Breastfeeding or bottlefeeding, it’s a personal decision. Although breastfeeding benefits for both mother and baby are compelling, the decision to breastfeed is not always about the benefits. In some cases, bottlefeeding may be better for mom and baby.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Babies who are breastfed have stronger immune systems, fewer cases of respiratory problems, asthma and allergies, and fewer ear infections than babies who are not breastfed.
For moms, breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps shrink the uterus to pre-pregnancy size. It burns extra calories, so it can help moms lose pregnancy weight faster. Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of some cancers and decreases the risk of stroke and heart attack up to ten years after giving birth.
While there are several benefits to breastfeeding a baby, there are valid reasons to choose not to breastfeed.
Reasons A Mother May Choose Not to Breastfeed
Although the science around breastfeeding supports the many benefits for mother and baby, the decision to breastfeed can be difficult. Sometimes, the best decision for a mother and baby is not to breastfeed. Due to private and very personal issues, some mothers have great difficulty breastfeeding, and the stress of doing so can create a negative atmosphere for both her, her baby, and the whole family.
It can be hard to understand how a decision not to breastfeed could be the best when faced with all the positive data about breastfeeding, but we should be slow to judge without understanding the circumstances.
Some examples of issues that could play a part in not breastfeeding are:
- Low Breast Milk Supply
- Postpartum Depression or Anxiety
- Breast Reduction Surgery
- Medications (that may pass into the breast milk)
- Hypoplasia or IGT
- Serious Infections
- Drug or Alcohol Addiction
Even though breast milk is best for the baby, there are many understandable reasons why a mother would choose not to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding or Bottlefeeding: A Personal Decision
To nurse or to bottle feed is a personal decision. Each mother must weigh the options and decide what is best for her baby, herself, and her whole family. As a compassionate community, we must support our new mothers in whatever decision they choose. We must understand that we are not aware of all the circumstances and information that play a part in this important decision.
Did you receive support from your community when you chose to breastfeed or not?
Do you have questions about your pregnancy or looking for a caring physician? Call Creekside Center for Women today. 479.582.9268