The stats came out… We know 8/10 mums want to have a lengthy nursing period. So why do most mums stop early?
We were intrigued as much as you are so when the study came out, we rushed to learn what are the top reasons so we could potentially help fix the problem.
Here are the biggest reasons why mums in the UK stop breastfeeding before they want to.
- Lack of support
- Not enough milk
- Early return to work or school
- Attitudes off Doctors & Nurses
- Lack of help & resources
- Financial barriers
- Health Concerns
- Personal barriers
Pain during feeding
Many mums may not fully understand that pain is a part of breastfeeding. Whilst not all mums will experience pain the vast majority will. There are several steps you can take to reduce the pain. Nipple shields and creams are some of the most recommended pain relief options.
Lack of support
The glaring reason is the lack of support. As mentioned earlier, we have no excuse for not supporting our mums feeding our next generation. The support should not only come from the communities but also from our government’s health services.
Not enough milk
A big reason for mums is the fact that they are not producing enough milk for their baby. Some women find it harder to produce enough milk for their baby which can lead to mums having negative thoughts about themselves. With support, they could be given the best advice & tips by a health care professional. A common occurrence in this situation is mums believe their baby is not getting enough food and transitions into using formula.
Early return to work or school
The WHO has a great article about the social and financial implication on breastfeeding. The early return to work or school has a big impact on the ability to breastfeed. Admittedly, we now have breast pumps that are mobile. However, even with the influx of technology in the breast pump industry we still see breastfeeding rates lower in less affluent areas of the UK.
Attitudes off Doctors & Nurses
Whilst most healthcare professionals are up to date on the latest procedures, some Healthcare professionals are not fully informed about breastfeeding techniques or how to handle breastfeeding issues.
Lack of help and resources.
Many first time mothers do not have breastfeeding support once they leave the hospital. Many mothers do not know where to look for help, or who to go to with questions.
Lactation specialist often recommends pump rentals which can be pretty expensive. If women do not know where to go for assistance, or they do not qualify for programs to help, then they may not be able to get the help they need to continue to breastfeed.
Despite it being difficult, women are encouraged to breastfeed although they may have a health issue. However, there are multiple reasons why mothers will be unable to breastfeed if they have certain health issues. Women who have had breast cancer may not be able to breastfeed after radiation therapy or a mastectomy. There are a variety of health issues that can prevent mums from breastfeeding.
Negative feelings like embarrassment, body image issues and lack of confidence can all play a role in the reasons why mums stop breastfeeding earlier than they may want to. Some women cannot see the breast as anything but sexual objects, Concerns about exposing the breasts to nurses can make some women feel uncomfortable. Women are more likely to stop breastfeeding if they have negative feelings like shame or embarrassment towards breastfeeding.
Supporting mums Decisions
Many people speak about the “Bottle vs Breast” idea. We completely agree that we should be supporting mums regardless of the decision they make. We just want to help mums make informed decisions. There are options for mums to get help with breastfeeding.
As stated above, there are so many reasons why mums might decide breastfeeding is not for them anymore. It is important that we understand and respect mums for their choices. In some situations, the barriers might be tackled by a little support, but this is not always the case.
Regardless of whether mums decide to give their child formula or not, they still need support. We shouldn’t ever pass judgement against women who decide not to breastfeed because we all want the best for our children. Everybody wants a happy and healthy family