why you are physically unable to breastfeed.
1. Stress & Postpartum Depression
The happier you are the more it helps your body produce breast milk. Some women develop depression of raising their newborn once they give birth and this type of depression is called postpartum depression. This can affect your supply of breast milk at large. Make sure you consult your doctor at the earliest. The happier a mother is, her produce of breast milk is even more nutritious.
2. Surgical Complications
If you have had breast reduction surgery recently, then there are more chances of you producing a lesser quantity of breast milk. This is because the surgery would have removed breast tissue containing milk glands and ducts. Same goes in the case of breast increasing surgery.
3. Medical Conditions
A medical condition called insufficient glandular tissue (IGT) will not help a mother produce breast milk. It can happen primarily due to genetic reasons. In this condition, mammary tissues and glands inside your breasts do not develop normally. It is a rare condition that reduces the natural supply of breast milk and using a breast pump to bottle-feed can help.
4. Heart Problems
Serious illnesses such as heart failure or anaemia can lower your supply of breast milk and it is recommended to consult your doctor if you see that your supply is on the decreasing end. Even if you have higher production of breast milk, it is not recommended that you breastfeed your newborn. Get in touch with your healthcare professional.
NOTE: There are other conditions that can cause harm to your baby if breastfed. Conditions such as HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Herpes on breasts.
How Do You Know If You Can Breastfeed Or Not?
The first sign that you can breastfeed is when you feel fullness in your breasts, heaviness, warmth, tingling and leaking milk. On the contrary, if you are facing a lesser quantity of milk, then it is recommended that you consult a doctor at the earliest. Reduced quantity of breast milk can be a sign of a prevailing medical condition or even genetic reasons that could have been the cause.
What to do to Improve Breast Milk?
The quantity and quality of breast milk are essential for your newborns’ overall health. Sometimes you will see that the quantity of breast milk is deteriorating and in such a situation here are some foods that will boost your supply of breast milk.
- Drink oat milk OR consume oats
- Add fennel seeds to your everyday diet
- Try breastfeeding your baby every 2 hours whenever needed.
- Consider breast pumping and bottle-feeding if your baby is not nursing properly or you have a low supply of milk.
NOTE: The above-mentioned tips to increase breast milk works, but also consider talking to your doctor regarding this.
What Percentage of Mothers Cannot Breastfeed?
Above 80% of women worldwide breastfeed their babies. The remaining 20% would be suffering from a low supply of milk caused due to several medical conditions that can be genetic. Make sure you consult your doctor in case you see that the quantity of milk supply is decreasing.
Here are some frequently asked questions that will give you an insight into breastfeeding and some of its other facets.
- How long do mothers breastfeed?
According to a recent report by UNICEF, every single mother can breastfeed for a maximum of 2 years. Currently, mothers put a stop by six months.
- How much milk can a baby consume in a day?
The average newborn consumes 750ml of breast milk every day. There are some babies that consume 900ml of breast milk and the quantity of consumption is also determined on the weight of a newborn.
- What does breast milk contain?
Breast milk contains carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, amino acids, water and fat that fill your newborn with all the nutrition that it needs to prevent diseases and infections. It also contains antibodies, enzymes and white blood cells that keep its body system functioning well.
- How do you know if your breast milk is empty while pumping?
Here is what you need to know.
- Breasts begin to feel light and flat
- After 15 minutes of breast pumping, you will feel less flow of milk.
- Do breasts need time to refill?
This is a highly mistaken conception. Breasts do not get empty, instead, it refills every time milk has been exerted. This means that if you are a lactating mother your breasts are never emptied.
- Is yellow breast milk good?
Yellow breast milk is a sign that you are new to breastfeeding. If you have eaten foods containing orange or yellow pigmentation, this could turn your supply of breast milk yellowish.
- Why shouldn’t you shake breast milk?
Breast milk is made up of living cells that are delicate and prone to damage. If shaken it could break its nutrients that can cause problems to your babies gut. It is the protein content that causes such digestive problems.
- Is watery milk good for your baby?
Watery milk has higher lactose content and less fat. It is normal to have watery breast milk. All you need to do is just allow your baby to suck till it gets all of it.
- How do I know if my milk supply is low?
Here are some signs that can indicate less supply of milk.
- Frequent urge to feed by your baby
- When your baby doesn’t want to be put down
- Your baby will take a bottle after every feed if it comes across one.
- If your breasts feel softer in the coming weeks
- Does mothers age affect breast milk supply?
Yes, it does. Women older than 30 years and who are overweight will develop breastfeeding difficulties. This means they won’t be able to produce a full breast milk load.
Every newborn needs breast milk for its very survival and overall goodness. Just as you consume foods that boost your immunity, an infant needs mothers milk to protect itself from harmful viruses and infections. Medical conditions such as surgery, heart problems and stress can trigger a mother’s body to produce less milk. Make it a point to consult a doctor at the earliest and live healthily.