Barriers to Breastfeeding | Why Is It So Difficult?
Breastfeeding is widely recognized as the best way to nourish a newborn, providing essential nutrients and numerous health benefits. However, despite its advantages, many Moms face barriers that prevent them from breastfeeding successfully. Everyone's journey is SO different — no matter if you're a pumping Mom, a formula-feeding Mom, or a breastfeeding Mom, the important thing is that you're giving your little one the nutrients they need to grow up big and strong (just like you!)
Lack of Education and Support
One of the most significant barriers to breastfeeding is the lack of and education available to new Moms. As hospitals face a Lactation Consultant shortage, and new Moms being overwhelmed by well, being a new Mom, nursing education often is overlooked. Without a proper 'how-to, we can't expect Moms to be able to breastfeed for the suggested two years.
Supporting nursing Moms is SO important. As breastfeeding is often sexualized in today's world (Yuck! We know.) can make or break her nursing journey. Having loved ones Mom can lean on when it gets too much for her, or her supply isn't able to produce adequate meals for her little one is a big part of the puzzle for a successful nursing journey. Cultural beliefs can also play into discouraging breastfeeding and pumping.
According to a study published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, the absence of social support is strongly associated with short nursing journeys. To help Mom nurse for longer and stronger, it's crucial to establish comprehensive support systems. That's why it's so important that medical centers and hospitals offer pre and postnatal lactation education, covering topics such as what a proper latch looks like, optimal positions for a steady milk flow, and common challenges Mom may face to let her know that she's not alone. Community-based programs, lactation consultants, and peer support groups can provide ongoing assistance, encouragement, and practical advice.
Moms who lack lactation education also tend to be pretty uncertain about the whole journey. Blatantly because they just don't know what to expect. Moms like to know what the next move's going be, what the outcome is going to be; even though nursing is considered natural, it's a learned talent. Without proper teaching, it can turn into a lost art form very fast.
Workplace and Legal Constraints
Pumping at work used to sound like the most horrifying thing, up until 2022.
We come bearing good news: The PUMP Act passed in 2022, forcing employers to legally provide break time to express breast milk as well as a private place to pump at work, besides the bathroom. Since this legislation is so new, some businesses may not have fully put these practices into full effect, but they are in the works. Being a working Mom is about to get that much easier!
New Moms can also face issue with milk production as they venture into their postpartum life. Common struggles Moms face are sore nipples, mastitis, engorgement, leaking milk and chest/back pain. All these combined can a formula-fed little one look really good to a Mom who's already running on overdrive. Mothering Mom is just as important as caring for her little one, so if Mom is mentally unable to continue her nursing journey, it's in everyone's best interest that Mom is taken into consideration.
Little ones can also develop tongue-ties, which makes it difficult for them to get a proper latch. This may result in having to switch to pumping over breastfeeding.
Nursing provides numerous benefits for both Mom and little one, but several barriers hinder its widespread adoption. By addressing the lack of support and education amongst new Moms, improving workplace policies, and addressing lactation problems, we can empower Moms to nurse for longer and stronger.
However you feed your little one is best: whether that's pumping, breastfeeding, or formula-feeding. Lacsnac™ is here to help you one bite, sip, or spoonful at a time on your nursing journey.
Feel free to contact us with any questions at email@example.com. Moms help each other, it's what we do.
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