1 Big Reason New Moms Give Up on Breastfeeding

This Just In 15

baby bottleGee. This one's a real eye opener. New research published in the journal Pediatrics has determined why many new moms stop breastfeeding after just a few weeks -- and the reason makes total sense.

Of the moms who were interviewed for the study, it turns out that those who worried about breastfeeding from the get-go were more likely to quit. Whether it be anxiety over whether the baby would latch on correctly, whether breastfeeding would hurt, or whether they'd produce enough milk to feed their child -- moms who went into breastfeeding with these fears in their head were much more likely to make the switch to formula early on.

As someone who gave up on the whole breastfeeding gig after about two weeks, I think there's a lot of truth and merit to this study for sure. I stopped because I was exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed out, sore, and I didn't feel like my son was getting enough to eat. But honestly, I had all of those worries well before I gave birth to him, so I went into breastfeeding kind of believing I'd probably fail at it.

And honestly, my lack of self confidence isn't all that surprising, considering I really don't remember receiving much education on the subject during those prenatal classes I took prior to my son's arrival. I mean, breastfeeding may have been thrown briefly into the subject matter, but most of it was focused around the actual labor and delivery -- not the aftermath.

I can remember the nurse handing me my baby right after the birth and saying something like, "He's probably hungry -- why don't you go ahead and breastfeed him?"

And my reaction went something like this:

"Huh? Oh, ok. (Brings baby's head towards the boob.) Um, he's not doing anything. I don't think he's getting it. I have no clue what I'm doing here. Fu%& this."

Then the nurse kind of popped him on there for me -- but I still had no idea how to get him to latch on myself. And by the time the lactation witch consultant showed up in my recovery room the next morning, I was already feeling major anxiety about the process and had dreams of bottles and formula running through my head.

Fast forward to two weeks later, when I basically said, "Oh, to HELL with it!" and switched to the bottle and never looked back.

I wouldn't say that I regret my decision because my little guy turned out perfectly fine -- but I do think things would have gone a lot smoother for me if I'd known a lot more about breastfeeding during my pregnancy. At least if I'd been educated, I would've been more at ease when I actually had to do it, and maybe it wouldn't have been such a huge challenge for me.

I'm all for moms offering the boob and sticking with it for as long as possible if that's something that works for them. But how the heck can we expect them to do it if we don't teach them what to do?!?

There's so much focus on instructing us how to actually have the baby, because we've never done it before. Well guess what? New moms haven't breastfed before either -- so wouldn't it make sense to put just as much emphasis onto that part of the whole parenting deal?

My son is 7, so maybe things have changed by now and breastfeeding is incorporated into birthing classes a bit more nowadays. But if it's not? Then you really can't blame moms for throwing in the towel in a matter of weeks. They're already anxious enough with a newborn without throwing any added worry into the mix.

Have you gotten a lot of education on breastfeeding during your pregnancy?


Image via Boy27wonder/Flickr

breastfeeding, formula, natural parenting


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Amtoadvine

When I was pregnant with my first, my husband and I decided to skip the whole birthing class thing. We were both workaholics and it seemed like a total waste of our limited time together. I figured the baby would come out whether I was ready or not LOL. But I was determined to breast feed and he was very supportive of that decision. Together we took a breast feeding class. It was only a few hours one night but it laid the foundation for a very successful breast feeding experience. Not that I didn't have my share of issues (low supply, recurring clogged ducts, painful pumping, and painful blebs), but my husband was just as dedicated and he helped me get through some tough times. I was determined to make it one year and I ended up nursing my first son for 27 months. We just had our second son 3 weeks ago and I am just as determined with him. It's still not easy. I've already had to deal with cracked and bleeding nipples, but it's totally worth it and once I got past the first 2 weeks, it's already 100% better.

mande... manderspanders

I was pretty well educated beforehand...or at least I thought I was.  I am enough of a realist to understand it wasn't as easy as popping the baby on the boob and riding off into the land of breastmilk rivers.

My biggest frustration was that all of that all of that "education" was just a bunch of rosy bullshit to get you hyped up to do it.  there was very little real, practical advice and troubleshooting.

I would have given up right away too..but I was fortunate enough to have doula who is an RN and a certified breast feeding educator who gave me enough strength to stick with it on days I was completeky overwhelmed and in despair,

My son is almost 3 months old....in ways it has gotten easier, but is still so much of a chore.  I have 100oz in a stockpile and he takes the bottle well, so I can get breaks... but now I also have to battle oversupply issues as I am turning out to be *very* responsive to the baby and the pump.  It feels like neverending frustration.  I keep thinking that if we can get to 4 months and start seeing how he feels about solids, maybe so of the pressure will be off of me. 

At this point, I'd be happy with any length of time that we continue to... be it 4 months or 1 year.  I just plug away, day to day.

3boys... 3boysANDaMOMMY

I never took birthing classes. When i had my 1st son the only info I got on brestfeeding was from books and the wonderful staff I had the days after my c-section. I think having help for those three days really made it better for me.

Freela Freela

I agree.  It's hard to bf, and to go into it with no education and no source of information is even harder.  I'm really thankful that our hospital had great lactation consultants, including a drop in clinic.  My son had a tongue-tie that made nursing hard, and at 3 weeks I walked into the Breastfeeding Clinic, basically handed my son to one of the nurses/lactation consultants and burst into tears.  They were REALLY amazing at helping me to get the help I needed in order to be able to bf'd... I would have switched to formula without that help, because I was at the end of my rope.  I'm definitely not criticizing moms who move to formula, I'm just saying that for me, I really wanted to be able to bf and am lucky that I got the support/info to be able to do it.

Koree... Koreejean

I stopped because i did not produce enough milk for my kids. So it was better for them if i made the switch earlier then some do.

tina0... tina08mommy

I stopped with my oldest cause he wouldnt latch right at all no matter how many times i tried. I breastfeed my youngest for 6 months till my supply went down

Suzan... SuzanneL09

I made it 11 months last time and had no education on it other than a few conversations with my midwives, who encouraged it, even though my mind was set on it anyways. They were a great support on delivery day and afterwards as well. They offered to help after delivery, but I wanted my mom to help with that since she is a nurse and bf as well. I was lucky I guess, baby latched on and I had my mom there to show me how to get her to do it right. After the first week, all I had to do was get her close and she did the rest. I am hoping to have an easy time this go round as well.

MomLi... MomLily67

Although I think breastfeeding is excellent, it is not always the case for many women. Feed your baby as THEY require, sometimes just breast is enough, others formula, others both.

nonmember avatar Ashley

I really don't see all the fuss with BFing...I never had any classes or even advice about it, but it's just what felt natural to me. It's been an effortless journey, I'm BF both my 20 month old and my 4 month old. I honestly feel like its easier than formula feeding, plus all the other benefits, it just seemed like a no brainer to me.

nonmember avatar Camile

Well that's awesome for you Ashley but try being a little sensitive for us moms who it wasn't for. People like you really amaze me. I don't know why. Because something was easy FOR YOU means it should be easy for everyone and anyone who has a problem is subpar. Yeah, you didn't say those exact words but that's the tone you gave off! Ugh! That's why so many moms feels ashamed and depressed over breastfeeding.

1-10 of 15 comments 12 Last