When Breast Isn’t Best
Sometimes breastfeeding isn’t an option. With all that we know about the benefits of breastfeeding, it can be hard for some to understand why other parents don’t choose it.
Like many other parenting decisions, how you feed your baby is a very personal choice.
Lots of factors can influence this decision. Some parents plan to breastfeed and then are unable to, while others know that they are simply not interested. A small percentage of parents are unable to produce enough milk. This can be devastating, as they have to mourn the loss of something they had very much hoped to share with their child, and additionally experience a sting every time they see the message, “breast is best.”
For some women who have experienced sexual abuse, breastfeeding is uncomfortable and triggering. In this case when someone is dealing with trauma, the potential benefits of breastfeeding do not outweigh the threat to their personal wellbeing. When friends offer resources for breastfeeding or advice about how to make it work when they have already decided they will not go this route, it can result in feelings of being judged and hurt.
These are only a couple of the reasons why someone might not choose to nurse. There is a place for education about the benefits of breastfeeding. The assumption that people choose not to because they are uneducated or less dedicated parents, however, is dangerous to apply. We want parents to know that despite the messages they may receive, they are not any lesser if they do not choose to breastfeed. Our love for our children runs much deeper than how we nourish them.
If you would like to breastfeed your baby and you think you are having trouble, it is always a good idea to find a reputable lactation consultant. If you are beyond this point or you do not wish to nurse, there are many ways to feed your baby! You can supplement with formula or feed with formula full time. You can solely pump and you can also use donor milk.
At Music City Doulas, we believe that fed is best. Our doulas are prepared to support you in whatever way you feed your baby, without a second thought. We will never doubt your ability to choose what is best for your family.
Cheers to fed babies!