What are the reasons why someone cant breastfeed?

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by wiggy, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. wiggy

    wiggy Bitch

    I know alot of women choose onot to BF which is fair enough their choice but why cant women?

    I know if they havent got enough milk or maybe tablets they are on or not positioned right etc? Are their any more?
  2. Alot of times its mostly a state of mind.
  3. Tarto

    Tarto Member

    Because it hurts, or because its inconvenient are the most common reasons I hear.

    Some women absolutely can't produce the milk or have other issues like medications that stop them.
  4. nimh

    nimh ~foodie~

    double mastectomy would do it :)
  5. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    In some cases, womyn do not develop breast tissue. This is more common than previously though (OR, there is something in the enviroment which is causing this to be more common) but it is still rare. As nimh said, not having breasts would certainly do it. As for drugs and medications, few medications will prevent you from breastfeeding (the PDR is the WORST book to look in, Medications in Mother's Milk by Thomas Hale is the premier book on this subject) womyn can take antibiotics, antidepresants, narcotic pain killer, barbituates, antiinflamitories, just about everything while breastfeeding. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is Cancer Chemo drugs (it may well kill the baby) and a few antipsychotic drugs (although there are antipsychotics a mother certainly can take) and drugs in the Statin family, but these can be stopped for years at a time, and still not have a long term effect on the patient. Nontreated, active full blown AIDs is not a good idea to breastfeed with (although a treated mother with a nonexistant viral load CAN) and active TB, before treatment can be passed through milk, although a few weeks on treatment makes the turbucules non-contagious.

    More than 99% of the female population can breastfeed, although a few do need specialized help.
  6. Dakota's Mom

    Dakota's Mom Senior Member

    With my daughter I had an extreme emotional trauma that caused my milk to dry up overnight. Two years later with my next child at the exact same age my milk dried up again. No trauma this time, just the body remembering what happened before and replicating it. I had successfully breastfed two other child long term before this so I know I can produce milk, it was totally related to the trauma.

  7. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    I disagree. I believe support is the most vital need for breastfeeding to succeed. Without support, very few women are able to nurse their babies, usually only the ones who do not have any major problems. Lack of support is a very real reason for breastfeeding to not work out. It's not fair to any women to ever make the comment that I hear so often (but only from women who did have support and who did not have any nursing problems other than maybe a mild case of thrush), "it would have worked out if she had just tried hard enough" :mad:

    then there's the fact that our environment is polluted with estrogenic toxins that wreak havoc on our reproductive and auto-immune systems. But I still think the reason most women are not able to breastfeed is from a lack of support.
  8. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    Yeah, but there is a HUGE difference between "trying hard enough" and actually having professional help, or lay help. If there are real issues, a womyn, particularly first time mom, can't be expected to know how to solve all of them on her own, or even know that they are there. If a mama doesn't KNOW what is really wrong, all the "trying" isn't going to do it. I've worked with mamas who had no idea that a baby could be tongue tied, or that scheduling could cause severe supply problems, or even mamas who couldn't latch, despite the "lactation nurse" in the hospital saying "the baby has a great suck." LLL can be really helpful, but in times of really serious lactation difficulties, you are luckly to find a leader who can help you like a private practice LC can. I have also found that LCs who work IN hospitals tend to give up really really easily. They just see so many mothers who "couldn't" do it, and the LC didn't have the time to spend with her, that they are of the opinion that more womyn "can't" breastfeed than the real number. On a difficult case, I may spend 6 hours on 3 consultations, 8 hours in research, and 8 or more hours on the phone with the mom, the ped, the OB ect. Most hospital based LCs don't have that kind of time (course, they make LOADS of money, while I don't) so they just often give up after a hour or so of consultation.

    In the several thousand mamas I have seen, I see about 1 in 200 or less than that who can't breastfeed at all.(maybe more like 1 in 400-1000, if you count really NOT being able to at all, not things like low milk supply or a tongue tie that didn't get fixed, I mean NOT being able to nurse at all destpite the best help and efforts) even with proper help. More like 3 percent have to supplement, or need really extensive help which during breastfeeding can still continue.

    Just my practice, it may be different in differerent parts of the county/world. I do agree that SOMETHING is causing more things like a near epidemic of PCOS, which was rarely seen 20 years ago. (It was first identified in 1935, so it isn't a new diagnosis.) But, this particular condition is seen a hell of a lot more than it was even 10 years ago.
  9. barefoot_kirstyn

    barefoot_kirstyn belly flop

    loardy maggie, i really wish I could have lived near you so I could have seen you when I was trying to bf Leane! You put so much time into helping just one person! Heck, you figured out what my problem was, or most likely was anyway, after talking to 3 LLL leaders (one thought that it might be overactive letdown, too, but wasn't sure), and that damn LC...... but no one would make the treck out to see me and I couldn't get into the city....and the LC I saw (yes, a hospital one) about a few dozen times would never spend more than 5 minutes talking to me. There was even one time when Leane by fluke was hungery the second she walked in, she sayed for a whole 5 minutes and left. She wouldn't even stay for the whole feeding, and it was after the feeding when I needed the help!!! I told her that every time I saw her!
    When I first saw her, she said, "keep trying" and left. The second time, she suggested something else, but when I went back after and told her my milk had dwindled down to nothing, she said, well, you really should have tried harder and it would have been much easier on your pocket book...and then she gave me a letter saying, "thankyou for coming to the edmonton bfing clinic" and how to start solid foods (SHE WAS STILL 3-4 MONTHS OLD!)
    I kinda have to also agree with mamaboogie...my mom and cody and my MIL....basically everyone in our family was telling me, "kirsten, give it up. Just be thankful you have a healthy baby, don't push it." Hell, I actually had to SNEAK to the LC appointments...when cody found out I went to go see her, he wouldn't talk to me for a week. My mom was pissed right off at me for sitting on the couch all day with Leane instead of getting supper ready and cleaning.
    I think the lack of support made a massive difference in not being able to bf.
  10. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    (((((((((((((((Kirsten))))))))))))))))))) I wish I lived near you, too. I'd like to take you and Holly in and just take care of the both of you. :)

    I hate the lame "just keep trying." Mamas need HELP. If you don't know what't wrong, and you may have something that is really out of your control having someone tell you "Just keep trying" is just so discouraging.

    Leane is beautiful, Kirsten, you are doing great.
  11. Raving Sultan

    Raving Sultan Banned

    Alot of times, its necessary to let a male suckle on your breasts before becoming pregnant especially during sex in order to stimulate the milk cells.
  12. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    That is NOT a good idea during pregnancy. Stimulation of the breasts in mid to late pregnancy can precipitate preterm labor and will not help for milk production.

    I have never heard of this causing milk tissue to grow. I'd be interested to see a reference, if you have one.
  13. barefoot_kirstyn

    barefoot_kirstyn belly flop

    awww, lol, thanks:)
    yeah, it was discouraging as hell.....I had no idea what I was doing, and Leane and I were running on empty....the only time that she slept, it was from exhaustion. When I called the LLL leader I'd been talking to one morning, I was bawling my eyes out to her and saying I really needed to see her in person, but I wasn't able to get into the city, she said she could only see me if I did. I'm only 25 minutes away from her, not that far of a drive....that really didn't help.....on the website, it was saying how they come to mama's houses if they need help, so I didn't understand why she wouldn't.
  14. barefoot_kirstyn

    barefoot_kirstyn belly flop

    Yeah, I've never heard of this, either...
    got a source?
  15. busmama

    busmama go away

    What about plenty of milk but baby is loosing weight? My sis has breastfed her last two babes no problem. But the last despite a good volume of milk started loosing weight at about 6 mos. She tried more feedings, pumped milk and adding more solids to his diet, but finally switched him to formula. Now he has gained weight and is doing well. Is that something that is more a problem with the babys digestion or is it possible that for some reason the milk went "bad"? She is a healthy eater and always was concerned about what she ate.

    mamaboogie, I think you are right. Despite having no problems bf my oldest, I coouldn't keep it up in the face of all the family bad vibes. When people are coming at you from all sides all the time you finally get worn down and give up! Even though the LC and the Ped said all was well, I saw everyone else way more often, I really think they thought I was going to kill him by bfing or something.

    Also, having a breast reduction surgery can be a reason you could not breastfeed. maybe a breast enlargement, I don't know about that one.
  16. mamaboogie

    mamaboogie anarchist

    I'd bet it had more to do with baby's ability to get the milk out. Was he a small baby? Tongue-tie comes immediately to mind, because that was the problem with my first child. Even though my second baby was also tongue-tied, and worse than her big sister was, she was able to nurse no problem. hmmm..... losing weight at six months... no, I was thinking six weeks. losing weight at six months may be from scheduling his feeds or giving him too many solids to fill him up which have less fat and calories than breastmilk. Or maybe she had a supply problem somehow, from the return of her cycles, pregnancy, or something along those lines. Most breastfed babies start to drop on the charts between 6-9 months of age, but not losing weight, they are still gaining, just not as much as formula babies do.
  17. The problem I had was the doctor said my nipples were too flat,, even then she gave me a nipple shield to put over the nipple and my daughter breastfed beautifully,
  18. Duck

    Duck quack. Lifetime Supporter

    HIV or AIDS...
  19. wiggy

    wiggy Bitch

    You can still BF if you have either HIV or AIDS, i mean more to the question why can a woman produce milk!!!
  20. Maggie Sugar

    Maggie Sugar Senior Member

    In fact, in places like Africa, where the water supply is so awful and there are no places to get formula, breastfeeding the baby, even if mama has AIDS is a better chance for the child than not. In areas like this, forumla feeding is a death sentance. It is pretty terrible in these areas when a mama doesn't have enough milk, but much more uncommon there, too.
    Kirsten as for the LLL leader. Some leaders make home visits, many cannot. Leaders are ALL volunteers, AND they also have to pay their own dues to LLL, as well. and usually all the fees for running the group. A womyn with small children, or who has health problems, or who even has a part time job, or is pregnant or has a small baby simply can't make home visits. When I was a new leader I used to make only CLOSE home visits (within 5 miles of my home) but, not when I was pregnant, or when I had a new baby, and now, with my own business and the million phone calls I get and having to help make a living from my LC business, too, I can't make home visits for LLL anymore either. It is just too hard for some volunteers to do. :( Also, people would call me for Lactation Consulting, find out I was a LLL leader and tell me I "had to" see them for free. So, now, People have to tell me where they got my number before I can do anything.

    Most LCs do have Sliding Scales, though, for lower income moms. In fact in my area, I think only one LC doesn't do this. (And in our area, just a few miles from LLL, there are lots of LCs.)

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