What is breastfeeding
failure and what are its problems
When a mother is not able to breastfeed
her baby, despite her wishes, it is considered breastfeeding failure. If
the baby does not suckle and empty the breast, it could result in engorgement
and infection of the breast.
What are the causes
of breastfeeding failure
Nipple Confusion from bottle feeding If water, artificial milk, glucose
water, or even expressed breast milk, is given through a bottle, the baby
may get used to the nipple of the bottle and may not make the required
effort to suckle and empty the breast. This is the most common cause
of breastfeeding failure.
Supplementing breast milk with
formula milk and other fluids Mothers are always concerned about
whether their production of breast milk is sufficient for the baby.
Many times, they decide to supplement their own milk with either formula
milk or other liquids. As the baby starts getting satisfied with
feeds other than breast milk, he may lose interest in breastfeeding.
This will eventually lead to a failure of breastfeeding.
Inverted nipples of the mother Very often, women keen on breastfeeding
their baby, have great trouble in doing so because their nipples are inverted.
They could try expressing milk so that the supply is maintained.
But if the situation does not improve, then the mother has no choice but
to give up breastfeeding, much against her wishes.
Engorgement, breast infection,
sore nipples If the baby is not being fed in
a correct position, and her mouth is not covering the lower part of the
areola while feeding, the mother's nipples could become sore. While
the soreness heals, if the mother is not breastfeeding because it is too
painful, she should express milk so that her supply is not reduced.
If she does not express milk and the soreness continues for a couple of
days, her supply may dwindle and eventually lead to a failure of breastfeeding.
Sickness in the mother Breastfeeding should not be considered
if the mother has cancer and is being treated with radioactive compounds
and anti-cancer drugs. It may also not be possible if the mother has been
hospitalized due to a serious illness. Very often, however, mothers
stop breastfeeding their babies even when they are down with illnesses
that are not contra-indicated to breastfeeding, like fever, cold, cough,
typhoid, cholera or tuberculosis. Not feeding the baby would then
lead to a reduction in the supply of milk, and consequently a failure of
Can I feed my child
even if I have inverted nipples
Yes, you can. Doctors often recommend
that women with this problem start preparing their nipples in the last
trimester of pregnancy by gentle massaging them each morning. Mothers
can also use nipple shields available in the market to feed their baby
until their nipples gradually come out. But managing with breast
shields alone for the entire duration of breastfeeding is not a realistic
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