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Everyone knows breastfeeding is best for the baby and mother, but despite best intentions it’s not always possible for moms to breastfeed as long as they want.
According to a 2015 10-country survey by breastfeeding product manufacturer Lansinoh:
Nearly all of the respondents in our survey, across all demographics and geographies, indicated that regardless of whether or not they intended to breastfeed their child, they consider breastfeeding the best method to feed their baby.
If almost all moms believe breastfeeding is the best method to feed their baby, and “nearly 50% of women surveyed indicated that 6-12 months was the ideal length to breastfeed,” why did only 42.4% achieve that goal?
Top reasons why women quit breastfeeding.
#3 – Lack of support.
Nearly 14% of women surveyed indicated they had some issues with breastfeeding and asked their healthcare professionals for help but were disappointed with the amount of support they received.
All moms need access to lactation consultants. Doctors do not specialize in breastfeeding and, on average, they receive only 20 hours or nutrition education in their four years of medical school! Not only can doctors not help with latch issues and finding easier breastfeeding positions, nutrition is just as important for a breastfeeding mom as an expectant mom – it influences their mood, energy levels, and breast milk supply.
#2 – Lack of milk.
The number two reason moms in this survey stopped breastfeeding was due to low milk supply. Speak to any certified lactation consultant (professionals who specialize in breastfeeding, which doctors do not) and they will tell you that almost all moms can produce enough milk for their child.
What few moms know is how quickly and easily their breastmilk supply can be affected by (a) not eating enough, (b) not drinking enough fluids, (c) not getting enough rest, (d) not nursing enough, and (e) too much stress/tension. For many moms, these are simple fixes. It just takes the determination to do it and a supportive lactation consultant to provide the information.
#1 – The child was older than one year or self-weaned.
Of the 13,000+ moms surveyed, most moms said they quit breastfeeding because Baby was basically a toddler already, OR Baby self-weaned.
Interestingly, if you look at only the U.S. and European countries, reasons 1 & 2 are reversed! In these modern, Westernized countries, the number one reason given for stopping breastfeeding was due to lack of milk.
What has been your experience? When did you decide to quit breastfeeding?
If you enjoyed this article read our other articles on breastfeeding and breast milk:
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