Breastfeeding is considered the most excellent and most effective method to feed newborns, infants, and toddlers. Breast milk contains a sufficient amount of sugar, protein, fat, and vitamins, which are essential for the baby’s growth and development. Breast milk also protects babies from certain illnesses and infections, which is vital since their immune system is still developing.
However, some women are incapable of breastfeeding for several reasons. But whatever the reason, being unable to breastfeed definitely doesn’t make a woman less of a mother, and they shouldn’t also feel embarrassed about it. After all, if some mothers can’t breastfeed, there are certain products, like S26 gold baby formula and other newborn milk, specifically designed to replace breast milk, allowing mothers to still provide the nutrition needed for newborns.
Reasons Some Women Can’t Breastfeed
This article will discuss the several reasons some women can’t, shouldn’t, or choose not to breastfeed. This way, more people will greet women with empathy rather than shame or judgment.
Here are eight reasons some women cannot breastfeed:
They Had Breast Surgery
If a woman has undergone a breast surgery operation before, either reduction, enhancement, mastectomy, biopsy, or others, their ability to breastfeed and produce milk may be compromised. Breast surgery can cause women to have lower amounts of breast tissue, which are responsible for ducts and milk glands. Meanwhile, surgery, like breast reduction, can cause women to completely lost their breast tissues, making them incapable of producing milk.
There might be cases wherein women who’ve had breast surgery before can still produce breast milk. But if they cannot produce a sufficient amount of milk, they may need to supplement with an Alula infant formula and other formulas or use donated breastmilk.
For women who’ve had breast surgery and still want to nurse their babies, make sure you consult a lactation consultant first before going right ahead.
When a woman is currently undertaking chemotherapy sessions, her body is filled with medications and radioactive elements due to treatments. In that case, Chemotherapy and other elements present in her body can make her incapable of breastfeeding.
She may still be able to breastfeed in the future, but only when the radioactive elements are completely removed from her body.
Insufficient Supply of Breast Milk
There are several reasons some women cannot produce enough breast milk despite not doing any chemotherapy or breast surgery. Some of these reasons may include:
- Waiting too long to breastfeed
- Maternal obesity
- Poor latch
- High blood pressure
- Premature birth
These issues could affect a woman’s breast milk production. But the good news is, consulting a lactation consultant can help them try out some techniques, like pumping breast milk regularly, which can increase milk production.
Taking Certain Mood-Altering Drugs
Not all drugs and medication can adversely affect women’s breastfeeding, but some do. If you’re taking any medication, such as antidepressants, make sure to raise this with your doctor and understand how these medications can impact your breast milk production and your overall ability to breastfeed.
Have Serious Health Issues
Another reason that can make a woman incapable of breastfeeding is if she has serious health issues. Some of these severe health illnesses may include severe anemia, heart disease, respiratory diseases, Tuberculosis, or, worst, HIV.
Women with these issues, especially HIV, are discouraged from breastfeeding as their babies could contract the virus from the breastmilk. While antiretroviral therapy can help reduce the amount of virus in the blood, it won’t eliminate the risk of possible HIV transmission to babies. For the safest option, it’s best to feed newborn babies with formula or with donated milk.
The Baby Has Galactosemia
Babies who have Galactosemia after birth aren’t recommended for breastfeeding. In this genetic condition, the baby cannot digest sugar from any kind of milk, including breastmilk.
As a healthier alternative, the baby needs to be fed with a special non-milk-based formula specifically designed for this condition.
The Baby Is Allergic
It may be tough to tell if a baby is allergic to breastmilk. Thus, if a woman notices their baby flinching, crying, or experiencing allergic reactions after breastfeeding, they need to consult a doctor immediately.
Babies who are allergic to breastmilk are often caused by sensitivity, dairy intolerance, or other forms of allergy. Once a woman realizes that their baby’s allergic, she may need to use a specific formula to ease the baby’s allergy symptoms.
Triggered By Breastfeeding
Sometimes, the act of breastfeeding can be physically, mentally, or emotionally difficult for some women who were survivors of sexual assault. Some may have decided to never go through it, while others only realized they couldn’t do it after trying to breastfeed. Either way, it’s definitely okay and completely understandable.
For women experiencing this issue, don’t hesitate to consult your midwife, nurse, doctor, or lactation consultant, and then inform them about your past issues and your stand about breastfeeding. They’ll help you get the appropriate help and provide healthier alternatives for your baby’s feeding.
As you see, breastfeeding may be the best feeding option for babies, but it’s not always the best choice for some mothers. Whether it’s the mother or the baby who has issues that make breastfeeding impossible, there’s definitely nothing to be ashamed or guilty about.