Why is breastfeeding abandoned?

More and more women are deciding to breastfeed their children. But unfortunately this number decreases once the woman has given birth. The figures are not very clear either, between 20% and 50% (which seems very high to me) of women who breastfeed their children stop doing so.

I believe that there are two decisive moments for the mother in which she considers abandoning breastfeeding. One is decisive: the baby’s first month. The postpartum period is not easy. Women, as a general rule, are usually up and down with emotions. The first days, after leaving the hospital, when you no longer have the help or advice (in the best of cases) from the midwives and staff nurses, when endless doubts and also social and cultural prejudices invade who end up winning, the mothers are overwhelmed and feel lost. It can be a truly delicate moment.

Another turning point for abandoning breastfeeding is the woman’s entry into the workforce. Getting used to a new situation, the little time to be with her child, to express milk… make this the end of their breastfeeding period for many mothers.

I think for the first stage of, let’s call it, danger, there are solutions. For the second stage of danger, the issue becomes a little more complicated. Mainly because it no longer depends solely on us.

First days, now what?

We have our baby, joys, cries, visits, check-ups, the milk coming in… And they discharge us. And this is where I think the burdens come for most women. There comes a stage in which no one explains to you what is going to happen, what you are going to feel, how and with what you are going to resolve your doubts.

This is why I think it’s really important to attend breastfeeding and support groups. First, because they serve as emotional support for mothers, especially first-time mothers, who find themselves with a lot of doubts to resolve. They see other mothers who have gone through the same thing, there is a very positive exchange of experiences, they see how other mothers overcome problems when breastfeeding. Secondly, a good grip on the baby, as well as different positions that ensure satisfactory breastfeeding.

During this period, the main causes of breastfeeding abandonment are pain during breastfeeding that is caused by poor placement of the baby at the breast. Babies are born with the innate sucking reflex, but breastfeeding is learned. The mother must learn to position her child. It may sound a little strange, but I advise that mothers practice latching before their children are born. Many childbirth preparation classes cover this topic and practice it with dolls. I think it’s a great initiative to avoid later problems.

In any case, it is more than recommended that moms go to breastfeeding groups where midwives or advisors can help them. We also know other moms who have gone through difficulties similar to ours and that encourages us. I think it is very important that we mothers tell each other our problems, our obstacles, and listen to those who have already gone through similar situations.

Another reason why breastfeeding is usually abandoned in this first period is lack of milk. In most cases, this lack or insufficiency of milk is not real. I know that there are cases where the milk rise has not occurred or the milk is cut off. In most of these cases, this insufficiency is caused by a stressful situation for the mother or because she has received bad news.

So, very much peace of mind because mothers have milk to feed their baby. Calm and patience if this is your case and always under the supervision of a specialist who controls the baby’s latch and its evolution. As I have heard from more than one midwife, there is no need to worry too much if the baby is not gaining much weight. If he poops, has a good latch and there is no change in his behavior everything is fine.

This is one of the reasons why breastfeeding is abandoned in the baby’s first month. The mother becomes overwhelmed by what she is told, by popular beliefs, by her child’s weight…that is why it is very very important to be sure of what she is doing, of the decision that has been made and to have support. of the people closest to you. Because you can be very clear, that everything is going well, that little by little you are going to have more milk, your child is fine… but the comments from your mother-in-law and your own mother do not stop running through your head. At the very least, a door to these arguments that do not help.

Mothers who suffer these situations experience moments of stress that are not recommended at all and end up opting for artificial breastfeeding. When they see that their children are gaining weight and this stressful situation is over, they relax. Some breastfeed again and verify that, in fact, they had enough milk to feed themntar your children.

Back to work.

Maternity leave is three months. If you cannot or do not want to prolong breastfeeding, it can become a career of obstacles. You have to leave supplies of milk and take it out from time to time. We already know what it’s like to have milk explode on your clothes.

According to the WHO, babies need to be breastfed until they are 6 months old. The ideal would be to combine breast milk with other foods up to two years of age (even more). And at the moment the WHO and the business world have not agreed.

We must obtain longer maternity leave and what is called breastfeeding leave applicable to all mothers who request them, not only to certain sectors. Because pumping milk requires time that in many jobs you either don’t have or are not allowed to have.

Here the will and stubbornness of the mothers is very important but many times the situation, I understand, can get out of control for many.

It is important as a society that we fight to make this decline last longer.

Help and support.

On the Breastfeeding Committee page there is an app about breastfeeding. In it you can write down the weight of the baby, the times she has pooped, the feedings you have given her. It helps you keep track of your progress.

I think it is very important to put an end to the false myths about breastfeeding, if you do I don’t know what the milk is cut off, if you get into that position too… these beliefs do not help to have successful breastfeeding. They should remain in the anecdotal and past section of our culture.

The most important thing is that the mother has support from her partner and the family and friends who surround her most and are with her during the breastfeeding period. Her duty is to help and comfort, not to introduce unfounded ideas. And as I always say, in case of doubt, midwife, lactation consultant, doula, pediatrician… the professional with whom she has the most confidence and can help and advise you in the best way possible.

Remember that most mothers who gave up breastfeeding would prefer not to have done so.

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