What Are Some Of The Disadvantages Of Breastfeeding?
Once you become a mother, you take on new responsibilities. You have to think about how you will be feeding your bundle of joy that has just arrived in your life. To some mothers, the decision may come so easily while to others; it will take them some thinking to decide between breastfeeding and bottle-feeding.
Although breastfeeding is a beautiful and amazing experience that offers mothers the opportunity to bond with their babies, breastfeeding does have a few drawbacks that may seem like roadblocks to some mothers. These drawbacks are factors that breastfeeding mothers perceive as inconvenient to them.
Below Are Some Of The Disadvantages Of Breastfeeding:
1. It Is Stressful
Sometimes breastfeeding can be so exhausting leaving you stressed. This is true especially in the first few weeks of breastfeeding when your baby needs to be frequently fed. Sometimes you will have to wake up in the middle of the night to breastfeed your baby.
When you don’t have a house help, you have to balance between getting things done in your house and attending to your baby who will need to be breastfed from time to time, usually at intervals of 1 to 2 hours during the day.
2. Some Medications Are Passed Through Breast Milk
Sometimes when you are on certain medications, you will be advised by your doctors to put breastfeeding your baby on hold until you are done with taking your medications. For example, going into postpartum depression is very common for new mothers. As a result, doctors may put you under antidepressants if they feel like the best way to manage your depression is through medication.
Once you are under certain types of antidepressant drugs, you will have to consider alternative feeding options, like formula feeding.
3. Diet Restrictions
Since everything you eat is passed through to your baby through the breast milk, there are certain types of food that you will have to avoid if you are breastfeeding your baby. You will have to stay away from foods and beverages that are too spicy or foods that will cause discomfort to your baby.
This diet restriction is why most nursing mothers may find it hard to bear the thought of limiting their diet like they were pregnant for any longer after 9 months of not having their own body. You will also have to stay away from alcoholic drinks as this may retard your baby’s development.
4. Inability To Measure How Much Milk Your Baby Is Consuming
When you are breastfeeding, you won’t be able to tell how much milk your baby is getting. You may sometimes find yourself worrying because you are unable to gauge whether the baby is getting enough milk at each feeding.
Fortunately, for this, there is a way out. If you are concerned that your baby is not getting enough milk from your breasts, then you can pump your breast milk into a bottle and give it to your baby, so you can know how much milk she is getting.
5. Feeding In Public
Although nursing in public has now become much more acceptable, it is quite normal for you to find the experience a little awkward and embarrassing. You may, therefore, feel uneasy nursing your baby in public because you like doing your things in private.
As compared to bottle feeding where you just pull out the feeding bottle with some formula and feed your baby while seated on a bench in a mall, the thought of baring your breasts in public may seem unacceptable to you. Fortunately, you can buy a feeding blanket to offer some discretion while you get to breastfed your baby whether you are in the mall or the park.
6. Lack Of Dad Bonding
When a new baby arrives, your attention shifts to her. You will spend most of your time breastfeeding and taking care of the baby. This will leave the dad feeling left out as he cannot help you with the feeding. Your other children may also feel jealous that you have to spend most of your time tending to the baby.
However, when you are pumping or formula feeding, the dad does not have to feel left out as he can occasionally help with the feeding.
7. Physical Breasts Problems
Sometimes a host of things can go wrong with your breasts while you are nursing. You may get breast infections like mastitis, engorged breasts, sore nipples or blocked milk ducts. This can make you unable to breastfeed your baby.
8. Babies Who Are Breastfed Wake Up More Often At Night
Although this is something that not all experts agree with, it appears that babies who are breastfed will tend to wake up at night more often. This may be because a breastfed baby gets hungry more quickly as compared to formula-fed babies since breast milk is easy to digest. However, you can manage this by ensuring that our baby is breastfed just before bed time.
9. Change In Breast Shape
The appearance and shape of your breasts may change as a result of your baby suckling on them. This is why some women may feel like their breasts are going to sag if they breastfeed their baby. However, these changes are not always permanent.
10. Passing On Infection
This is one of the main disadvantages of breastfeeding because you can pass on infections to your healthy baby. Diseases like chicken pox and the HIV virus can be transmitted to the baby through the breast milk.
It is not appropriate to coerce a mother into breastfeeding her baby if she is truly uncomfortable with doing that. Whatever your chosen method of feeding your baby is, it should be something that you are comfortable with. This is therefore a decision that only you can make, in consultation with your doctor, partner, family and friends.
However, comparing the benefits of breastfeeding to the disadvantages, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Sometimes being a mother requires putting our children’s interest before ours. In my honest opinion, I think that most of these drawbacks of breastfeeding are as a result of our modern in-a-hurry mindset that is usually a self-centered one.
Therefore, before you decide on whether you want to breastfeed your baby or whether you want to formula feed, think of all the benefits of breastfeeding that your baby will have. I won’t say that it’s super easy and convenient throughout. Sometimes it’s always hard and you might feel overwhelmed, especially if you have to wake up in the middle of the night to breastfeed. But the good news is that, just like most mothers, you can do it.