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Coping With Not Being Able to Breastfeed: 4 Tips For Mommies

Coping With Not Being Able to Breastfeed: 4 Tips For Mommies

Breast milk is the best for babies. Many of us grew up hearing this message and probably thought to ourselves: when I become a mom, I’ll definitely breastfeed my baby. But not everything goes as planned, and sometimes, no matter how much you want to, breastfeeding isn’t really an option. Here are some tips for coping with not being able to breastfeed.

1. There are some contraindications to breastfeeding

Coping with not being able to breastfeed means you need to understand why you can’t give your baby breast milk.

According to the US Center for Disease Control, mommies cannot breastfeed their baby if they have or are suspected of having certain viral infections, like Ebola virus, HIV, and T-cell lymphotropic virus types I and II.

Mommies also cannot breastfeed if their baby has galactosemia, a genetic disorder that causes problems in converting galactose (sugar from milk) to glucose, another type of sugar.

The bottom line is, there are really situations when breastfeeding is not the best for you and your baby. Talk to your doctor about your options. Perhaps, the contraindication is just temporary or maybe you can give your baby expressed breast milk.

2. There are other ways to get breast milk for your baby

If you cannot breastfeed your baby or provide them with expressed milk, ask your doctor about the possibility of giving them donor breast milk.

Some facilities offer breast milk from thoroughly-screened donor mommies. And don’t worry about the quality. According to the Human Milk Bank Philippines, donor milk:

  • Is safe. The bank tests the milk for bacteria. To kill any remaining bacteria or viruses, the bank also pasteurizes the milk.
  • Also contains immunoglobulins, which protect babies from diseases.
  • Has enough calories. The bank encourages donor moms to actively express milk that contains adequate calories. They don’t collect drip milk, which has fewer calories.

Important. Many families get breast milk from a friend or neighbor donor for free, while others buy it online because it’s less expensive. Please stay cautious. The donor mom must be healthy and milk must be properly expressed and stored, otherwise, the milk could be contaminated.

3. Formula milk is not bad

Sometimes, coping with not being able to breastfeed requires acceptance that your baby needs to rely on formula milk.

Please remind yourself that although formula milk is not the first and best option, it’s not bad. Formula milk will also provide your baby with the nutrients he or she needs to thrive and stay healthy.

To choose the formula milk for your little one, have a discussion with their pediatrician.

4. Remember that breastfeeding is just one part of being a mother

Are you having a hard time coping with not being able to breastfeed? If so, please keep in mind that breastfeeding is just one part of being a mother.

You may not be able to breastfeed, but you can still do many things for your little one. You can still hold him, sing for him, and play with him. You can keep them healthy through regular check-ups and scheduled vaccination. Once they reach 6 months, you can also gradually start them with healthy, solid foods.

Don’t let your guilt stop you from doing other things for your baby and from enjoying your role as a mom.

Key Takeaways

Breast milk is the best for babies, but not in all situations. Coping with not being able to breastfeed may give you feelings of guilt, but remember that you can still do many things to keep your little one happy and healthy. Focus on these things. If you need more help emotionally and mentally, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

Learn more about Breastfeeding here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Contraindications to Breastfeeding or Feeding Expressed Breast Milk to Infant
https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/contraindications-to-breastfeeding.html
Accessed June 23, 2021

Breast-feeding and infant health
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/524112/#:~:text=Breast%20feeding%20is%20contraindicated%201,be%20harmful%20to%20the%20infant.
Accessed June 23, 2021

Choosing an Infant Formula
https://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/infantandtoddlernutrition/formula-feeding/choosing-an-infant-formula.html
Accessed June 23, 2021

How a human milk bank works
https://www.unicef.org/philippines/stories/how-human-milk-bank-works
Accessed June 23, 2021

Dispelling Donor Milk Myths
Accessed June 23, 2021

 

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Jun 25
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel