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Breastfeeding ... not all women can

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

There are reasons why not all women can Breastfeed.

Unfortunately, women do feel guilt and shame when they can’t seem to breast feed.

Society and family can be harsh on women who don’t try or find it a challenge. The fact is many are in the situation where baby can’t suckle although milk is available. (see information below). The endless siphoning off of breast milk can be daunting, time consuming and unhelpful. With all that effort from mum, milk is often thrown away. Some of the feeding practices including drop feeding is confusing for baby. Baby doesn’t know what they should be doing. Infant ends up frustrated, hungry and dissatisfied. Psychologically damaging, as infant can go on to have a bad association with food. Memories are stored repeating feelings of dissatisfaction and hungry all of their lives. The stress association with feeding can go on to haunt individuals from this early experience. With picky eating, poor digestion, not feeling full and no stop button for over consumption.

My granddaughter was pre-term.

Pre -term babies tend to graze. They have small stomachs and little and often can continue as a lifestyle and feeding association. My daughter did not have the quantity of milk due to little lactation hormone response. Shock was present from the early birth event, waters broke, labour process did not kick in and twelve hours later C section. Shock is a factor overlooked in most cases. Shock for baby and mother does not help lactation hormone processes!

My daughter tried her best and was exhausted with the every 2-hour feeding regime. Dropping milk into the mouth with a dropper had a gagging affect for my granddaughter. Her suckling reflex was weak from early arrival. Being pre-term, her gestation processes had not fully formed. The physical suckling response was out of sync, weak and needed more assistance to help her improve her suckling reflex.

Fortunately, I could help and I used clinical methods to improve her suckling and she became more settled with feeding. Mixing breast and bottle is not a great idea either in my granddaughters situation. Again confusion reigned. Unfortunately, my daughter did not receive much instruction or perseverance on breastfeeding while in hospital and became confused and frustrated with the situation. Gave up and moved to bottle and formula. (Which happens to most women in this situation). Certainly, it can take perseverance at first with breastfeeding. Those who have the right instruction and guidance do go on to breast feed successfully.

Body internal systems not ready.

We need to recognise that not all women are ready for breast feeding immediately. Their body is not ready. It will take time for systems and processes to catch up with the birth event. Intervention with drugs and shock is another factor that hinders. Slowing down internal processes unable to perform to arrival date and birth response. Encouragement, patience and perseverance is the key to success.

Keeping sheep I see the same response in ewes. Milk can be non existant at first, ewes are confused and fearful with first time mums without the knowledge of birth and nurturing.

More understanding is required around birth and breast feeding.

There is still a lot we can learn about the body and in my professional state as a Cranio Sacral Therapist, in early Millenia I saw and helped many babies who could not suckle very well. Frankly it is a common problem. Breast fed but, baby was slow in suckling; this is where specific methods help to improve baby to suckle; a better grip of nipple, faster feeding, less frustration for baby who is often exhausted in their struggle to suckle, baby tends to fall asleep in the process. Wakes fraught and unhappy due to lack of milk. Hungry babies are distraught when they can’t receive the quantity and quality they require. In this situation, parents and whole family are stressed with the situation.

Effective help is at hand. Although not many parents or midwives are aware of the instant result via holistic help. Bringing peace to the household, stress removed, contended baby means contented parents!

Breast feeding may happen but is mothers milk as nutritious as a hungry baby will need or want. Supplementing with Alfalfa helps to improve mothers milk. Baby becomes more satisfied, contented with milk quality. Reduced effort for baby and reduced time in breast feeding is key for a happy home, parents and baby.

Some women can’t breast feed because of hormones. Their body is not ready to produce milk or lactate due to pre-term situation. The hormone situation is down to the pituitary within the brain. Pituitary dictates lactation, when milk will be produced. Obviously when pre-term hormone instructions get out of sync the process gets stuck or unable to function. Fluids are also a factor. If mother is de-hydrated etc., it will hold up the process. Plenty of water needs to be ingested for mother to produce milk. It can take some days for body and pituitary to catch up with reality.

Obviously if baby’s suckling reflex is weak it can be a chaotic time with a cocktail of influences that need assistance to help smooth out the process of feeding. Hence mother and baby require help. Logically, suckling reflex needs attention even if bottle fed.

There are a lot of do’s and don’ts in breast feeding regarding mum’s diet. Mum’s need to be careful with their own diet keeping away from spicy and gassy foods when breastfeeding. A whole chapter is dedicated to breast feeding v bottle: find out full details and information in my book Pregnancy and Birth A New Generation.

See website for book details /

E book available as well as paper back

Joy Wisdom


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