10 Things Women Worry About When Breastfeeding
We know breastfeeding protects infant and maternal health, saves the economy money, and, once it’s going smoothly, can be simpler, easier and cheaper than having to prepare formula. But getting to a place where it feels “smooth and easier” can be tough. Although many women start off breastfeeding, many drop off from doing it after six weeks. Unfortunately the vast majority of women who do stop are not ready to do so, leaving them feeling demoralized, feeling guilty, and even at an increased risk of postnatal depression.
But if so many women are struggling, does that mean it’s impossible for many women to breastfeed? Not at all. Globally, many women breastfeed just fine. This isn’t down to some strange biological quirk, but rather due to living in a country with much better investment in supporting breastfeeding and families more broadly. Although some women will have health complications that mean they may not be able to breastfeed, the majority, given the right environment, will be able to do so.
Unfortunately, in many Western countries, we haven’t got that environment right yet. Many women get poor or mixed messages about how to feed, struggle to find practical support, or don’t get the help they need at home, in public or the workplace. In many cases, better support, information and protection to care for their baby could have made the difference.