Breastfeeding Problems | Fit Pregnancy

Breastfeeding Problems

7 Ways to Overcome the Cultural Barriers to Breastfeeding

While the number of new mothers who are breastfeeding is increasing,  cultural and other influences conspire to keep many of them from doing so. Don't let that happen to you. Here are tips to help you overcome some of the common hurdles.

Booby Traps

Although your partner may beg to differ, your breasts' fundamental purpose is to provide sustenance to your offspring.

Alas, the irony is that while nursing may be the most natural act in the world, it isn't always easy. "I've been helping moms breastfeed for 30 years," says Sue Huml, I.B.C.L.C., director of education for Lansinoh Laboratories, a maker of breastfeeding products in Alexandria, Va.

Help Wanted

Most pregnant women who say they're going to breastfeed do--but many stop before their babies get much benefit. Researchers looked at data on more than 30,000 women and found that 13 percent of those who breastfed their newborns stopped by the time the baby was a month old, even though experts recommend breast milk as the baby's exclusive food for the first six months.

Breast Friends

Whenever my pregnant friends ask me for tips about breastfeeding, I advise this: Before you sit down to nurse, make sure there's a tall glass of something wet within reach. I experienced an overwhelming thirst the second my son started to suckle, and grape juice was the only thing that quenched it. Other women have told me that instead of water, Gatorade and carrot juice quelled their insta-dehydration.

Nursing After the Knife

"I had bilateral silicone implants placed at age 17," says Kristen, a 39-year-old mother of two. "I nursed both of my children with no complications or problems. I even had a ruptured implant, which was encapsulated by scar tissue, and my doctor still recommended breastfeeding."

Oh, Yes You Can

Chances are you're pretty well aware of breastfeeding's benefits. Most likely, your doctor has told you that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for your baby and that breastfed babies get sick less often. She also may have mentioned that nursing burns calories (hooray!) and that it lowers your risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Plus, it promotes bonding with your infant.

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