Overcoming Breastfeeding Obstacles

Although breastfeeding is the biologically normal way to feed babies, it doesn’t always come easily. There are many factors—physical, medical, social and cultural—that can affect your breastfeeding experience.

If you think there may be a physical obstacle to nursing your baby, such as medications or supplements you might be taking, ask your healthcare provider about it during your next visit. If your provider seems unsure, reach out to a lactation consultant (IBCLC) and consult the Infant Risk Center. Even mothers who take mental health medications can likely breastfeed their babies, although the dosage or type of drug may have to be adjusted. Chances are, there is an alternative medication you can take that will enable you to breastfeed.

Women who’ve had breast surgeries, such as enhancements or reductions, are often able to produce at least some breast milk. Those with inverted nipples can often breastfeed with no problems, though there are several products and techniques that can help with this. Only a small number of women—estimates have ranged from 5% to 15%—are unable to breastfeed due to a health condition or medical concern.

Most moms can successfully nurse their babies, especially when they feel supported and can access help with breastfeeding challenges. Make sure you’re aware of the available support for breastfeeding moms in your community, such as lactation clinics and new mom groups.

See also ...

•  Common breastfeeding challenges

•  Breastfeeding multiples

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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